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Believe in Bristol Announces the Fifth Annual Downtown Showcase!

February 25, 2014
Downtown Bristol is gearing up for the Fifth Annual Downtown Showcase and you are invited to attend! At the Downtown Showcase, you will experience all the best the heart of our community has to offer. This year’s event will be an amazing evening featuring a signature dish from many of our downtown restaurants, a beer & wine tasting, live music by The Harlow Experience, celebrity emcee Mr. Chad Keen, local arts and artists, a fashion show, and much more – all from our Historic Downtown District!

A live and silent auction will be held during the course of the evening with exclusive and interesting offerings, including one-month membership to the Carefree Boat Club, a gift certificate for ballroom dance lessons, a 5-course dinner with wine pairing in your own home, a full set of murder mystery books by local author Chuck Thompson, several home décor and fashion items, and much more! The live auction will begin at 8pm and will offer six big items to bid on: a vacation package to Cancun, a rooftop party at the Benjamin Walls Gallery, a Chic in the City package for the ladies, a Fashionable Gentleman’s Outing package, a $500 gift certificate to the Benjamin Walls Gallery, and a Get Into the Spirit package, perfect for the connoisseur of a variety of spirits!

Bristol’s Downtown Showcase will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the Foundation Event Facility at 620 State Street. Bristol, TN. Tickets are $55 per person and $100 per couple; tables of 8 are $400. Space is limited and interested attendees should call Believe in Bristol at 276-644-9700 or email info@believeinbristol.org to reserve tickets, though we will have some tickets for sale on the door. Bristol’s Downtown Showcase is a fundraiser for Believe in Bristol; all proceeds will benefit the Main Street Program and downtown revitalization efforts. For more information about Believe in Bristol, please visit www.believeinbristol.org.

As a Certified Main Street Community, Downtown Bristol has more to offer every day – more activities, more shops, more homes, more offices and more life. Believe in Bristol is a nonprofit 501 ( c ) 3 organization composed of dedicated citizens, business owners, government officials and other friends of Bristol who recognize the role a vital downtown plays in preserving and furthering our communities identity, spirit and economy.

By donating to, volunteering with and/or becoming involved in Believe in Bristol, you can become an active part of Bristol’s ongoing success story. Thanks to the participation of our citizens, Downtown Bristol has been, and will continue to be, a source of pride and delight for the people of Tennessee and Virginia—because we BELIEVE IN BRISTOL!

Believe in Bristol is hosting an Informational / Social Meeting for downtown businesses, property owners, developers, and future entrepreneurs!

February 25, 2014
Mark your calenders — Believe in Bristol is hosting an Informational Social/Meeting!

Who: Downtown Bristol Businesses, Property Owners, Developers, and future Entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend, everyone is welcome!

When: Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Believe in Bristol’s Idea Space, 36 Moore Street, Bristol, VA

Why: To share important information and generate discussion with you on:
• Border Bash Summer Concert Series (May – August)
• Bristol Half & Half Marathon – April 12, 2014
• Lead Bristol! presents a new retail initiative – Sunset Shopping Downtown
• Meet the Design Committee & learn what can they do for your business or property
• Information about the Bristol Entrepreneurial Center
• How to take advantage of the IdeaSpace

Questions: Contact Christina Blevins, BIB Executive Director, info@believeinbristol.org, (276) 644-9700.

Looking forward to seeing you – refreshments will be served!

We host quarterly meetings to keep everyone informed of issues that affect you. We hope to host our next meetings in June, September, and December.

CHANGE OF DATE — Art D'Vine in Historic Downtown Bristol

February 23, 2014
The date for March's Art D'Vine has been rescheduled so as not to conflict with race weekend at BMS — so different night but same wonderful fun! On Friday, March 21, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the downtown Bristol galleries and arts venues are again joining forces to bring Art D’Vine to the local community. This evening art walk offers patrons the chance to gain after-hours access to merchants, sample domestic and international wines, and enjoy a range of works from artists across the region.

As with the previous gallery hops, participants are invited to stroll around Historic Downtown Bristol, stopping at Kil’n Time, Benjamin Walls Gallery, 606 State Street Gallery, One of a Kind Gallery, blowfish emporium, Pretty Girl Station, KP Duty, One Night Stand Gallery, and Hatching Perspective Gallery. The galleries will feature different varieties of wine for sampling.

This event is free to the public, though there is a suggested one-time donation of $5 with the proceeds supporting the work of the Arts & Entertainment District of Historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA. We will be hosting other seasonal Art D’Vines in 2014 – June 20 to kick off State of the Arts Weekend and September 12, along with moving our regular December Art D'Vine to January 2015 to beat the post-holiday winter blues!

State, Federal Partnership Launching Innovative New Program: 7 Tennessee Main Street Communities to Benefit from "IDEA Initiative"

February 24, 2014
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission to launch the “IDEA Initiative” that will assist Tennessee Main Street designated programs in setting achievable, effective and sustainable development objectives. There are currently 27 Main Street communities across Tennessee.

“We are pleased to partner with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission on this innovative and exciting new program,” TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Tennessee’s downtown districts are the backbones of our communities, fostering job growth and revitalization efforts. This new program is a welcome addition to the efforts our Main Street communities make on a daily basis to further economic development.”

IDEA stands for “Ignite Downtown Economic Action.” The initiative will provide each participating community with an assessment and a set of specific recommendations for economic development based on the National Main Street Center’s Four Point® model: design; economic restructuring; organization; and promotion.

“Vibrant downtowns are valuable community assets because of the way they contribute to local economies,” Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan said. “Main Street programs work with small businesses and entrepreneurs every day and the IDEA Initiative will assist them with creating a downtown environment conducive for successful businesses and job creation.”

USDA Rural development State Director Bobby Goode said that the three partner agencies are contributing a combined $121,500 to fund the initiative. “The amount of money invested for each town may seem pretty small, but by working together at the state, local and federal levels we leverage each other’s strengths for this next step and future steps that grow out of the plans each community makes as a result of the IDEA Initiative,” Goode said.

The National Main Street Center will utilize Barman Development Strategies, LLC to help each community identify the strengths of its downtown, market position and a specific development need or opportunity that exists. The process will include public workshops in each community throughout 2014.

The IDEA Initiative will sharpen the focus on the role of local Main Street programs as drivers and contributors to comprehensive local economic development efforts. This proven strategy works by strengthening local Main Street teams, improving action plans, increasing understanding and confidence in Main Street districts for investors, and developing economic restructuring resources and reference tools for each local programs.

In 2012, designated Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created 604 new jobs. Main Street programs are located in Bristol, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Leiper's Fork, McMinnville, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Ripley, Rogersville, Savannah, Sweetwater, Tiptonville and Union City.

About USDA
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn/. @RD_Tennessee.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

Bristol Entrepreneurial Center offers "The Certified Entrepreneur" Class

February 25, 2014
The Bristol Entrepreneurial Center at the Chamber of Commerce will be running "The Certified Entrepreneur" six-week class in March and April! The class will run from 6 — 8pm on the following dates:

* March 26 — Steps to Starting a Business
* April 2 — Where is the Money? Credit Counseling Solutions / Understanding and Improving Credit
* April 9 — Business Planning — How to Develop Your Plan & Research
* April 16 — Real Estate / Negotiating Leases / Rental Agreements & Insurance — What do I Need?
* April 23 — Marketing & Promotion
* April 30 — Managing Your Business (Inventory, Bookkeeping, and Cash Flow)

"The Certified Entrepreneur" six-session class costs $99; please register by March 21. For more information or to register, email Karen Witcher at kwitcher@bristolchamber.org or call 423-989-4850.

Downtown Bristol Blog

Fat Tuesday Buffet at Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College

March 04, 2014
Come out to the Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College on Tuesday, March 4, 5:30 — 7:00pm for a fantastic Fat Tuesday Buffet! Fat Tuesday is Mardi Gras, the festival New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for — "Gras" is French for fat and "Mardi" is French for Tuesday. Cost is $16.95 plus tax per person and reservations are required. Get into the carnival spirit and come dressed festive if you like! There will be New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Music and free beads — you don’t even have to earn them! Our location is in the Old Historic Post Office at 100 Piedmont Ave, Bristol, VA. For more information, call 276-591-5699. The buffet will include: * Tossed Greens with Creole Vinaigrette * Chicken and Okra Gumbo * Shrimp Jambalaya * Crawfish Etouffee * Creole Black Beans ‘n’ sausage * Red Beans and Rice * King Cake * Pecan Pralines * Tea/ Coffee.

Customer Service Leadership Training at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

March 04, 2014
The Bristol Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Customer Service Leadership training on Tuesday, March 4 from 8:30 to 10:30am. Leadership is a powerful tool for your organization. Front line staff members can make or break the customer experience so every day you go to work and you are with your employees, make it worthwhile. Leaders, managers or anyone looking to improve their leadership and customer service skills should attend. Please RSVP by calling 423-989-4850 by February 28.

The Beaver Creek Storytellers at a new location — Shanghai Chinese Restaurant!


Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection, LC-USZC2-1177
March 04, 2014
Old swinging bridges are fast disappearing from the scene. Enjoy old bridges, barns, cabins and Story Telling while they still exist. Join the Beaver Creek Storytellers — we present good family entertainment and everyone is welcome!! The next presentation of the Beaver Creek Storytellers is at a new location — Shanghai Chinese Restaurant — on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. If you plan to eat, please be there at least 45 minutes before the 7pm start so you can order and get your meal before the storytelling starts. Admission: $5.00 with refreshments at intermission (free to members — ask about our annual membership).
Click here to read more.

blowfish emporium painting party — Owl

February 27, 2014
Come on out to blowfish emporium's regular Tuesday & Thursday night painting parties! The Thursday painting party is February 27 from 6 to 8pm. Be assured, this is NOT a painting class! It is very relaxed & informal. The point is to have fun & allow yourself the option to get as creative as you want. NO SKILL IS REQUIRED, really! The cost is $32 per person (includes EVERYTHING — canvas, paint, tools & instruction — you just show up!). For more information, contact blowfish emporium on 276-644-1428 or info@blowfishemporium.com.
Click here to read more.

AAME Speaker Series at the Bristol Public Library: Dr. Martin Dotterweich, "From Clay Tablet to Kindle: Book History in the Digital Age"

February 27, 2014
The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire, in cooperation with the Bristol Public Library, is pleased to announce a new endeavor for the Mountain Empire region. The AAME Speakers Series will feature local and regional personalities sharing their expertise on topics that will enrich and encourage the arts and general communities of our region. This series will also provide a forum for member organizations of AAME to tell of their contributions to the Mountain Empire region. The first event in the series was postponed due to weather and has now been rescheduled to take place at the Bristol Public Library on Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. This talk, featuring Dr. Martin Dotterweich, Associate Professor of History at King University, is titled “From Clay Tablet to Kindle: Book History in the Digital Age.” This past summer, Dotterweich spent four weeks in New York City for a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar, “Researching Early Modern Manuscripts and Printed Books.” His presentation will draw on that experience.
Click here to read more.

Bristol's Downtown Showcase — The Big Reveal!

February 26, 2014
Bristol's Downtown Showcase is going to have a lot of FANTASTIC silent and live auction items on the night. From fun "experiences" and downtown gift certificates to local art and beautiful fashions, there's going to be something for everyone! Here are just a few of the great items you can bid on: * One-year curbside recycling from Revolution Curbside Recyling * A stunning framed photograph by local artist Briana Morris * One-month membership in the Carefree Boat Club * A rooftop party at the Benjamin Walls Gallery * A gift certificate for a Ukrainian Egg Decorating Class! Not only are there great auction items to bid on, but there are also several artists doing live demos at the event, including Pat Jessee, Kent Paulette, and Teresa Kath, along with several ballerinas from the Bristol Ballet! The event is on Thursday, March 6, 6 — 8:30pm — the silent auction will last until 8pm, and the live auction will begin at 8:00pm. Tune in next week for the next Big Reveal!

It's Framuary at the Benjamin Walls Gallery!

February 26, 2014
And what exactly is Framuary, do you ask? It's a chance to enjoy 20% off any custom frame purchase through February 28th! The Benjamin Walls Gallery custom frames paintings, prints, canvases, documents, shadowboxes, and, of course, photographs. We have an excellent selection, our quality is guaranteed, and delivery is available. For more information, contact the Benjamin Walls Gallery at 877-989-2557 or go to the website at www.BenjaminWalls.com/framing.

Machiavelli's Two for $20 Sunday Special!

February 26, 2014
Every Sunday at Machiavelli's — try the Two for $20 Sunday Special — two large pizzas, 2 toppings, $20! A great way to enjoy pizza with friends! For more information, contact Machiavelli's at 423-573-9955 or go to their website: www.machsdowntown.com.

Check out KP's great weekly specials!

February 26, 2014
Come on out to KP on State Street in Bristol, Tennessee, to enjoy a host of weekly specials! * On Wednesdays, you can get 1/2 off bottles of wine and 1/2 off appetizers after 3pm. * On Thursdays, there are Craft Beers for $2. * On Fridays, try the 75 cent oysters, $2 drafts, and $5 martinis — the perfect way to end a work week! KP is open for lunch and dinner. For more information, call 423-764-3889.

YW Prom Dress Sale to Offer $25 Deal

February 26, 2014
The YWCA Junior Board of Directors, in partnership with Belk Tri-Cities, is gearing up for its 6th annual Prom Dress Sale March 6 – 8, which will feature hundreds of gently used prom dresses, shoes and accessories. A community service project of the YWCA, the Prom Dress Sale features all dresses for only $25; high school girls may also obtain vouchers from their guidance counselor. The sale will take place in the gymnasium at YWCA Bristol, 106 State Street in Bristol, Tenn., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 6 and 7 and 8 a.m. to noon March 8. “We will have several volunteers on hand to assist with selecting dresses of all styles, lengths and sizes and to help each girl feel special in the gown she selects,” said Crystal Allison, chair of the Prom Dress Sale. Dressing rooms will also be available. The YWCA accepts prom gown donations year around. For more information, please call YWCA Bristol at 423.968.9444 or email t_henkel@ywcabristol.org.

Upcoming Events

It's Framuary at the Benjamin Walls Gallery!

February 14 - 28, 2014

Humpday Party with JP Parsons & Friends at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 26, 2014

blowfish emporium painting party — Owl

February 27, 2014

RESCHEDULED — AAME Speaker Series at the Bristol Public Library: Dr. Martin Dotterweich, "From Clay Tablet to Kindle: Book History in the Digital Age"

February 27, 2014

Steve Gilbert's Tour Kick-Off Party at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 27, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

February 28, 2014

The Deep Fried Five at 620 State

February 28, 2014

Chamomile & Whiskey on tour at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 28, 2014

The Grand Ole Uproar at O'Mainnin's Pub

March 01, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 01, 2014

Open Jam with master blues guitarist Adam Graybeal at O'Mainnin's Pub

March 03, 2014

Kristi Goldade and Jeff Ingersaw at the Pickin' Porch at the Foundation Event Facility

March 03, 2014

Guido Au'Some & the Open Mic Players at O'Mainnin's Pub

March 04, 2014

Customer Service Leadership Training at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

March 04, 2014

The Beaver Creek Storytellers at Shanghai Chinese Restaurant!

March 04, 2014

Fat Tuesday Buffet at Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College

March 04, 2014

Marcus Boyd at O'Mainnin's Pub

March 06, 2014

Believe in Bristol's Annual Downtown Showcase Fundraiser at the Foundation Event Facility

March 06, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

March 07, 2014

RESCHEDULED: Local Talent Showcase @ 606 State Street Gallery

March 07, 2014

Nat Osborn at 620 State

March 07, 2014

Matt Jones and The Bobs at Stateline Bar & Grille

March 07, 2014

The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Paramount

March 08, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 08, 2014

March Pinterest Party at 606 State Street Gallery: DIY Dahlia Mirror

March 11, 2014

"Women of Ireland" at the Paramount Center for the Arts

March 12, 2014

Rex Montgomery at Stateline Bar & Grille

March 14, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 15, 2014

The Art of Criticism...Giving & Taking Training at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

March 18, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

March 21, 2014

CHANGE OF DATE — Art D'Vine in Historic Downtown Bristol

March 21, 2014

"Tribute to Barbra Streisand" at the Paramount Center for the Arts

March 21, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 22, 2014

"MARCH MADNESS — 1930'S STYLE — LAST CHANCE": Mighty WurliTzer Organ / Film Festival's Finale at the Paramount

March 23, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

March 28, 2014

Royal Moscow Ballet presents "Sleeping Beauty" at the Paramount

March 28, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 29, 2014

An Evening with C. S. Lewis

March 30, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

April 04, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

April 05, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

April 11, 2014

Russell Howard performing live at 606 State Street Gallery

April 11, 2014

More Upcoming Events »