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Downtown Bristol Blog

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Wants You!


The award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival is currently seeking volunteers in all stages of production—from concessions, logistics, and working the gates to Children's Day and recycling—for the 16th annual event taking place in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN September 16—18, 2016.

Non-profit agencies and individual volunteers are needed for Children's Day, which will take place in Cumberland Square Park on Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. If you are an individual who wishes to volunteer your time, or belong to an agency that would like to provide activities for Children's Day, click here to submit your application.

Green Team and other event volunteers may click here to apply; those signing up for Green Team should check the Green Team box on the application. Volunteers who sign up early get the best shifts and everyone who volunteers will receive a free festival volunteer t-shirt and single day pass to Bristol Rhythm!



Downtown Bristol Events

Food City Family Race Night

August 18 | Downtown Bristol


Regularly attracting over 30,000 people every year, Food City Race Night is one of the largest and most successful fan events held in conjunction with races at any NASCAR venue. Food City Race Night features entertainment, food, and fun. Fans of all ages get the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers and their teams. Fan favorites such as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and others have made personal appearances over the years.

Food City Race Night started in August of 1987. A few hundred spectators showed up at the Kingsport, Tennessee Food City location to see legendary car owner and former NASCAR driver Junior Johnson, NASCAR driver Terry Labonte, and a Budweiser show car. “Food City Race Night actually began with a single driver and show car appearance arranged by one of our vendors at the Eastman Road Food City,” said Steven C. Smith, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “Our customers seemed to enjoy it, so we decided to repeat it the next year, adding a couple more drivers. "

Over the next few years more and more fans began to make Food City Race night a part of their race week activities. “Each year the event continued to grow in driver participation and attendance," said Smith. "When one of our vendors secured an appearance by Richard Petty, the store literally couldn’t hold all of the fans who came out. We knew we had to relocate to a larger space and as they say, the rest is history.” To better accommodate the growing crowds, Food City Race Night was moved to downtown Bristol TN/VA in 1993. Later due to the ever increasing popularity of the event, the decision was made to also have Food City Race Night during the March race weekend. For the spring race, the event is held at BMS in the hospitality area while remaining in downtown Bristol in August. Food City Race Night events are also held in the Spring and Fall during race week at the Knoxville Expo Center.

“Food City Race Night is one way we give back to the fans for the tremendous loyalty and support they have shown our company throughout the years,” said Smith. “It’s a commitment we take very seriously, like many of the drivers and team owners who have made themselves accessible to their devoted fans. It’s what made the sport great and differentiated it from its competitors. Going forward, my greatest desire is to see that commitment thrive.”

Plenty of drivers will be available to sign autographs, along with live music, free food sampling, show cars, racing simulators and special appearances by numerous NASCAR celebrities. Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased at selected Food City locations. Tickets will be $6 the day of the event with children 12 and under being admitted free of charge. All proceeds from Food City Race Night will benefit local organizations. Over a half million dollars has been raised through Food City Race Night and donated to various area organizations.

Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Retroville

August 18 | Downtown Center


A mixed bag of musicians that come from different backgrounds gives Retroville a blend for any age group. Want 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's? They've got it. From country to rock to dance to pop, they play it all! Retroville knows what to play and when to play it with over 100 years of combined experience.
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For the 20th year, the City of Bristol Tennessee will be hosting the free concert series "Full Moon Jam" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Downtown Center (Country Music Mural), 810 State Street. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 or 9:30 p.m. through September 29th.

Bring a lawn chair or come early to grab one of the 350 chairs provided on-site. Refreshments are sold in the concessions area for a nominal fee. Clean, well-stocked restrooms also available.

You are asked not to park in the bank drive-through area adjacent to the venue and please do not to bring skateboards or bicycles into the venue. Parking is available on Shelby Street in the Municipal parking lot or on State Street in designated parking spaces.

Bands subject to change without notice. For more information visit the City of Bristol TN website.

Kaitlyn Baker

August 18 | Borderline Billiards


Kaitlyn Baker performs at Borderline Billiards on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 4:00 pm! No cover, come out for a great show!

About Kaitlyn Baker
At just 21 years old, Kaitlyn Baker has the magic, maturity and grace of a performer twice her age. Born and raised in Pound, Virginia (population 1,073) Kaitlyn's gift for music was evident at an early age. She began singing as early as she can remember. By the age of 7, she was singing in church and winning local talent shows. At the ripe old age of 9, she was being offered paying gigs.

As her singing and songwriting reached a real, professional level, it was time to record her own project and take her music to a higher level. Kaitlyn refined her sound and songs until she was ready to tackle the competitive world of the Nashville music business. Professional, poised, gifted and talented are just a few of the adjectives used to describe her. But to really understand the power of Kaitlyn's music, all you have to do is listen.

Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Marcus Boyd

August 18 | Downtown Center


Marcus grew up in and has lived most of his life close to his roots in Southwest Virginia. He learned to play guitar at the young age of 8 and played in church growing up. His love for music brought him to learn to play piano, bass, banjo and mandolin as well. He broadened his horizons in his college days at Clinch Valley College (now UVA Wise), where he met several talented musicians of differing styles and spent many evenings collaborating. He grew up playing country, bluegrass and gospel music and later became acquainted with rock, blues and classical styles. Some of his professional influences include Tom Petty, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Leo Kottke, and Counting Crows. His music is a blend of traditional country, bluegrass, modern country and rock. Many enjoy his baritone vocals and smooth guitar style.

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For the 20th year, the City of Bristol Tennessee will be hosting the free concert series "Full Moon Jam" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Downtown Center (Country Music Mural), 810 State Street. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 or 9:30 p.m. through September 29th.

Bring a lawn chair or come early to grab one of the 350 chairs provided on-site. Refreshments are sold in the concessions area for a nominal fee. Clean, well-stocked restrooms also available.

You are asked not to park in the bank drive-through area adjacent to the venue and please do not to bring skateboards or bicycles into the venue. Parking is available on Shelby Street in the Municipal parking lot or on State Street in designated parking spaces.

Bands subject to change without notice. For more information visit the City of Bristol TN website.

Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Shooter

August 18 | Downtown Center


Shooter is a 4 piece band with 3 part harmonies on every song. Formerly known as Old Dogs- New Tricks, they are ready to spread the joy of Music.

About Full Moon Jam
For the 20th year, the City of Bristol Tennessee will be hosting the free concert series "Full Moon Jam" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Downtown Center (Country Music Mural), 810 State Street. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 or 9:30 p.m. through September 29th.

Bring a lawn chair or come early to grab one of the 350 chairs provided on-site. Refreshments are sold in the concessions area for a nominal fee. Clean, well-stocked restrooms also available.

You are asked not to park in the bank drive-through area adjacent to the venue and please do not to bring skateboards or bicycles into the venue. Parking is available on Shelby Street in the Municipal parking lot or on State Street in designated parking spaces.

Bands subject to change without notice. For more information visit the City of Bristol TN website.

The Honey Badgers

August 19 | Borderline Billiards


Bluegrass with a twist! The Honey Badgers will play at Borderline Billiards on Friday, August 19, 2016. Show starts at 9 — No cover!

State Street Farmer's Market

August 20 | Downtown Center


Join us at the State Street Farmer's Market, where local merchants, fresh food and fun times come together. Choose your favorite local produce, homemade foods and unique arts and crafts. The market is open from May through October.

May — October
Saturdays 8 am — Noon

July — September
Wednesdays 2 — 6 pm

Don't forget! The State Street Farmer's Market accepts SNAP/EBT cards. Participants can scan their card and receive wooden tokens of either $1 or $2 in value and can use those tokens with participating vendors.

Yoga in the Park

August 20 | Cumberland Square Park


Do you like spending time outside? Do you like listening to bird songs? Do you want to meet new friends and take care of your health? Join Wellness Yoga of Bristol in the park for a free yoga practice. Classes will be held every Saturday in June, July, and August, weather permitting. The yoga practices will be taught by Rita Gregory and Nicole Putnam. Enjoy your free yoga practice in the midst of beautiful nature! Practices will be held at Cumberland Square Park in Bristol, VA! See you on the mat!

RETROVILLE

August 20 | Studio Brew


Love Older Music? Love Good Brews? Love FREE MUSIC?
Come and enjoy the music of RETROVILLE!

Mexican Backfired is back... here is something to really tickle your brewsy pallate!

Book Signing: "Historic Homes of Northeast Tennessee" by Robert Sorrell

August 21 | Bristol Public Library


Local journalist and author Robert Sorrell will sign copies of his new book, Historic Homes of Northeast Tennessee, on Sunday, Aug. 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room. The book focuses on residences from colonial period to the Victorian period. The communities of northeast Tennessee are among the oldest settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains and the original 13 colonies. The cities of Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport and surrounding towns of Elizabethton, Erwin, Greeneville, Jonesborough, Mountain City, and Rogersville are home to some of the most remarkable historic houses in the country. The region is home to the oldest frame structure in Tennessee—the Carter Mansion in Elizabethton—and Pres. Andrew Johnson’s residences in Greeneville, the Rocky Mount State Historic Site in Piney Flats, the Allandale Mansion in Kingsport, and the Roderick Butler Mansion in Mountain City. Northeast Tennessee features mountain log cabins, brick Federal-style residences, Georgian, Colonial, and Victorian mansions, urban apartment dwellings, row houses, and a number of other architectural styles. The region’s oldest homes were built in the late 1700s, including the Gillespie stone house in Limestone. Books will be available for purchase by cash or check. Sorrell is a reporter with the Bristol Herald Courier.

Sulphur Springs Strings Dippers

August 21 | Studio Brew


Listen to the Old Tyme Music of the
Sulphur Springs String Dippers.

A lazy Sunday Afternoon: Imagine dipping your toes in a cold meadow brook while sipping on some of Studio Brew's finest recipes, listening to awesome musical concoctions! Let us help you get lost in great memories, great brews and great music.

The Sulphur Springs String Dippers at Studio Brew!

Apps for Business Workshop

August 23 | Bristol Chamber of Commerce


There's an app for that! No matter the device, a host of apps are available to help you manage, promote and connect with customers. This unique workshop will cover how to use built-in apps as well as add on apps to perform every day and business functions with your smart phone or tablet. Discover apps that can turn your device into an indispensable workplace tool.

The workshop is designed for professionals who want to use their tablet or smart phone more effectively for business applications and in doing so, free up time spent on ow value, repetitive tasks. If you have a iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows devices...this workshop is for you!

Downtown Bristol TN/VA Loft Tour

August 27 | Downtown Bristol


On Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Believe in Bristol will host the From The Top Down Loft Tour in Historic Downtown Bristol.

Each loft has its own unique style and history. Bristolians and visitors alike enjoy strolling up and down State Street and getting a feel for downtown living. The downtown dwellers are their own community, hosting events and participating in a neighborhood watch program. Believe in Bristol works on changing the lofts for viewing annually so it’s never the same tour year after year.

Pick your tickets up on Saturday, August 27th, starting at noon at the Believe in Bristol office located at 36 Moore Street, Bristol, VA or call in advance and put your name on the will-call list. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of event.

Go at your own pace with the self-guided brochure and be sure to wear your walking shoes! “We are so excited to show off these multi-use properties. The rehabilitation and design work is amazing! We truly appreciate the loft dwellers allowing us to show off their homes.” stated Christina Blevins, Executive Director for Believe in Bristol.

For questions and ticket information, please call 276-644-9700.

A special thank you to our Sponsors for 2016: Bank of Tennessee, Birthplace of Country Music, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley-Mitchell Co., Bristol Herald Courier, Brown, Edwards & Company, Burke, Powers & Harty, Inc., Camellia Digital, City of Bristol, TN, City of Bristol, VA, Dr. & Mrs. Bennett Cowan Jr., Brenda & John Fincher, First Tennessee Bank, New Peoples Bank,Renasant Bank, Spiegler Blevins & Co., The Bristol Hotel: McCall Capital, LLC, Tom & Barbara Smith, Strongwell, Wells Fargo Foundation.

Also Coming Up

State Street Farmer's Market
August 17 | Downtown Center
Food City Family Race Night
August 18 | Downtown Bristol
Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Retroville
August 18 | Downtown Center
Kaitlyn Baker
August 18 | Borderline Billiards
Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Marcus Boyd
August 18 | Downtown Center
Full Moon Jam / Food City Family Race Night: Shooter
August 18 | Downtown Center
Bristol Pirates vs. Johnson City
August 18 | Boyce Cox Field
Bristol Pirates vs. Johnson City
August 19 | Boyce Cox Field
The Honey Badgers
August 19 | Borderline Billiards
State Street Farmer's Market
August 20 | Downtown Center
Yoga in the Park
August 20 | Cumberland Square Park
Bristol Pirates vs. Johnson City
August 20 | Boyce Cox Field
Quarter Bounce
August 20 | Quaker Steak and Lube
RETROVILLE
August 20 | Studio Brew
Book Signing: "Historic Homes of Northeast Tennessee" by Robert Sorrell
August 21 | Bristol Public Library
Sulphur Springs Strings Dippers
August 21 | Studio Brew
Apps for Business Workshop
August 23 | Bristol Chamber of Commerce
Bristol Pirates vs. Elizabethton
August 23 | Boyce Cox Field
State Street Farmer's Market
August 24 | Downtown Center
Full Moon Jam: Midnight Riders — Allman Brothers Tribute Band
August 25 | Downtown Center
Salsa Social
August 25 | Studio Brew
The Adventures of Madeline
August 26 – September 11 | Theatre Bristol
Radio Bristol Premieres: Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome
August 26 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Great Affairs
August 26 | O'Mainnin's Pub
State Street Farmer's Market
August 27 | Downtown Center
Yoga in the Park
August 27 | Cumberland Square Park
Downtown Bristol TN/VA Loft Tour
August 27 | Downtown Bristol
Healing Hands 11th Annual Fundraising Gala
August 27 | Studio Brew
Bristol Pirates vs. Princeton
August 27 | Boyce Cox Field
Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters
August 28 | Paramount Center for the Arts
Bristol Pirates vs. Princeton
August 28 | Boyce Cox Field
Bristol Pirates vs. Princeton
August 29 | Boyce Cox Field
State Street Farmer's Market
August 31 | Downtown Center
Full Moon Jam: Shooter
September 1 | Downtown Center
Laura Thurston
September 1 | O'Mainnin's Pub
State Street Farmer's Market
September 3 | Downtown Center
State Street Farmer's Market
September 7 | Downtown Center
Brewfest at Bristol
September 8
Battle on the State Line Kickoff & Pep Rally
September 8–9 | Downtown Bristol
Full Moon Jam: James Meadows
September 8 | Downtown Center
Ryan Ward
September 8 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Kids' Painting Class: Ages 7-12
September 9 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
The Honey Badgers
September 9 | Borderline Billiards
State Street Farmer's Market
September 10 | Downtown Center
Social Media 101 Workshop
September 13 | Bristol Chamber of Commerce
State Street Farmer's Market
September 14 | Downtown Center
Salsa Social
September 15 | Studio Brew
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2016
September 16–18 | Downtown Bristol
State Street Farmer's Market
September 21 | Downtown Center
Full Moon Jam: WyldeHeart
September 22 | Downtown Center
Salsa Social
September 22 | Studio Brew
Quarter Bounce
September 23 | Quaker Steak and Lube
State Street Farmer's Market
September 24 | Downtown Center
State Street Farmer's Market
September 28 | Downtown Center
Full Moon Jam: Southern 76
September 29 | Downtown Center
Mama Molasses
September 29 | Blackbird Bakery
Ride the Line Bike Rally
September 30 – October 2 | Downtown Bristol
State Street Farmer's Market
October 1 | Downtown Center
The Black Jacket Symphony presents The Beatles' Abbey Road
October 1 | Paramount Center for the Arts
Laura Thurston
October 6 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Dan Deel
October 7 | Quaker Steak and Lube
State Street Farmer's Market
October 8 | Downtown Center
Salsa Social
October 13 | Studio Brew
Ryan Ward
October 13 | O'Mainnin's Pub
The Royal Hounds
October 14 | O'Mainnin's Pub
State Street Farmer's Market
October 15 | Downtown Center
PUSH! Film Festival
October 21–23 | Downtown Bristol
The Gentlemen & Liars
October 21 | Quaker Steak and Lube
State Street Farmer's Market
October 22 | Downtown Center
Below 7
October 22 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Salsa Social
October 27 | Studio Brew
Appalachian AACA Trunk & Treat
October 28 | TriSummit Bank
James Meadows
October 28 | Quaker Steak and Lube
State Street Farmer's Market
October 29 | Downtown Center
Laura Thurston
November 3 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Below 7
November 5 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Ryan Ward
November 10 | O'Mainnin's Pub
James Meadows
November 25 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Laura Thurston
December 1 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Ryan Ward
December 8 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Below 7
December 16 | O'Mainnin's Pub

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

Military Families Free at Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Through Labor Day | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

As part of its participation in Blue Star Museums—a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America — the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is offering free admission to the nation's active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, through Labor Day 2016. The program also gives families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through August 19


Click here to view weekly specials.

Matthew Mills @ The Nest

Through September | Blackbird Bakery

Matthew Mills, the creative mind behind Four Terriers Light Collection and Archiving, is pleased to announce he will be returning to the Nest at Blackbird Bakery for a showing in September.

After a two year hiatus to build a new body of work, this show will feature approximately forty framed photos, all of which derived from film originals. Many are black and white fine art images that started with classic films from Kodak and Fuji, and a few were taken on some of the last Efke film ever made and exported from Croatia.

As with Mr. Mills’ last show in 2014, 100% of the sale price of each piece will be donated to local charities. Four Terriers will contribute its portion to the Holly Help Spay and Neuter Fund to help keep unwanted animals out of shelters. Prints for sale will start at $50, and will include some signed and numbered pieces.

The showing starts on 29 August at Blackbird Bakery, 56 Piedmont Avenue, Bristol, Virginia, and runs the month of September. Meet the artist at the opening reception on Thursday evening, 1 September, from 7 until 9 PM.

To learn more about the Holly Help Fund’s efforts to help underprivileged animals in our area, please visit www.HollyHelp.org.

We are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music

September 1 – January 6 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum


“We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music” is a multi-media exhibit of photographs, audio recordings, and video from Tim Duffy, founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation.

For nearly three decades, Tim Duffy has recorded musicians’ songs and stories. He has also taken photographs that powerfully reflect their lives – from the calluses on their fingers from years of playing to the lines on their faces that come from working hard and making music. “We are the Music Makers” reflects Duffy’s quest to preserve Southern traditional music by partnering with the artists who make it. It also provokes viewers to ask how poverty, geography and age limit the exposure of these artists,and how that limited exposure creates the perception that the musical traditions they perform have disappeared.

“We are the Music Makers”featuresstunning Giclee-printed and mounted photographs, a variety of instruments and artifacts from Music Maker artists, and folk art. The exhibit will be on display in the museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery from September 1, 2016 until January 6, 2017, and the museum will host related educational programming during the exhibit.

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