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Downtown Bristol Blog

PUSH! Film Festival Proves to be Successful in its Second Year


PUSH! Film Festival is a wrap! The festival hosted a variety of curated movies, workshops and presentations about film, along with screenings of juried films including shorts and feature-length films focused on Tennessee and Virginia over the course of the three-day festival weekend.

“We are so pleased with the success and support from the community that we have received in our second year,” said PUSH! Film Festival chair, Jessica Barnett. “In just one year, the festival has definitely grown with more people in seats this past Friday afternoon at 3:00 viewing our first block of films at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. That’s a big deal compared to our first year. And we continued to see more filmgoers attending the event throughout the weekend, along with almost 40 filmmakers. It shows the festival is being recognized and welcomed by the community.”

Over 70 films were selected by PUSH!’s Programming Committee, which was over 17 hours of film. The 2016 film jurors then screened each film and rated each film based on a rubric. Through this process, the following films were selected to receive awards in their film category:

Feature Films: Fare
Virginia Films and Filmmakers: A Pointless Pencil
Tennessee Films and Filmmakers: Terms and Conditions
Short Films: Situational
Best in Show: A Pointless Pencil

The festival added a new category to awards: Audience Choice. With over 200 votes over the course of the weekend from filmgoers, the Audience Choice went to A Pointless Pencil, which was screened during the Virginia Films Shorts Block. It was written and directed by Beecher Reuning.

PUSH! also hosted Bobby Farrelly during the first night of the festival. Farrelly participated in an audience Q&A and meet and greet at The Paramount Center for the Arts. This special event followed a free screening of Dumb and Dumber, which was voted on by film fans in a social media poll. Natives of Rhode Island, Farrelly and his brother Peter have written, produced, and directed many well-known films such as There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, and more.

After the Producers Party on Saturday evening, the festival hosted the sold-out premiere of the film Believe, which was filmed in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN and Grundy, VA. The event included a red carpet with the film’s star, Ryan O’Quinn, and the film’s producer and writer, Billy Dickson, along with cast and crew from the film. Believe is set to be released nationwide on December 2.

PUSH! Film Festival will be held again October 20-22, 2017 in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN.

For more information about PUSH! Film Festival and how you can be involved, please visit www.pushfilmfest.com or contact Christina Blevins or Maggie Bishop at 276-644-9700, pushfilmfest@believeinbristol.org.

Photo Credit: Briana Morris



Downtown Bristol Events

Salsa Social

October 27 | Studio Brew


Join Studio Brew for a fun night of Salsa Dancing. Studio Brew's Craft Beer, Chef Ryan's Studio Salsa & Chips, plus Aulikki's Sangria Special will be available. Come dance Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and some Hip Hop. Beginner Salsa lesson kicks off the party from 7:00pm to 7:45pm.

$10.00 cover includes your dance lesson plus complementary chips & salsa. Come and enjoy the Dance Party at Studio Brew! Cheers!

The Diamonds

October 27 | Blackbird Bakery


From East Tennessee, The Diamonds play a diverse mix of music, specializing in jazz standards. The group performs at various venues and events throughout the region, including weddings, parties, and restaurants. They have also volunteered at many nursing homes, assisted living homes, and charitable organizations in the area.

Trivia Night benefit for Sullivan County Humane Society

October 27 | Bristol Brewery


Who doesn't like a good old fashioned game of trivia? Join Bristol Brewery Thursday October 27th for a FREE game of trivia. Bring your dogs, your kids, and your (smart) friends to create a team! Knox Trivia Guys will be hosting the game starting at 7:30. KB'z Kitchen LLC will be serving that evening and the brewery will be donating a portion of beer sales so come early to eat, drink, and prep for trivia! Prizes for top teams will be awarded!

All proceeds benefit the Sullivan County Humane Society and donations are greatly appreciated.

Appalachian AACA Trunk & Treat

October 28 | TriSummit Bank


Appalachian Region Antique Automobile Club of America invites you to Trunk and Treat, Friday, October 28th from 5pm until dark at TriSummit Bank. This event will feature a 50/50 Raffle, candy, fellowship, costumes, and old cars & trucks. Children of all ages are welcome to dress up in their favorite Halloween costume!

Please bring at least one canned food item per participant to be donated to Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia.

James Meadows

October 28 | Quaker Steak and Lube


About James Meadows
James started up his band, James Meadows & The Country Mile Drifters, just after his album officially released in August of 2008. The band is compiled of amazing professional musicians who put on a very high energy show. Their shows contain a huge set list filled with both fan/crowd requested and timeless Classic Country, Top 40 Country, Bluegrass, Southern Rock, and Originals that are sure to blow the walls off of any event or venue.

Billy Crawford Band

October 28 | Studio Brew


About Billy Crawford Band
Blues guitar might be associated with Mississippi, Texas and Chicago, but a man of the mid-South has something to say about that. The city of Bristol, smack on the Tennessee/Virginia border, claims itself as the birthplace of country music. But one of its native sons is making a huge blues noise.

The common denominator in all of this is Billy Crawford – raised playing bass in church, then gaining an early hard-rock pedigree on electric guitar. But for the past three decades, he has turned his six-string action toward the blues.

For much of the 1990s, audiences around the world heard Crawford’s intense work with blues-rocker Deborah Coleman. He gave up the road in 2002, when his wife gave birth to their son. Turns out, son Tyler is a little guitar hotshot, too.

But his daddy still has something to say. His Bristol-based Billy Crawford Band includes some of that region’s finest blues men. The fire is still burning blue from Crawford’s Guitar, as he rips through blues, ballads, rock, surf – even New Orleans-style.

Underpinning it all is a band with plenty of energy and mastery of dynamics. Go to thebillycrawfordband.com to hear and see more and find out when the band is playing in your town.

The Crooked Road Rejects

October 28 | Bristol Brewery


The Crooked Road Rejects will play Bristol Brewery this Friday, October 28th at 8pm!

About The Crooked Road Rejects
The Rejects are a group of musicians from all over the S.W Virginia region. The diversity of the Band is a unique quality, tasteful music mixed with a passion for Great Sound and a strong love for Good Music.

Pumpkin Palooza and Downtown Trick or Treating

October 29 | Downtown Center


It's time for the Annual Pumpkin Palooza and Trick-or-Treating on State Street! On Saturday October 29, 9am to 12 noon, kids of all ages can come to the Farmers' Market at the Downtown Center, 810 State Street for a spooktacular event! Hosted by Bristol Tennessee Parks & Recreation Department and Believe in Bristol, there will be fun and games galore — children can decorate a pumpkin with a variety of fun craft materials. There will be treat bags for kids to take home (while supplies last), along with the pumpkin they decorated. The fun continues as downtown merchants are open for trick-or-treating at various shops along State Street from 10am until 12 noon, or until the candy runs out! It's fun for the whole family!

Halloween Comic Fest

October 29 | Mountain Empire Comics


Join Mountain Empire Comics Saturday, October 29th from 10-6 for Halloween Comic Fest! Featuring FREE candy and comics (while supplies last), local artists, writers and vendors. Costume contest at 2pm, so come dressed in your Halloween best!

Meet the Artist Reception: Larry VerRan

October 29 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts


For Jonesborough’s Larry VerRan, his stained glass guitar lamps represent more than a work of art – each one is a true masterpiece.

“It’s a lot of trial and error when making these pieces. I start with a real guitar and remove the top of the body, and then, I work on lighting the guitar. It’s fun to figure out what material works best to reflect light and how the wiring should be set up,” said VerRan. “Stained glass presents challenges of its own, but it’s not just stained glass when you’re trying to make a lamp out of a guitar – it’s also woodwork and electrical work.”

Larry VerRan created his first stained glass guitar in the spring to sell at A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts in Downtown Bristol, an artist cooperative of which he is a member. Within two weeks, the guitar sold in the gallery, and then a gentleman in Texas saw the first guitar on the gallery’s Facebook page. He commissioned VerRan to make his second guitar that incorporated the Texas flag. Fifty hours, several wooden reinforcements, and many feet of aluminum reflective tape later, he shipped the guitar to Texas to complete his second sale of the guitars.

VerRan has now completed a third guitar that is for sale in the gallery, and he doesn’t plan to stop creating them anytime soon, each a little different than the previous. “I keep learning better ways to craft them and I think they’ll get better every time. I have three more guitars in my studio ready to start.”

An artist since childhood, Larry VerRan considers himself a “dabbler”, working in a variety of media such as charcoal, pen/ink, acrylics, pastels, and — since 2007 — stained glass. VerRan recalls, “In 1973, I received a stained glass hummingbird as a gift from the youth group I had been leading, and I was completely mesmerized by how the light reflected and absorbed and how I could hold this piece of art in my hand and look at it from different perspectives. I always thought it would be great to learn how to make stained glass. In 1992, I took a 2-night evening class at ETSU to learn about stained glass, but I was working two jobs and never had the time or means to start creating things on my own.”

It was the desire to give his sister a stained glass gift when she quit smoking in 2007 that compelled him to create his first piece on his own. After the candleholder he created for her, he had many requests for commissioned stained-glass work for fishermen who he had contact with at his campground. The next year, in 2008, VerRan retired, but never stopped working on his craft. He now spends his days exploring and creating, always captivated and inspired by stained glass art.

To commission a stained glass guitar or see some of his other stained glass work, a meet-the-artist reception for Larry VerRan will be held at A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts, 600 State Street, Bristol, TN on October 29, 2016 from 1pm-4pm. For inquiries, Larry's contact information can be found on the gallery's website at www.aworkofartgallery.com.

Black Light Vinyasa Yoga

October 29 | Wellness Yoga of Bristol


Join us for a night of Black Light Vinyasa Yoga! Wear your brightest neon yoga outfit. We will provide the glow sticks and glow paint so you can get creative before doing an all-levels vinyasa practice.

Cost: $15 For more information, or to register, please call (276) 644 3086

JP Parsons & The American Buckaroos

October 29 | Bristol Brewery


Join us for a special Halloween show featuring a musical costume of JP Parsons & The American Buckaroos. Costume contest during intermission. This is going to be so much fun!

About JP Parsons
Generous Americana and Folk from The Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol TN/VA

State Street String Band

October 31 | Blackbird Bakery


Clap along to the bluegrass sounds of State Street String Band.

AAME Speakers Series: Rita Quillen

November 1 | Bristol Public Library


Rita Quillen presents "A Visit with the Mad Farmer's Wife" Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., at the Bristol Public Library, Bristol, Virginia.

Quillen is an author and poet from Scott County, Virginia. Her novel, "Hiding Ezra," was a finalist in the 2005 DANA Awards competition, and a chapter of the novel is included in the scholarly study of Appalachian dialect published by the University of Kentucky Press entitled "Talking Appalachian."

She has released a poetry chapbook, "Something Solid To Anchor To." Her new full-length poetry collection, "The Mad Farmer's Wife," is due out in the fall of 2016. One of six semi-finalists for the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Virginia, her poetry received a Pushcart nomination as well as a Best of the Net nomination in 2012. "Her Secret Dream," new and selected poems, was named the Outstanding Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association in 2008. Previous works are poetry collections "October Dusk" and "Counting The Sums," as well as a book of essays "Looking for Native Ground: Contemporary Appalachian Poetry."

Veteran's Day Parade & Traditional Memorial Service

November 5 | Downtown Bristol


For well over 50 years the veterans of Bristol have honored their fallen comrades with a parade and memorial service in downtown Bristol. Whether through years of recognition or obscurity the parade has reminded the region of the sacrifice of our own citizens in wars and military engagements since the beginning of our nation. The annual event will once again be held in the streets of downtown Bristol on Saturday November 5. Any veteran is welcome to participate in the parade. Line-up begins on Morrison Blvd at 8am, with the parade beginning at 10am using the traditional parade route. Following the parade, approximately at 11am, citizens will gather for the traditional memorial service at the Bristol War Memorial at Cumberland Square Park.

Also Coming Up

Salsa Social
October 27 | Studio Brew
The Diamonds
October 27 | Blackbird Bakery
Trivia Night benefit for Sullivan County Humane Society
October 27 | Bristol Brewery
Appalachian AACA Trunk & Treat
October 28 | TriSummit Bank
James Meadows
October 28 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Billy Crawford Band
October 28 | Studio Brew
The Crooked Road Rejects
October 28 | Bristol Brewery
State Street Farmer's Market
October 29 | Downtown Center
Pumpkin Palooza and Downtown Trick or Treating
October 29 | Downtown Center
Halloween Comic Fest
October 29 | Mountain Empire Comics
Meet-the-Artist Reception: Larry VerRan
October 29 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
Meet the Artist Reception: Larry VerRan
October 29 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
Black Light Vinyasa Yoga
October 29 | Wellness Yoga of Bristol
JP Parsons & The American Buckaroos
October 29 | Bristol Brewery
State Street String Band
October 31 | Blackbird Bakery
AAME Speakers Series: Rita Quillen
November 1 | Bristol Public Library
Laura Thurston
November 3 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Teens' Paint Pouring Class: Ages 13-19
November 4 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
Blue Mother Tupelo
November 4 | Studio Brew
Veteran's Day Parade & Traditional Memorial Service
November 5 | Downtown Bristol
Ron Short and the Possum Playboys
November 5 | Studio Brew
Below 7
November 5 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Farm & Fun Time: Dom Flemons and Sunny Mountain Serenaders
November 10 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Ryan Ward
November 10 | O'Mainnin's Pub
The Low Counts
November 11 | Studio Brew
Weed, Feed & Seed Workshop
November 12 | Wellness Yoga of Bristol
Bristol Music Club Scholarship Benefit
November 12 | Paramount Center for the Arts
The Hoodoos
November 12 | Studio Brew
Radio Bristol Premieres: Caleb Klauder Country Band w/Reeb Willms
November 15 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Kids' Painting Class: Trees (Ages 7-12)
November 18 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
"Australian Dress Down Under" Benefit for Boys & Girls Club
November 18 | Bristol Train Station
Little Women: The Musical
November 18 – December 4 | Theatre Bristol
PF Flyers
November 18 | Studio Brew
Stephen Bennett, Harp Guitarist
November 19 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Singer Songwriter Event featuring Jeff Lane, Jamen Denton & Annie Robinette
November 20 | Studio Brew
Downtown Bristol's Annual Christmas Open House
November 21 | Downtown Bristol
James Meadows
November 25 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Small Business Saturday
November 26 | Downtown Bristol
Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting
November 28 | Cumberland Square Park
Bristol Christmas Parade
December 1 | Downtown Bristol
Laura Thurston
December 1 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Ryan Ward
December 8 | O'Mainnin's Pub
Bristol Ballet presents The Nutcracker
December 9–10 | Paramount Center for the Arts
Below 7
December 16 | O'Mainnin's Pub

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

Photo Contest for Local Photographers

Now through October 31 | Bristol Train Station

The Bristol Train Station is one of the city‘s most photographed landmarks and now some of the best photos will be available in a calendar. Photographers of all skill levels are invited to submit their best photos to the Bristol Train Station Photo Contest now through October 31. A committee of judges will select their twelve favorites to be printed in the calendar along with one image for the cover. The chosen photos and photographers information will also be on display in the Train Station in 2017.

“The idea came to us when we noticed how many amazing photos were shared on the Train Station’s social media pages every week,” says Brittany Sullivan, Manager of the Bristol Train Station. “We wanted to share the work of these talented photographers while showcasing the beauty of a building we are all very proud of.”

The Bristol Train Station present day building was constructed in 1902 and fully renovated to historic standards by the Bristol Train Station Foundation in 1999. The building is currently a meeting space and event venue for the entire community.

The photo contest is open to both professional and amateur photographers, and photographers may enter as many photos as they like. The deadline for entry is October 31. High-resolution photos must be submitted in order to be considered for the calendar. The Bristol Train Station asks that all participants please obey all state and local railroad safety laws while participating in the contest. Please visit www.bristoltrainstation.org for full contest rules or to submit photos.

For additional information contact: Emily Blankenship, Communications and Executive Administrator, YWCA Bristol — P 423.968.9444 or email: e_blankenship@ywcabristol.org.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through October 28


Click here to view specials.

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