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Downtown Bristol Blog

Congratulations to the Winners of Bristol's Mayors' Award of Distinction!

For the eighth consecutive year, the cities of Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee are jointly honoring individuals and organizations that have exhibited outstanding dedication and service to their communities by bestowing upon them the Mayors’ Award of Distinction.The 2015 Mayors’ Award of Distinction recipients are: local historian, Tim Buchanan; Ginger Griffith Addison, Bristol Road to Recovery for Women volunteer; and the Healing Hands Health Center Executive Staff, which is comprised of Helen Scott, Sarah Phillips and Dr. Dave Arnold.

Congratulations to BCM, Winners of "Best in Show" Pinnacle Award Two Years Running!

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to announce the organization has achieved "Best of Show," Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association's (NETTA) highest honor, for the Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM). BCM, parent organization of BCMM and the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, also took home three (3) Pinnacle Awards and a Merit Award at NETTA's annual awards luncheon held at the Foundation Events Facility in Historic Downtown Bristol on Thursday. This is the second "Best of Show" honor for BCM, having won last year for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited Now Available

The wait is over! Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited is now available! Click here to purchase your copy today!

BVU Believes in PUSH!

PUSH! Film Festival is less than six weeks away, and there is a lot going on behind the scenes! We are excited to announce that BVU has come on as a major sponsor and will be hosting a FREE “Movie in the Park” on the Friday night of the festival. The PUSH! programming committee has plans for a variety of curated movies, and it is hoped that the BVU-sponsored outdoor film will be a real family favorite – E.T.! Parents who saw this movie as children will get the chance to share it with their own kids – a trip down memory lane while watching one of the all-time great movies. BVU will set up their outdoor screen in Cumberland Square Park, and the movie will start once the sun goes down.

Downtown Bristol Events

C2 & Brothers Reed and Los Colognes Kick Off Border Bash

May 15 | Downtown Bristol

Border Bash, a free summer concert series held annually May through August, celebrates 16 years with live music, children's activities, art, crafts, and food vendors on State Street, the place where country music was born.

The first Border Bash of the season kicks off with performances by two amazing acts, C2 and the Brothers Reed and Los Colognes, who will also perform at this year's Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival.

C2 and The Brothers Reed 7:00PM: Lexington, KY: For Fans of The Black Keys, Kings of Leon
Hailing from the bluegrass state, with a sound as unique and smooth as the region’s beloved bourbon, C2 and The Brothers Reed’s authenticity shines through in their studio debut album Weigh Station Tour. Split into sides – ‘Exit A’ and ‘Exit B’ – Weigh Station Tour explores gritty rock-and-roll while referencing 1960s and 1970s era soul music, embracing a sound that is nearly lost but deeply needed in the surge of modern sound and technology. Visit for more!

Los Colognes, 8:30PM: Nashville, TN: For Fans of JJ Cale, Dire Straits and The Grateful Dead
Aaron Mortenson and Jay Rutherford set out to make their debut Los Colognes album in the mold of the great JJ Cale records of the 1970s. Their album Working Together is parched desert country blues at its best—full of relationships gone south, one-liners that make you think twice, and slow-burning boogie woogie. Visit for more!

Bring the family, bring your friends, and dance in two states! Border Bash is brought to you through a partnership with Believe in Bristol and Birthplace of Country Music.

Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music® the Cities of Bristol and Toyota of Bristol. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2015 includeBank of Tennessee, Benjamin Walls Gallery, Bill & Brenda Johnstone, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley Mitchell Co., Bristol Herald Courier, Camellia Digital, Celebrate Bristol, Coca-Cola, Cranberry Lane, Dent K Burk CPA’s, Doug & Amy Williams, Dr. & Mrs. Ben Cowan Jr., Dr. & Mrs. Jim Geiger, Dr. & Mrs. John Fincher, Electric 94.9 FM, Express AV Productions, First Sentinel Bank, First Tennessee Foundation, Merrill-Lynch, Quaker Steak & Lube, Renasant Bank, Revolution Curbside Recycling, Spiegler Blevins & Co. CPA's, Spike & Lisa Tickle, The Homer A. & Ida S. Jones Charitable Trust, The Southern Churn, The Williams Company Inc, Tom & Barbara Smith, Tri-City Tent & Event, TriCities Entertainment, Walling Distributing, WCYB News 5,Wellness Yoga of Bristol, Wells Fargo, WEXX 99.3 FM,WXBQ 96.6 FM, Young Cypress Consulting LLC.

Shape Note Sing-a-long

May 16 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Learn and sing-a-long in one of America’s oldest sacred music traditions. The Old Fields Singers will teach and lead in a shape note sing. No prior experience or musical talent required!

10:30 a.m.–noon for instruction, 1:00–3:00 p.m. for a group sing

FREE and open to the public

Bristol Recovery Road Fundraiser featuring Alathea

May 16 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Bristol Recovery Road for Women is excited to announce its annual fundraiser. On Saturday, May 16, The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will host a musical performance by Alathea, winner of numerous acoustic music and songwriting awards—including Best Group/Duo at the International Acoustic Music Awards (2010) and the We Are Listening International Singer/Songwriter competition (2010).

Alathea takes stories from their own lives and weaves them into music that’s instantly relatable. Perhaps such relevance is because the music is born from community; perhaps it’s through the intentional effort to find the modern in the traditional and to complement roots-based, acoustic music with vocal purity and smoky harmonies. Alathea stretches from singer/songwriter fare to bluegrass-inflected pop tunes, creating a sound reminiscent of artists like Indigo Girls and Mindy Smith. Alathea travels around the country and across the world averaging over 150 events each year that include NPR’s Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, Pennsylvania’s acclaimed Musikfest, Merlefest (as winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest,) as well as performances in Europe and Asia.

The event will be 2-4 pm at 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA. Tickets are $40 per person and will include refreshments. Please contact Landy Mathes at 423-340-1908 or or Donna Camper at 423-366-0905 for tickets.

Spring Break Out Car, Truck & Bike Show

May 16 | Downtown Bristol

Join Celebrate Bristol! for a Car — Truck — Bike Show on Piedmont Avenue in downtown Bristol Saturday, May 16th. Sponsored by Burger Bar! All proceeds benefit the Celebrate Bristol July 4th Event.

Car — Truck — Bike Owners Pre-Registration Entries Are:
– $12.00 for one
– $10.00 for each for multiple
– $15.00 for “Day of” entries

The first 50 entries receive a free tote bag! Click here to download the entry form.

Admission for spectators is FREE!

Awards will be presented for best of show in each vehicle class will be decided by spectator votes (25¢ = one (1) vote). A donation bucket will be provided for each entry to collect votes. Winners will be announced at 6:00 pm.

50/50 tickets will be sold throughout the day, and door prizes will be drawn periodically. Concessions will also be available.

Rain Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015 • 2:00pm — 7:00pm

Camomille & Whiskey

May 16 | O'Mainnin's Pub

Infectious: one simple word to describe Chamomile and Whiskey. In less than a handful of years, Chamomile and Whiskey has become one of the hottest bands in central Virginia making serious waves across the region and this year, they have been invited to be a part of the "On The Rise" series at Floydfest and the Tilted Earth Festival in AZ.

Steve Gilbert CD Release Show

May 16 | 620 State

Local favorite Steve Gilbert will perform at 10pm Saturday, May 16th at 620 State to celebrate the release of his new album. Steve will perform the new album in its entirety! Come out for great music and a great time!

About Steve Gilbert
My name is Steve Gilbert and I'm from Bristol, VA. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be either a fire truck or Peter Criss from KISS. I eventually found out that at least one of those things was unattainable. So, when I was fifteen, I started playing punk music. Unfortunately, I kept getting into fist fights with the bass players.

So, now I have an acoustic guitar and I've been traveling around the East Coast for the past 4 years or so, playing kinda country and kinda punk songs for anybody that will let me.

I've gotten to open up for all kinds of great musicians like American Aquarium, Cory Branan, Bobby Bare Jr, Caleb Caudle, Will Hoge, Joe Buck, Matt Woods, and a whole lot more. I've also gotten to record a couple of CDs and records with Muddy Dog Records and I'm about to start recording a new full length album really soon.

But, the best part about getting to do all of this is all of the great people I've gotten to meet while driving around and playing for you all. So, I'd love it if you'd come see me and say 'hey'. You'll get the most heartfelt high-five you've ever received in return.

(p.s. I'm still holding out hope that I can grow up to be a fire truck, just in case this music thing doesn't work out for me.)

Bristol Ballet presents Snow White

May 17 | Paramount Center for the Arts

Snow White, presented by the Bristol Ballet Company and student body, comes to the Paramount Center for the Arts on May 17 at 2:30pm. This Grimm Brothers tale about jealousy and love is one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. See the magic mirror, poisoned apple, and characters of Snow White, the Evil Queen and her court, and the Dwarfs dance with Butterflies, Bluebirds, Flowers, Mushrooms, and Tears to tell the story.

Tickets are $12 Adults, $8 Students and Seniors, and $6 children under 6. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Also Coming Up

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

State Street Farmer's Market Now Open!

Wednesdays from 3-7 PM and Saturdays from 8-Noon | Downtown Center

The Market will open in May through September. Hours are Wednesdays from 3-7 PM through and every Saturday from 8-Noon.Join 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.

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.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through May 15th

Click here to view weekly specials.

Calling All Young Actors: Theatre Bristol Summer Camps

July 20 — 24 | Theatre Bristol

Theatre Bristol brings back summer camp with The Start of Adventure, as classic tales retake the stage to mark its 50th Anniversary.

Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia, May 2015 — Theatre Bristol proudly announces its 2015 children’s summer camp The Start of Adventure: Classic Tales Retake the Stage, running July 20-24 at 512 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee.

Campers will explore theatre and acting skills from talented and highly respected teachers and theatre veterans in the area, including Glenn Patterson, director of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Miracle on 34th Street, and Scrooge The Musical!, and the upcoming Les Miserables, and Laura O’Bryan, lead actress in many Theatre Bristol productions. "We're really excited to be bringing our camp program back this year," says James Altman, the camp coordinator, "We're also very thankful to the professionals who will be teaching the campers valuable theatrical skills and knowledge." Guided by the Theatre Bristol Youth Service Board (YSB), campers will spend the week learning acting skills, creative movement, music, costuming, makeup design, set design, props, and more.

At the end of the week, campers will get to perform three classic shows from Theatre Bristol's early days. Kindergarten and first graders will participate in Cinderella, a show performed many years through Theatre Bristol’s history; second, third, and fourth graders participate in Tom Sawyer, its first “official” show and a classic performed many years through Theatre Bristol’s history; and fifth and sixth graders will participate in Rip Van Winkle, a major original production enlisting the significant involvement of the Bristol community. As a special treat for the campers and their families, the Theatre Bristol Youth Service Board will perform Land of the Jesters, Theatre Bristol’s inaugural show.

The Start of Adventure: Classic Tales Retake the Stage is organized by the Theatre Bristol Youth Service Board, with guidance and counsel from the Theatre Bristol Board of Directors. “I see camp as a great way for the YSB to learn leadership, organization, planning, and responsibility,” says Camille Gray, the Youth Service Board president, “We have all had wonderful opportunities on and off stage, and now we get a chance to offer our experience and knowledge to the next generation of young actors. I know Cathy would be proud.”

Camp will run Monday to Friday from 8:45am to 4:30pm, with early drop-off and late pick-up times available. Theatre Bristol will provide a healthy snack in the afternoon, however campers will need to pack a lunch each day. Registration is available online at In addition, Theatre Bristol will be open from 10am to 2pm Saturdays, June 27 and July 11th to register at the office on 512 State Street. The early bird registration discount period is open until May 25, with a cost of only $125 per child, and $50 for each additional sibling. Regular registration begins May 25. The cost per camper is $150, with a family discount of each additional child reduced to $75. Financial assistance applications are also available. Space is limited so register soon!

For more information about camp and registration, please visit or email