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Downtown Bristol Blog

Birthplace of Country Music Museum To Participate in Blue Star Museums

TheBirthplace of Country Music Museum announced its participation in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer 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 provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move.

“Our active duty families give so much in support of communities across the U.S., and it is important for heritage sites and museums to show appreciation and support of active duty personnel,” said Dr. Jessica Turner, Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “We welcome these families into the museum and hope they visit Bristol for a meaningful experience.”

“The Blue Star Museums program is a fun, free activity for military families to enjoy during the summer months,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The program is also a great way for service member families to connect to their new communities, and it can provide a meaningful way for families to reconnect after deployment. The Blue Star Museums program is also a perfect way for the arts community to say ‘thank you’ to our service members and their families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf, every day.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums.

Downtown Bristol Events

State Street Farmer's Market

July 27 | 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.

How to Sell on eBay and Etsy Workshop

July 27 | Bristol VA Public Schools Office

People, Inc. will walk you through the whole process of selling on Ebay & Etsy. They even have some advanced tips for those of you already selling online. Turn old inventory into cash, or make money off things cluttering your basement!

This Free Workshop Includes:

  • How to set-up Ebay & Etsy accounts
  • How to list items for sale
  • Selling Strategies
  • Advice for Amazon, Craigslist, and more!
  • Tips & Tricks for Success

Click here to register online.

Full Moon Jam: Thomas Taylor

July 28 | Downtown Center

Thomas Taylor and the Nightshade Band is one of the area's finest country and classic rock bands around! They have opened up for Billy "Crash" Craddock, Earl Thomas Conley, John Anderson, Gene Watson, Exile, Billy Joe Royal, Bobby Bare, T.G. Sheppard, Billy Walker, Mark Collie, Jamey Johnson, Andy Griggs, Ricky Van Shelton, Ronnie McDowell, Dan Seals, and more.


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 Pickin' Porch Show: Bill & the Belles

July 28 | Mountain Music Museum

This week's Pickin' Porch Show will feature Bill & the Belles.

Salsa Social

July 28 | 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!

Bristol Pirates vs. Elizabethton

July 28 | Boyce Cox Field

Tunes at Noon: Senior Show Choir presents Legends of Show Business

July 28–29 | Paramount Center for the Arts

Come on in to the Paramount to enjoy a free live entertainment! ($5 suggested donation.) Weekly free summer series have been a tradition at The Paramount and have been made possible by David and Frances F. Caldwell.

Special Thursday night performance July 28th at 7:30.
Friday afternoon performance at 12 noon.

Bristol Bizarre presents The Blue Period

July 28 | O'Mainnin's Pub

The Bristol Bizarre is not your typical visual art show. We feature the best of local painting, photography, jewelry, crafts, and more! The cover gets you 5 tickets that can be spent at carnival themed artist created games. Each local artist will have at least one piece of work in their interpretation of "The Blue Period." Come out and see what local artists have to offer.

Enjoy the live music, games, visual art, and have plenty to to drink.
21+ No Smoking Upstairs. $5 cover.

Music & Movies in the Park: Big Stone Gap

July 28 | Cumberland Square Park

This week's movie: Big Stone Gap

FREE Music & Movies in the Park brought to you by BVU, PUSH! Film Festival, and City of Bristol Virginia and the Parks and Recreation Department! Bring a lawn chair or blanket and settle in for live music and a great movie the whole family can enjoy. Concessions available.

Movie at dusk (8:45 — 9 pm)

Madly Backwards

July 29 | Bristol Brewery

Madly Backwards is hitting the road for a short run of solo shows down south so tell your friends. Eric will be playing Bristol Brewery in Bristol, VA on Friday, July 29th. Free show!

About Madly Backwards:
Madly Backwards is a rock n’ roll band from Harrisonburg, VA. Formed in 2013, they are currently comprised of Eric Sites onguitar and vocals, Neil Forde on guitar, Nick Wilson on bass guitar, and Jamie Infantino on drums. Their music combines the grit of blues, the energy of funk, and the sonic experimentation of psychedelic on top of a rock foundation. They draw on everything from the alt-rock of The Black Keys to the heaviness of Black Sabbath and then add a willingness to jam reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band to create a distinct yet classic sound. When playing live, they constantly adapt their set and often feature other musicians to produce a unique experience for every show. They are beginning to work their way around the Mid-Atlantic United States and continue to play extensively in the Harrisonburg music scene.

Rob-Con 2016

July 30–31 | Viking Hall

Heroes and villains will be coming to life at Viking Hall on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. Admission is $15.00 for one day or $25.00 for two days. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

“Brace for a Rob-Con of epic proportions,” said Robert Pilk, Rob-Con founder. “This is our 31st year, and this will be one of the largest multi-format conventions in the area.” The pop-culture convention is a must for comic and sci-fi fans. The convention provides attendees with the opportunity to buy, sell and interact with writers, artists and others in the comic industry.

Some of the top talent in the south will be on hand for the convention. “Fans of comic book artists and writers of the fantastic and legendary will find plenty to enjoy, with Star Wars, Dr. Who, Ghostbusters and more represented at the show,” continued Pilk. Famous fantasy artists Charles Vess, Scott Hampton and Tom Lyle will be on hand to meet fans, along with top-notch comic artists such as John Hairston, Grebo Watson, Kevin Sharpe and Alex Ogle. The convention will introduce a new area dubbed “Artist Alley” where the public can find all the artists in one location rather than spread throughout the center.

The long-running Snuffy Smith comic strip artist, John Rose, will be in attendance along with New York Times best-selling author, Jennifer Estep. Other area writers will include Gayle Trent, Misty Martin and Ronda Caudill. Comic creators Jeremy Massie, Brent Marcus Cook, Brent Harris and others will also be present.

Dr. Who fans will enjoy the life-size “Tardis” and “Dalek” from the Cosplay Kasterborous fan club. The East Tennessee R2D2 Builders will have radio controlled “droids” at the event, along with Tennessee Ghostbusters with a replica of the famous movie car.

A vast number of vendors and craftspeople will be on hand with comics, toys, jewelry, models and other collectibles. The ever-popular costume contest has grown in popularity every year and is set for Sunday at 3 p.m.

For more information, call Mountain Empire Comics at 423-274-0450 or 423-929-8245 or visit the website at

Yoga in the Park

July 30 | 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!

First Appalachian Robotics Tech Saturday: Raspberry Pi

July 30 | Bristol Public Library

Come learn with our team about the Raspberry Pi microcontroller.

Friends of 1927 Concert: The Quebe Sisters

July 30 | Theatre Bristol

The Birthplace of Country Music proudly welcomes Texas swing sweethearts The Quebe Sisters (sounds like “maybe”) to Theatre Bristol for an intimate Friends of 1927 Concert experience. The triple-threat fiddle champions and multi-part close harmony singers are alumni of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and have shared stages with music legends such as Willie Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard, and many more.

The Friends of 1927 Concert Series is an intimate concert experience where fans have the opportunity to interact with the artists in a relaxed setting. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are all included in the ticket price, along with taxes and fees. Want to become a Friend of 1927? Click here for more information.

Friends of 1927 can click here to purchase tickets now. Tickets go on sale to the public July 1.

HB Beverly

July 30 | Bristol Brewery

Bristol Brewery is proud to welcome back HB Beverly to perform at the Brewery Saturday, July 30, at 8:00 PM. Come out to Bristol Brewery for some good tunes, some good food, from Wolfe's BBQ Food Truck, and, of course, some good beer!

BCM Museum Celebrates Second Anniversary

August 2–7 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Since its Grand Opening in August of 2014, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum has achieved numerous awards, received national and international press coverage, and welcomed visitors from all over the world. Next month the museum celebrates its second anniversary by giving a few gifts of its own to the community in the way of savings on admission and merchandise from The Museum Store.

“We are so pleased with the museum’s awards and honors, which validate the research and effort that went into the museum,” said Museum Director Dr. Jessica Turner. “We continue to work toward building the kind of institution that will lead into the future and which this great community deserves.”

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum celebrates its second anniversary with discounts on admission and other incentives from Tuesday, August 2 – Sunday, August 7, 2016. Next week, admission to the museum will be reduced to $5 for all patrons plus taxes, museum members will receive a 20% discount on their purchase at The Museum Store (exclusions apply,) and if a patron signs up as a new member or renews a museum membership, the museum will give two (2) additional museum day passes.

“As we celebrate the museum’s second year anniversary, it’s amazing to see how far our organization has come in such a short time,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. “We urge everyone to come visit the museum during our anniversary week in August at a reduced cost and learn more about Bristol’s important place in music history.”

Also Coming Up

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through July 29

Click here to view weekly specials.