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Downtown Bristol Blog

Help BiB win a grant from Sugarlands Distilling Company

Believe in Bristol has been chosen as one of the 46 organizations in the running to receive one of six grants from Sugarlands Distilling Company. Sugarlands Distilling Company’s Year of Giving campaign is awarding $60,000 to nonprofits across the country, and we need our community’s help to receive this grant!

Click here to vote for Believe in Bristol!Vote once per day to help us advance to the next round.

Voting will take place throughout January. Starting with 48 organizations, every ten days half of the groups with the highest number of votes will move onto the next round until there are only six organizations left.

Theatre Bristol announces 2018 season

Theatre Bristol's 53rd Season kicks off with a special encore collaboration between Theatre Bristol and River's Way directed and written by Dottie Havlik. River's Way Does Shakespeare will be February 17, with two performances, 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. Please watch for reservation information for this show that played to standing ovations and sold-out last year!

It will be a good day for Theatre Bristol when the spring musical production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day returns to the Theatre Bristol stage after many years. It will be directed by Steve Davis (music director of Annie last year) and will include school shows and public performances. Alexander auditions will be Saturday, January 13 at 10:30 am, Sunday the 14th at 2:30 pm, and Monday the 15th at 6:30 pm at Theatre Bristol. Callbacks will be January 18th. Rehearsals begin January 21 at 2:30 pm. Public performances are March 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25. Schools interested in public performances can

In June, Theatre Bristol will present the musicalChitty Chitty Bang Bangdirected by Kenn Naegele (Director of Annie) at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Auditions forChittywill be in March at Theatre Bristol. Rehearsals will begin on April 22. Performances will be June 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and July 1. Times and additional important details will be available

A whimsical summer camp is planned July 9-13 for students who are rising second graders through eighth graders, with registration available soon.

Soon after organizing this summer camp, Theatre Bristol's Youth Service Board will present Tartuffe with literary direction by Glenn Patterson, July 27-29 at the Theatre Bristol ARTspace.

It's no lie that Pinocchio will be taking the stage under the direction of Mary Beth Rainero, with Gepetto, the Blue Fairy, and other classic characters at the Theatre Bristol ARTspace August 24
through September 10. Auditions for this production will be in June with details announced

Just in time for Halloween, Theatre Bristol will present a special fundraising production of Blithe Spirit directed by Dottie Havlik over two weekends, October 19-28.

For the holidays, Theatre Bristol brings back to the stage the currently popular musicalShe Loves Me, recently live streamed from the broadway stage. Directed by Glenn Patterson, She Loves Mewill be presented at the Paramount Center for the Arts for two weekends, November 9-18th. Please follow Theatre Bristol's site and Facebook page for audition announcements.

Theatre Bristol caps off the year by presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Directed by Steve Baskett, the show will open November 30 and run for three weekends during the holiday season, with both public and school performances. Auditions will be in October for this show, with details on the website.

Downtown Bristol Events

BPL Anime Theater: Big O

January 4 | Bristol Public Library

The Bristol Public Library will offer a free showing of the first four episodes of the hit anime series The Big O (1999) on January 4, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. As part of BPL Anime Theater, the library will provide snacks, drinks, and popcorn for all attendees!

Roger Smith is a negotiator; in fact, he's Paradigm City's best. He solves problems for all sorts of people — and when things get dangerous, he has back up in the form of a giant named the Big O. With his faithful servant Norman and the android, R. Dorothy, Roger defends Paradigm City, a city of lost memories with a past no one really knows. A mixture of film noir and post-apocalyptic drama, The Big O is a fascinating series of action, adventure, and city-smashing giant robots.

Rated TV-PG. 4 episodes (approximately 2 hours).

East Tennessee PBS Presents Ethan Bortnick

January 5 | Paramount Center for the Arts

TICKETS. Recognized by the Guinness World Records as “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Head-line His Own Concert Tour,” 15-year-old Ethan Bortnick has been performing around the world, raising over $40,000,000 for charities across the globe.

When he was just three years old, the Hollywood, Florida native asked his parents for piano lessons and discovered an uncanny ability to hear a song once and play it back note for note – the musical equivalent of a photographic memory. He soaked up the music of such diverse artists and composers as Beethoven, Mozart, jazz pianist Bill Evans, Little Richard, Billy Joel and Elton John, and began creating original compositions at age five. A few years later, Ethan began making television appearances and touring, connecting with audiences in countries such as Japan, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

Ethan has not only moved audiences throughout the world as a captivating musician, but he is also a driven humanitarian, dedicated to combining his musical pursuits with his charity work. When Ethan was five, his younger brother had three heart surgeries and that emotional time inspired him to use his musical talents to benefit charity.

I remember going to the Children’s Hospital and seeing a lot of sick children. I learned that some of these kids could not afford surgery so the hospital raised money for them. It made me want to help these kids,” Ethan explained.

Since then, Ethan has helped raise over $30,000,000 for nonprofits around the world. At these charity events, he’s shared the stage with artists such as Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Beyoncé, Josh Groban and Reba McEntire, among many others. In 2010, he joined some of music’s big-gest names – including Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Celine Dion, Carlos Santana, etc.., as the youngest of the all-star lineup that recorded We Are The World 25 For Haiti.

His highly successful nationally televised TV show, The Power of Music, has been the number one concert pledge show on Public Television for 2014/2015 pledge drives, and is still running nationwide continuously, winning multiple awards. Ethan recently graced Esquire magazine's 80th anniversary cover, was featured in Gap's global celebrity ad campaign, and continues to share the stage with music legends.

Ethan has also been featured on countless national television shows, including multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America and Oprah, where he was named one of Oprah’s All Time Smartest, Most Talented Kids.

Ethan completed shooting a full-length feature film called Anything Is Possible which was released in September 2013 to rave reviews. He starred in the film, co-wrote all of the songs in the film and scored all the background music.

Billy Joel's Musical Director, Dave Rosenthal, renowned globally for his work with Billy for over twenty years is also Ethan's Musical Director.

Ethan has performed at venues around the globe, charity functions, performing arts centers, large arenas with over 70,000 people and for Ethan, the most fulfilling aspect of success is bringing people joy. “When I perform at someone’s home or in a huge arena, I just love every moment of it! When I see the audience enjoying the music, having fun, smiling and dancing, there’s just nothing better that that!” he says.


January 5 | Quaker Steak and Lube

Lodi are a folk-acoustic-bluegrass-rock fusion group based out of Bristol, VA.

Breaking Up Christmas Concert

January 6 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Join BCM on Saturday, January 6 at 7pm for a Breaking Up Christmas Concert featuring The New Smokey Valley Boys, The Cabin Creek Boys, and Mountain Park Old Time Band!

Breaking Up Christmas is an old Blue Ridge Mountains tradition where people celebrated the 12 days of Christmas with house parties filled with old-time stringband music and Appalachian cheer. January 6 marks the end of those 12 days, and what better way to say goodbye to the festive season and welcome in the new year than with a night of energetic and entertaining old-time music live in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Performance Theater and broadcast via Radio Bristol?

This concert program is inspired by the current special exhibit The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge. Several band members are luthiers featured in this exhibit, including Kevin Fore from The New Smokey Valley Boys, Chris Testerman from The Cabin Creek Boys, and Johnny Gentry from the Mountain Park Old Time Band.

Tickets are $15 + Virginia admission tax. Click here to purchase tickets.

Wise Old River

January 6 | Quaker Steak and Lube

Wise Old River shares songs about the human condition, human experience, times of need, times of pain, times of being lost and times of being found, our searching, and finding hope, grace and truth as well as times of spiritual growth. They sing about it all. Their desire is for their music to be stripped down organic, earthy, wires, wood and vibrations from the soul.

New Tech Workshop

January 8 | Bristol Public Library

Did you receive a new smart phone, tablet, or laptop as a holiday gift this year? Want to learn more about it? Then join Bristol Public Library for their New Tech Workshop on January 8, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Jones Creativity Center.

Learn all about those Christmas gifts and gadgets you received. If you have a question about how to add apps to your new smart phone or Overdrive to your Kindle, or if you'd just like to learn a little more about electronics and 3D Printing, make sure to drop in.

BPL Movie Night: Ever After

January 9 | Bristol Public Library

The Bristol Public Library will kick off the New Year with a free movie presentation of Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) on January 9, 2018, in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room.

Starring Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston, Ever After is a historical remake of the Cinderella fairy tale. Danielle (Barrymore) works as a servant in her stepmother's house (Houston), but she never stops dreaming of the day she can take back her family home and restore it to its former glory. One day, she stumbles across Prince Henry (portrayed by Dougray Scott) and knocks him from her father's horse, believing him to be a horse thief. Unbeknownst to her, it is the beginning of an unexpected romance that leads her defy her stepmother and discover a happily ever after of her own.

Popcorn and water will be provided to all movie attendees!

Rated PG-13. 120 minutes.

FAFSA Workshop

January 10 | Bristol Public Library

Ready to go to college? Need help applying for scholarship or financial aid? Visit Bristol Public Library on January 10, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for assistance in submitting your FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid), completing college admissions and scholarship applications.

Participants will need to bring proof of identity (like a drivers' license, etc.), 2016 tax returns and W2s (if applicable), parents' income tax forms and W2s (if under 24), permanent mailing address and contact information.

Additional documents may be required. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact Donna Quillin at the ETSU Educational Opportunity Center at 423-392-8043.

7 Healthy Habits You Can Begin Today

January 10 | Bristol Public Library

As part of its "New Year, New You" series, Bristol Public Library will offer a free seminar on learning and sticking with healthy habits. Kimberly Toby, an instructor with the YWCA, will be at the library on January 10, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. for “7 Healthy Habits You Can Begin Today.” Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about small, healthy habits that can have life-changing results.

No registration is required. Simply drop in and join the library for this free seminar!

Community Notice Board

Breathe Bristol Yoga offers over 25 classes

Every week | Breathe Bristol Yoga

Beginner Yoga
Monday 7:15 pm, Wednesday 8:30 am & 5:45 pm

Mid-Day Motivation
Tuesday & Thursday 1-2 pm

HOT Yoga
Tuesday 6 pm

Gentle Flow
Monday & Friday 8:30 am, Wednesday 7:15 pm, Thursday 6 pm

Sunrise Yoga
Monday — Friday 6 am

$8 Lunch Class
Tuesday & Thursday 12:15 — 12:45 pm

Chair Yoga
Tuesday & Thursday 11 am — Noon

Find the complete schedule online at

Crochet Classes

Wednesdays at 5pm | Bristol Public Library

Beginning September 6, join Bristol Public Library each Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m. in the Jones Creativity Center for their Crochet Class and Club. All ages and skill levels are welcome! Feel free to bring your current crochet project and enjoy the crocheting community, or, for beginners, start fresh with the basics and create your very own project.

To start one of the club's beginner projects, make sure to bring the following items:

  • 1-2 balls of 100% cotton yarn (worsted or medium weight)
  • Size H/8 (5.00mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors (any kind will do)

(Tip for beginners: bring lighter colored or multicolored yarn for your first project! It’s easier to see the stitches when you’re learning to crochet.)

Also Coming Up

BPL Anime Theater: Big O
January 4 | Bristol Public Library
East Tennessee PBS Presents Ethan Bortnick
January 5 | Paramount Center for the Arts
January 5 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Breaking Up Christmas Concert
January 6 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Wise Old River
January 6 | Quaker Steak and Lube
New Tech Workshop
January 8 | Bristol Public Library
BPL Movie Night: Ever After
January 9 | Bristol Public Library
FAFSA Workshop
January 10 | Bristol Public Library
7 Healthy Habits You Can Begin Today
January 10 | Bristol Public Library
Farm & Fun Time ft. Flatt Lonesome, Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny
January 11 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Workshop: Learn to Draw Using a Plexiglass Viewing Panel
January 12 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
James Meadows
January 12 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Workshop: Pouring, Spraying, and Layering Watercolor Paint
January 13–14 | A Work of Art Gallery & Gifts
Creative & Crafty: January Canvas Class #1
January 13 | Bristol Public Library
East Tennessee PBS screening of "Victoria" premier
January 13 | Paramount Center for the Arts
Hello October
January 13 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Creative & Crafty: Homemade Wax Candles
January 17 | Bristol Public Library
BPL Book Club: Dead Wake
January 18 | Bristol Public Library
The Black Jacket Symphony: Led Zeppelin II
January 19 | Paramount Center for the Arts
Victor Lawson
January 19 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Alli Epperson
January 20 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Photography 101: Learning the Basics
January 22 | Bristol Public Library
BPL Movie Night: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
January 25 | Bristol Public Library
An Evening with Jayne Henderson and Wayne Henderson
January 26 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Dan Deel
January 26 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Self-Defense & Personal Safety with Stryker Martial Arts Academy
January 27 | Bristol Public Library
Loose Leaves
January 27 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Computer Privacy & You: Security and Safety Online
January 29 | Bristol Public Library
Fire Safety with the Bristol Virginia Fire Department
January 31 | Bristol Public Library
Candy Lab
January 31 – February 7 | Bristol Public Library
Understanding Credit Reports & Scores with ECU
February 6 | Bristol Public Library
Farm & Fun Time ft. Willie Watson, Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer
February 8 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Big Spring Entertainment Presents: Wynonna & The Big Noise Big Spring Entertainment Presents: Wynonna & The Big Noise
March 17 | Paramount Center for the Arts
18th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
September 21–23 | Downtown Bristol

More Upcoming Events »
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