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Downtown Bristol Blog

The Bristol Slogan Sign to receive restoration and LED bulbs


Courtesy of Bristol Historical Association:

Bristol's historic welcome sign will soon have a restoration and be refitted with anew light source. The landmark has received periodic servicing over its 109 years butin the next month the cities' have scheduled structuralrepairs, painting, and most notably, a lighting update.The sign's incandescent bulbs will be replaced with mod­ern LED bulbs to bring it well into the twenty-first cen­tury. This will be only the fourth major alteration to thesign since it was constructed and placed on top of theInterstate Hardware Building in 1910. In 1915 it wasremoved from the building and redesigned to span State Street, and in 1922 it was rebuilt with the current slogan, Bristol, A Good Place To Live. In the 1970's the sign was in danger of collapsing and at risk of being taken down during Urban Renewal. In 1982 citizens came to its rescue and a campaign, Save our Sign, collected the needed money for a complete resto­ration, completed in 1989. It has been 30 years since the last restoration and it is time!

There have been many comments over the years about its unique history, especially the sign's original slogan, PUSH, THAT'S BRISTOL. For today's residents it does sound like an odd city slogan, but for 1910 it was a trendy PUSH for modernization. A few years earlier Norfolk & Western erected the magnificent Union Railway Station equipped with the most modern technology of the era, and made Bristol the most ad­vanced city in the region. We had a modern trolley line, telephone system, new electric company managed by Doherty & Company, and an electric welcome sign to promote the city to the entire world. Keep in mind, that the sign was placed on the interstate high­way system of the day, the rail line between Washington DC and the deep South.

We do understand that there were dozens of electric signs donated by Doherty & Com­pany to communities where they provided electric service. We don't have an extensive list of these communities but one specific sign was in Warren, Ohio. The sign was placed on top of the City Hall with the slogan, "City of Opportunity". It was magnifi­cent according to the residents, but an electric short in 1916 caught the ornate three­story structure on fire and was destroyed. I'm sure the owners of the Interstate Hard­ware building in Bristol had a sigh of relief with the news since they removed the Bris­tol Sign from their building a few months earlier.

Electric slogan signs were the rage in the 1910's. In 1914 there were 39 electric signs promoting communities, including one placed in Allentown PA which promotion was, "Dwell Here and Prosper''. Toledo, Ohio was promoted as ''You Will Do Better in Toledo", Nashville was "Nashville Offers Opportunity", and Pittsburgh's slogan was, "Pittsburg Promotes Progress". Bristol was in good company in that era. To my knowl­edge, only one other sign of that list still exists and it is located in Canon City, Colo­rado. It is a much smaller sign and promotes the town as "The City Beautiful". It is a painted sign spanning a street with only the town name in lights.



Downtown Bristol Events

Auditions for The Wizard of Oz

March 11–17 | Theatre Bristol


Lions, tigers and bears... well, definitely a lion, and tinman, scarecrow, Dorothy, Toto, Aunt Em, as well as witches, flying monkeys, Winkies, and munchkins, and many other great characters are needed for Theatre Bristol's summer production of The Wizard of Oz directed by Kenn Naegele, with music direction by Steve Davis.

Men, women, children and dogs are invited to join us for auditionson March 11, 12, 16, and 17 at Theatre Bristol, 512 State Street, Bristol, TN. Be sure to see important details at www.TheatreBristol.org/audition.

Theatre Bristol is thrilled to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of the beloved musical, “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, and bring it to the Paramount Center for the Arts June 21-30. The favorite tale of a Kansas farm girl who travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home includes iconic songs “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” "Merry Old Land of Oz," "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," “If I Were King of the Forest,” and many more.

Being a part of this cast and crew will be memorable experience and we invite everyone to audition. No preparation is required. Auditions will include provided readings, singing, and movement/dancing. Show details, audition times, character list, and rehearsal dates are available atwww.TheatreBristol.org/audition.Rehearsals begin April 14. Performances are June 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30.

Poverty Simulation

March 14 | YWCA


Poverty Simulation
It is difficult to truly understand the situation that families living in poverty experience every day—the decisions they have to make, and the fears and frustrations they feel. We invite you to walk a mile in their shoes by participating in the Poverty Simulation. This simulation provides participants with the opportunity to assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget.

Location: YWCA NETN & SWVA
Date: March 14 from 1–4:30 pm

Please RSVP by Friday, March 8 to:lorie@unitedwaybristol.com or by calling the United Way of Bristol office at 423-968-4912

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

March 14 | Paramount Bristol


Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (“Twenty Feet from Stardom”) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, the host of the beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood.

This emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

Screening is followed by a talkback with the Director of East TN PBS Community Outreach.

Free ticket with online registration.

Emergency Bike Night

March 14 | Quaker Steak and Lube


Come enjoy the warm weather and bring out those bikes! Quaker Steak & Lube will be hosting an Emergency Bike Night Thursday! Marques Puckett will be rockin' the patio from 6:30-9:30 PM. We can't wait to see everyone!

AAME Speaker Series: Art in Advertising

March 14 | Bristol Public Library


A Rogersville, TN, native, Will Griffith is the creative lead at Creative Energy, the largest multimedia production and ad agency in the Tri- Cities, with clients including Texas Pete, Pal’s, Bank of Tennessee, Coca Cola, ETSU, General Shale, and Siemens.

Yoga & Herbalism for Spring

March 14 | Breathe Bristol Yoga


Join herbalist, Lesley Setchim and RYT Cassidy Hutchinson for a workshop on spring herbs and yoga to help detoxify and nourish the body from the inside out.

The Diamonds

March 14 | 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.

EMERGE Women’s Professional Development Workshop

March 15 | Northeast State Community College


YWCA Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia will be kicking off their 2019 EMERGE Women’s Professional Development Workshop on March 15 in celebration of Women's History Month. Incepted in 2015, the female focused, expert led workshop series is geared to empower women at all levels of their career. The spring session will be held at Northeast State Community College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The full-day workshop for professional women will feature four accomplished presenters with a diverse set of expertise in Women’s Suffrage, Law Enforcement, Leadership Development and Organizational Change. With decades of experience and wisdom to share, each session promises take-aways that directly address the challenges and potentials of professional women.

Nicole Collins serves as the Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police for East Tennessee State University Department of Public Safety. The department is allocated 21 sworn officer positions, 2 security guards, 6 full-time and 1 part-time dispatcher, and an Emergency Management coordinator. She has over 12 years of law enforcement experience that includes supervision of the Professional Standards Unit (Accreditation, Background Investigations, Clergy, Early Intervention System, Records, Communications, and Special Investigations) for Vanderbilt University Public Safety. She maintains certifications to instruct self-defense programs through Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) systems. She graduated from Savannah State University with a BS degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Naval Science. She served as a Cryptologic Technician Technical in the US Navy and as a Public Relations Officer in the Marine Corps Reserve. The Master Chief of the Navy selected a handful of women from various occupations to be assigned to Naval Carriers to test the perimeters needed for successful integration. Nicole Collins was selected and deployed on the U.S.S. Eisenhower out of Norfolk, Virginia.

Jenny K. Brown is Owner of KINETIC PERFORMANCE COACHING, Business & Life Coach. Jenny has over 25 years of experience in leadership and management roles, which has included supporting both Corporate Executives as well as Small Business Owners. With experience in entertainment/theatre, fitness, retail, and restaurant industries and working with corporate giants likeChick-fil-A, Walt Disney World, Bath & Body Works, and Dollywood, Jenny has a diverse background from which she pulls valuable lessons on how to succeed in both business and personal life. Jenny now coaches individuals and teams on how to be more productive and lead more balanced lives through conversations around discovering purpose, leveraging strengths, and utilizing SMART action plans. For more information visit her website at coachjennykay.com.

Becky Caldwell is the first-ever Executive Director of the Virginia Highlands Festival. She has produced international arts programs and festivals in Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit. A graduate of Northwestern University, Becky has spent most of her career in Chicago with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Chicago Improv Festival. She launched Spontaneous Combustion, an improv comedy festival, with a producing partner at the Basement Theatre (Atlanta), and together they have produced 10 improv comedy festivals. Becky is an expert in festival producing, event programming, and board development. She came to the Virginia Highlands Festival as the Festival Producer in 2012, and in her first year she took the Festival finances from deficit to surplus, almost doubled the amount of corporate donations, exponentially increased the marketing and publicity reach, and led the effort to develop a 3-year strategic plan. She advises other nonprofit organizations as a “Virtual Executive Director,” helping them with fundraising strategies, board relations, and strategic planning. Her podcast, “Virtual Executive Director,” is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and SoundCloud.

Paula F. Casey is a dynamic speaker on voting rights, particularly the 72-year struggle for women to be included in the U.S. Constitution. She published a book,The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage. She produced a12min. 40 sec. DVD on woman suffrage that covers the struggle for American women to win the right to vote. Paula has spoken extensively around the country at universities, colleges, and junior colleges. Paula is the Co-Founder of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail, she served as president of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument, Inc., and was primarily responsible for the fund-raising for the monument that was unveiled in Nashville’s Centennial Park. She is working to get monuments to the suffragists across the state of Tennessee before 2020. She served as fiscal agent for Jackson’s statue of Sue Shelton White, the only Tennessee woman jailed fighting for suffrage in front of Jackson’s City Hall. A monument is planned in Memphis to be unveiled in May 2019. For more information visit her website at www.paulacasey.com.

Guest Performer: Joyce Rouse (Earth Mama) is a singer, songwriter, actor, educator, and creator of the Earth Mama music projects. In August, 1995, the United States celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. Joyce wrote and performed the theme song,Standing on the Shoulders.This song has introduced Joyce to the gracious wisdom and power of women's groups around the world.

Key take-aways include:

  • Lessons we can learn from early suffragists to be resourceful, build alliances and persevere as leaders
  • Learn to trust your instincts, be resilient, embrace your flaws and follow your passion with fearless execution
  • How to create an environment and culture that promotes continuous development in yourself and others
  • Understanding the framework and necessary resources in accountability for creating big changes in an organization

The full-day workshop will include a light breakfast and lunch. Attendees of EMERGE Women’s Professional Development Workshop will also be awarded .5 Continuing Education Unit credit by Northeast State Community College. For pricing and registration, visit www.ywcatnva.org/emerge or contact the YWCA at 423-968-9444.

Fortch

March 15 | State Line Bar & Grill


Jake Quillin + Donnie and The Dry Heavers

March 15 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room


Friday, March 15th! We bringing the soul train back to Bristol! Join us at Bloom Cafe and Listening Room along with our homies Donnie & The Dry Heavers for a night of sweet jams and soulful blues! Music at 9pm//$5 at the door!

Noah Spencer

March 15 | Quaker Steak and Lube


Noah Spencer is a musician who enjoys singing and playing guitar, drums, piano and the ukulele. He enjoys learning and performing all types of music!

Bristol CSA Fair: Meet Your Farmer!

March 16 | Bristol Public Library


Join us March 16th from 10-2 for the 3rd Annual Bristol CSA Fair! Meet your farmer, learn options for eating healthier fresh local foods, and become a part of community supported agriculture! This event is free and includes door prizes and kid’s activities. Brought to you by the Appalachian RC&D Council and Appalachian Sustainable Development.

Shamrockin' Swap Meet

March 16 | Elderbrew


Join Elderbrew this Saturday, March 16 for the Shamrockin’ Swap Meet. We will be opening early at 2pm, so plan on getting there early for first dibs on some cool stuff. Our friends at @letstacoboutit17 will be slinging food from 5-? and we’ll have plenty of great brews on tap. See you Saturday!

Community Jam Sessions

March 16 – December 21 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum


The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will begin hosting a monthly gathering of local musicians for a full-on community jam session on the third Saturday of every month. The community jams are open to all ages and all skill levels.

The jam events have been organized to provide a space for local musicians to gather and pick, collaborate, share their experiences, and—most importantly—to have fun!

Jams will be scheduled for the third Saturday of each month from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., serving as a great warm-up for Saturday night gigs! Musicians are asked to bring their own instruments.

The sessions will be held in the Learning Center at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

For more information call 423-573-1927.

St. Patrick's Day Party to benefit BVPS Education Foundation

March 16 | Warehouse 817


The non-profit organization,Bristol Virginia Public Schools Education Foundation announces an upcoming fundraiser, CELEBRATE THE LUCK OF THE IRISH! on March 16, 2019. The St. Patrick’s Day Party will be held at the newly opened Warehouse 817 venue located at 817 State Street, Bristol, Virginia, across from the Farmer’s Market.

The St. Patrick’s Day Party will begin at 7:00 p.m.ending at 11:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 for an individual ticket and $50 for a couple’s ticket. Ticket prices include heavy hors d’oeuvres, 2 free beverages tickets per person, party favors and LOTS OF FUN! A cash bar will be available and music will be provided by the well-known, Jamen Denton.

"What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with friends than investing in the leadership of tomorrow,” commented Catherine Brillhart, President of the BVPS Education Foundation.

Tickets can be purchased via PayPal at www.bvpsfoundation.org, emailing foundation@bvps.org, or calling 276-821-5615. All proceeds benefit the BVPS Education Foundation focusing on High School Senior Merit/Need-Based Scholarships, Creative Classroom Mini-Grants, School wide Funding for Selected Academic Programs, Permanently Named Endowed Scholarships, Public/private partnerships, and implementing public school improvement projects approved by the Bristol Virginia School Board.

Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke's Magic Butterfly

March 16 | Paramount Bristol


The Paramount Chamber Players joins forces with Highlands Ballet Company to present the world premiere of Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke’s Magic Butterfly, a brand-new ballet, set in Africa. The ballet tells the story of a child who has been rewarded with an adventurous magical journey through Africa because she decided not to collect (kill) butterflies anymore. The music was expanded from African Vignettes, two 15-minute tone poems also by Pursley-Kopitzke, to an approximately 80-minute work for mixed chamber ensemble. Magic Butterfly is a world premiere of a work written, prepared and performed by local community talent.

TICKETS

Anthony Mangrum

March 16 | Blackbird Bakery


Ragged Sally

March 16 | Quaker Steak and Lube


Ragged Sally is an east Tennessee based country duo consisting of singer/songwriters Seth Broyles and Alli Epperson.

Musical Memories: Charles "Charlie" Lawson's 90th Birthday Concert

March 17 | Paramount Bristol


The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concert will feature favorite pieces from Ragtime, Broadway, Big Band, Movie Soundtracks and Gospel Greats!

Charles “Uncle Charlie” Lawson is a Knoxville, TN native who made Bristol home for 65+ years. A serious musician from his youth, Charlie has performed from high school to touring band, national music shows, theatres, and concert halls such as Radio City and Cincinnati Music Hall. He was musical consultant for Baldwin Piano & Organ as atop dealer for decades.

His service to God as organist and music director spans 60+ years.His success as Lawson Music Center for over 40 years placed pianos and organs in hundreds of area homes, churches, and educational venues and continues today.

Charlie’s lifelong motto of “Love God, love people; never regret doing right in the first place” has won him thousands of genuine friends. Please join us in celebrating his 90th birthday!

Suggested donation $5. No ticket required.

State Street String Band Bluegrass

March 18 | Blackbird Bakery


Join Blackbird Bakery for live bluegrass at 7pm.

Scrubs Trivia

March 18 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room


Bring your stethoscopes, and battle for the $25 gift card of a lifetime. Scrubs Trivia!

Community Notice Board

Family Story Time

Thursdays March–June | Birthplace of Country Music Museum


Join BCM in the museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for Story Time, where we will read books from the Reading Appalachia: Voices From Children’s Literatureexhibit, along with enjoying related storybooks and a fun coloring page. This event is free and open to the public; the books are most appropriate for ages 5 and under.

This event will be held for the duration of the Reading Appalachia exhibit.

Spring Sale

Through March 19 | Serendipity


Swing by Serendipity this week to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and all the Spring feels. Serendipity has new arrivals daily with TONS of great Spring styles already on the floor.

Receive 20% off EVERYTHING in store and online this week.This offer isvalid TODAY thru Tuesday, March 19th.If you are shopping online use promo code LUCKY20 to get 20% off + FREE SHIPPING!

Also Coming Up

Auditions for The Wizard of Oz
March 11–17 | Theatre Bristol
Poverty Simulation
March 14 | YWCA
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
March 14 | Paramount Bristol
Emergency Bike Night
March 14 | Quaker Steak and Lube
AAME Speaker Series: Art in Advertising
March 14 | Bristol Public Library
Yoga & Herbalism for Spring
March 14 | Breathe Bristol Yoga
The Diamonds
March 14 | Blackbird Bakery
EMERGE Women’s Professional Development Workshop
March 15 | Northeast State Community College
Fortch
March 15 | State Line Bar & Grill
Jake Quillin + Donnie and The Dry Heavers
March 15 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Noah Spencer
March 15 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Black Jacket Symphony: Queen's "A Night at the Opera"
March 15–22 | Paramount Bristol
Bristol CSA Fair: Meet Your Farmer!
March 16 | Bristol Public Library
Shamrockin' Swap Meet
March 16 | Elderbrew
St. Patrick's Day Party to benefit BVPS Education Foundation
March 16 | Warehouse 817
Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke's Magic Butterfly
March 16 | Paramount Bristol
Anthony Mangrum
March 16 | Blackbird Bakery
Ragged Sally
March 16 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Musical Memories: Charles "Charlie" Lawson's 90th Birthday Concert
March 17 | Paramount Bristol
State Street String Band Bluegrass
March 18 | Blackbird Bakery
Scrubs Trivia
March 18 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Zamar Band
March 21 | Blackbird Bakery
The Honey Badgers
March 22 | State Line Bar & Grill
Tommy Yon, Kyle Corbett and Stephen Evans
March 22 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Kevin Lorenz
March 22 | Blackbird Bakery
Rusty Steel Acoustic
March 22 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Book of Mamaw
March 23 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Mavericks
March 23 | Paramount Bristol
Daniel Couper
March 23 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Ken Burns's "Country Music"
March 24 | Paramount Bristol
CD Release Party by Tammie Starnes Murray
March 26 | Blackbird Bakery
Radio Bristol Sessions ft. Parker Millsap
March 27 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Diamonds
March 28 | Blackbird Bakery
Wolf & Johnny
March 29 | State Line Bar & Grill
Guy Penrod
March 29 | Paramount Bristol
Matt Smile
March 29 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Grand Opening
March 30 | State Street Brewing
Elizabeth LaPrelle Workshop
March 30 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Elizabeth LaPrelle
March 30 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Swing Band
March 30 | Blackbird Bakery
Rylee Peters
March 30 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Clint Black
March 31 | Paramount Bristol
Genealogy: Researching Historical Photos
April 3 | Bristol Public Library
Teacher In-Service
April 5 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Honey Badgers
April 5 | State Line Bar & Grill
Charm City
April 11 | Paramount Bristol
Farm & Fun Time ft. Becky Buller Band, The Matchsellers, and Chatham Rabbits
April 11 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Thomas Willard
April 12 | State Line Bar & Grill
Cave Twins
April 12 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Wordloose: A teen poetry experience!
April 17 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Del McCoury Band: With a Little Help From Our Friends
April 20 | Paramount Bristol
Triumphant Quartet
April 25 | Paramount Bristol
James Meadows
April 26 | State Line Bar & Grill
Julie Williams
May 3 | State Line Bar & Grill
Home Free
May 5 | Paramount Bristol
Rex Montgomery
May 17 | State Line Bar & Grill
Border Bash
May 17 | Downtown Bristol
Wrestle
May 23 | Paramount Bristol
State St. Tattoo Fest 2019
May 24–26 | Foundation Event Facility
Chris Long
May 31 | State Line Bar & Grill
Border Bash
June 7 | Downtown Bristol
Border Bash
June 21 | Downtown Bristol
Border Bash
July 4 | Downtown Bristol
Border Bash
July 19 | Downtown Bristol
Border Bash
August 2 | Downtown Bristol
Get the Led Out
August 9 | Paramount Bristol

More Upcoming Events »
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