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Downtown Bristol Blog


Contributed by Teresa Tibol, TCI Group, Lowry & Foster, Inc. & Believe in Bristol Volunteer

Before moving to Bristol, Sue Smith, owner of Misty Mountain Designs,worked for a jewelry store called the Silver Heron in Maryland. She enjoyed working with people, scouting for and buying merchandise, and even making her own jewelry (using her craftier side). She saw great potential in the Bristol area, about twenty-two years ago, when she and her former husband purchased land and began their move here. She was ready to start her own store. She came up with the Misty Mountain Design name while standing on top of one of the mountains on their land. She looked out and saw the mist over the mountains and heard the Misty Mountain song in her head. Misty Mountain Designs was born.

Sue started her first store in the Bristol mall. Her first space was a small kiosk. She went thru two expansions into larger and larger spaces until she settled into a store with 3800 square feet. Approximately five years ago she opened a second location here in Downtown Bristol. Once it became apparent that the plan for the Bristol Mall was changing, she decided to focus all her efforts on her downtown Bristol store and closed the mall store in 2017.

Sue loves to support downtown Bristol in any way she can. When I asked her some of her favorite places to visit, as far as restaurants were concerned, she said, “All of the restaurants.” But when I made her pick a favorite, she said she frequents Bank Street the most. For lunch she frequents Bloom and Burger Bar, but tries to support everyone equally. When it comes to her sweet tooth, she just has to go to Southern Churn to satisfy her cravings. Her favorite outdoor space is Holston Dam. Here, she likes to take her dog, Cash, while her cat, Dolly, waits patiently at home. Her pets have always come from rescues. She rescues others, as well, by acting as a foster parent while she locates them a new home.

Misty Mountain Designs may have started out with jewelry, but now you can find a unique gift for anyone on your list, and especially yourself. They have clothing, jewelry(men and women’s), body jewelry, collectible stones and gems, crystals, tapestries, blankets, sarongs, incense, oils,bags, purses, pouches and plenty of other great gifts. While the overall theme is bohemian, the items are sure to please anyone. This store is a must see for everyone to get an idea of all they have to offer. There are so many items to see in her store, so come spend some time in there. You will surely find something you must have. Stop by as soon as you can and say “Hi” to Sue.

River's Way & Bristol businesses helping provide workforce skills to those with special needs

[Source: Blake Lipton, WJHL] For 25 years, River's Way has been enabling people with special needs to make significant contributions to their community.

Businesses in downtown Bristol have been partnering with organizations to give these youth and adults critical tools to be successful.

"It's been a miracle, it really has," said Andrea, a River's Way participant.

Every Tuesday, for an hour and a half, you could find Andrea manning the floor at Studio 6 in downtown Bristol.

She is one of the many participants in River's Way downtown internships, geared toward people with special needs.

"I just love it, the friendliness, meeting new people," she said."Just to see the manequins, the way they get dressed, it's amazing."

What starts as a way to help young adults with special needs develop workforce skills, ends up also helping others see a different perspective of life.

"She's really filled ourhearts," said Suzy Griffin, owner of Studio 6.

"I like helping people," said Kandi, another River's Way participant.

At the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, you could find Kandi passing out flyers and helping patrons find exhibits.

"She has been just an enthusiastic, fresh breath of air for us here,"said Baylor Hall, Birthplace of Country Music Museum Manager.

"We like to get them placed in positions out in the community where they feel like they're doing something productive and where people in the community can see they have a lot more abilities than we give them credit for," said River's Way Executive Director Tom Hanlon.

Most businesses participatingare in a short walking distance from each other, but Hanlon hopes to soon expand into more places downtown.

"They love being with the people they are with," he said,"they see thesepeople in public and other settings other than their work setting and it just feels like they're more connected to the community and they feel like they are actually working and doing something productive."

River's Way just wrapped up its six-week internship program for the spring, but many of these young adults will be back in downtown Bristol this fall.

Downtown Bristol Events

Wine & Unwind WedneWine & Unwind Wednesday with Fiddlefunk

May 15 | Bristol Hotel

Please come out and enjoy the latest installment of Wine & Unwind Wednesdays with Fiddlefunk at our beautiful rooftop bar and lounge, Lumac! Get here early because it's first come, first serve and the music starts at 7:00 pm!

Historic District Preservation Awards Ceremony

May 16 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

In recognition of National Preservation Month in May, the Historic District Preservation Award Committee in the City of Bristol, Virginia will hold its annual award ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. in the Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, Virginia.

The award program recognizes and honors property owners and developers who engage in preservation projects on properties located within our city’s five historic districts. The five historic districts are the Euclid Avenue Historic District, Solar Hill Historic District, Virginia Hill Historic District, Bristol Downtown Commercial Historic District, and Bristol Warehouse Historic District.
The public is invited to attend the award ceremony. Light refreshments will be served.

Nominations for next year’s 2020 award program will be accepted through March 31, 2020. For additional information contact Catherine Brillhart, Committee Chair at 276-591-6952

BPL Book Club: Far from the Madding Crowd

May 16 | Bristol Public Library

The BPL Book Club will meet on Thursday, May 16, at 6:00 p.m. in the Frances Kegley Conference Room. We’ll finish reading and discuss Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Harding, as well as pick up our next reading adventure: River of Doubt by Candice Millard.

Any reader is welcome to join at any time, and no registration is required. BPL Book Club meets on the third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted on our calendar, to read and discuss a wide variety of books. Make sure to join us for good company, good books, and sweet treats!

For more information, please contact Ambrea at the Bristol Public Library at 276-821-6147 or

Rusty Steel & Quarter Bounce

May 16 | Quaker Steak and Lube

Old School Rock n' Roll Band. Rusty Steel & Quarter Bounce always deliver a great show of all of your favorite songs!

Kevin Lorenz

May 16 | Blackbird Bakery

Join us at Blackbird Bakery for the music of Kevin Lorenz from 8 — 10 pm.

For The Song's Sake: Jackson Emmer + Ragged Sally

May 16 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room

For The Song’s Sake is a monthly music series featuring performances by emerging regional & nationally touring artists. Hosted by Momma Molasses on every third Thursday at Bloom Cafe & Listening Room in downtown Bristol, TN.
$5 cover, shows start at 7:30pm.

Weekend Food Trucks

May 17–18 | State Street Brewing

Friday, May 17: Opie's Pizza Wagon, 5 p.m. — ?
Saturday: May 18: Feeding Frenzy Mobile, 5 — 9 p.m.

Rex Montgomery

May 17 | State Line Bar & Grill

Live music this Friday at State Line!

Border Bash: Magus & The Movers and Kirk Fleta

May 17 | Downtown Bristol

Celebrating 20 years in Historic Downtown, Border Bash—Bristol's premier spring/summer concert series—is back for another amazing season starting May 17, 2019! Hosted by Believe in Bristol, and the Cities of Bristol, Virginia and Tennessee, Border Bash is about fun, family, great music, and creating memories to last a lifetime.

“We are always excited when it’s time for Border Bash.It is an opportunity to bring great music to our downtown and bring the community together during the summer months.Believe in Bristol is proud to have brought this event to the community for twenty years,” stated Maggie Bishop, Executive Director, Believe in Bristol.

May 17, 2019 — Piedmont / State Street Intersection
7:00 pm, Magus & The Movers
8:30 pm, Kirk Fleta

Border Bash takes place on State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol. Children’s activities and vendors begin at 6:30 PM and live music will kick off at 7:00 PM. Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol and the Cities of Bristol. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2019 include Bank of Tennessee, Birthplace of Country Music, Blackbird Bakery, Bristol Herald Courier, Camellia Digital, Cascade Draft House, Coca-Cola, Dr. & Mrs. Ben Cowan, Express AV Productions, Dr. & Mrs. John Fincher, Framed, Jeff & Terri Gregory, Knoxville TVA Employee Credit Union, Lost State Distilling, Merrill-Lynch, Anna Morgan, Dale & Joneen Sargent, Tom & Barbara Smith, The Bristol Hotel, John & Ann Tickle, Tri-City Tent & Event, Turtleson, and Dr. & Mrs. Zaidi.

About Magus & The Movers
"WITH A VOICE LIKE AGED HONEY, Magus Vaughn has come into his own as a frontman and songwriter to be reckoned with. Just a few years after disbanding his group, now-local-legends The Comet Conductors, he decided to return to the stage and to the studio with a fresh outlook on life, and songs to bear it. Backed by a crack team of musicians lovingly called “The Movers”, Vaughn started putting in the work and pushing past the fear of the unknown to craft a unique sounds all his own." — MADSCIENCE

About Kirk Fleta
"Fleta's Spanish roots combine with Delta blues, driving percussive at times and gently melodic at others he intertwines the rich tone of his voice with his unique finger style guitar playing to lay down his insightful lyrics with soul." — Metropulse

Literarily Cool

May 18 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Join educator Christine Mitten at the museum on Saturday, May 18th at 10:30 a.m. for a fun and active literacy program! Children (ages 2 ½ to 6) and their grown-ups will experience the magic of Appalachian children’s literature. Through fun, hands-on activities, stories will be brought to life for the children and wonderful family memories will be made.

This event is free but donations are very much appreciated – your donation supports free and low-cost programming at the museum. Space is limited, so please RSVP!

Literarily Cool! is companion programming to our current special exhibit, Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature, on display until June 30, 2019. We would like to extend a special thanks to the Massengill-DeFriece Foundation for their support of this exhibit and its programming.

Doom Yoga

May 18 | Elderbrew

Coming May 18th @ 2pm — Only $12! Bristol Yoga has partnered with one our city's awesome local breweries, Elderbrew to present a special class featuring LIVE drone, ambient and meditation style music by M. Peck merged with Slow Flow Vinyasa. The meditative tones of the music combined with a slower flow asana sequence allows for the attachment of breath to movement, deepening your connection to the poses. Your ticket price includes your choice of Elderbrew beer and 60 min class, a BYOM (bring your own mat) event. Come out and enjoy the beginning of Spring with us!


Community Jam Sessions

May 18 – 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.

Ryan Ward

May 18 | Elderbrew

Ryan Ward is a talented, eclectic guitarist with an endless passion for music. He incorporates his guitar heroes and influences into his own compositions. You can expect a mixture of classic rock/indie/alternative/folk with some originals thrown in. If you like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and other music greats, then this is a show not to miss! Support live music!

Daniel Cooper Trio

May 18 | Blackbird Bakery

Join us at Blackbird Bakery for the music of the Daniel Cooper Trio from 8 — 10 pm.

Matt Smile

May 18 | Quaker Steak and Lube

If you like to grin while listening to music, then Matt will make you Smile! Come hang out and listen to the cool array of songs Matt performs.

Friends of the Bristol Public Library Meeting

May 20 | Bristol Public Library

Join the Friends of the Bristol Public Library for their monthly meeting.

All interested members and participants are encouraged to use the meeting room entrance on the upper floor. For more information about the Friends of the Bristol Public Library, please contact the library at 276-821-6147 or the Friends directly at

If you are interested in joining the Friends, you can pick up a membership application at the library at any time or you can sign up online using Google.

Community Notice Board

Radio Bristol Book Club

May 14 – June 27 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Inspired by the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s special exhibit Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature, readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library are coming together to explore books featured in the exhibit during a special program on Radio Bristol.

Hosted by Bristol Public Library Executive Director Amy Kimani and museum Head Curator Dr. René Rodgers, the Radio Bristol Book Club will air every 4th Thursday through June from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Book discussions will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by each selection, learn more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm!

Listeners may tune in to Radio Bristol at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at, or download the free Radio Bristol mobile app.

Also Coming Up

Wine & Unwind WedneWine & Unwind Wednesday with Fiddlefunk
May 15 | Bristol Hotel
Historic District Preservation Awards Ceremony
May 16 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
BPL Book Club: Far from the Madding Crowd
May 16 | Bristol Public Library
Rusty Steel & Quarter Bounce
May 16 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Kevin Lorenz
May 16 | Blackbird Bakery
For The Song's Sake: Jackson Emmer + Ragged Sally
May 16 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Weekend Food Trucks
May 17–18 | State Street Brewing
May 17 | Bristol Public Library
Rex Montgomery
May 17 | State Line Bar & Grill
Border Bash: Magus & The Movers and Kirk Fleta
May 17 | Downtown Bristol
Literarily Cool
May 18 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Doom Yoga
May 18 | Elderbrew
Ryan Ward
May 18 | Elderbrew
Daniel Cooper Trio
May 18 | Blackbird Bakery
Matt Smile
May 18 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Friends of the Bristol Public Library Meeting
May 20 | Bristol Public Library
Wine & Unwind Wednesdays with Dave Eggar, Chuck Palmer, & Evie Andrus
May 22 | Bristol Hotel
May 23 | Paramount Bristol
Asylum Suite
May 23 | Quaker Steak and Lube
The Diamonds
May 23 | Blackbird Bakery
State St. Tattoo Fest 2019
May 24–26 | Foundation Event Facility
Harp and Coat Hanger
May 24 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Book Signing: Cyrus Alderwood
May 25 | Blackbird Bakery
Kids Canvas Class
May 25 | Kil'n Time Ceramics Studio
Bristol Dance Academy's "Please Don't Stop the Music!"
May 25 | Paramount Bristol
The Swing Band
May 25 | Blackbird Bakery
Sucker Punch
May 25 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Memorial Day Services
May 27 | Cumberland Square Park
Soul Swagger
May 30 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Blue Mountain Saints
May 30 | Blackbird Bakery
Chris Long
May 31 | State Line Bar & Grill
John Schneider
May 31 | Paramount Bristol
Blue Mountain Saints
May 31 | Blackbird Bakery
Comedy Show
May 31 | Quaker Steak and Lube
BIG Son and Seven Mile Mushroom
June 1 | Studio Brew
Noah Spencer
June 1 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Lovely Llama Canvas Class
June 6 | Kil'n Time Ceramics Studio
June 6 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
June 6 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Border Bash
June 7 | Downtown Bristol
Victor Lawson and Boogie Chillen
June 7 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Tennessee Beach
June 8 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Farm & Fun Time ft. Sierra Ferrell, Steel City Jug Slammers
June 13 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Bad Mountain Brew
June 13 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Bristol Bizarre: The Cosmos
June 14 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Billy Crawford Band
June 15 | Quaker Steak and Lube
For The Song's Sake: Xaris Waltman + Bill Edwards
June 20 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Theatre Bristol's The Wizard of Oz
June 21–30 | Paramount Bristol
Border Bash
June 21 | Downtown Bristol
Ian Feathers Band
June 21 | Quaker Steak and Lube
June 22 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The Allman Betts Band
June 25 | Paramount Bristol
Cutthroat Shamrock String Seisiúns
June 28 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Railway Express
June 29 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Mind Modes with Mahto and The Loose Balloons
June 29 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
Railway Express
June 29 | Quaker Steak and Lube
Border Bash
July 4 | Downtown Bristol
Border Bash
July 19 | Downtown Bristol
Radio Bristol Sessions ft. The McLain Family Band
July 26 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
USAF Band of Mid-America USAF Band of Mid-America
July 26 | Paramount Bristol
Border Bash
August 2 | Downtown Bristol
Tab Benoit
August 2 | Paramount Bristol
Get the Led Out
August 9 | Paramount Bristol
Applachian Outlaw Jamboree
August 23 | Bloom Cafe & Listening Room
RTE 23 Music Festival
August 24 | UVA Wise
Hank, Pattie, & The Current
August 24 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Railway Express
August 24 | Quaker Steak and Lube
VMFA on the Road Artmobile
September 18–22
The Black Jacket Symphony: The Eagles' "Hotel California"
October 3–4 | Paramount Bristol
Russian Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake
November 1 | Paramount Bristol
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
November 8 | Paramount Bristol
Front Country
November 23 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

More Upcoming Events »
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