Fireworks return to Covered Bridge Festival

The Covered Bridge Celebration committee has announced the return of the fireworks show, which was canceled last year due to lack of sufficient sponsorship.
   Sponsored in part by Northeast State Technical Community College, the fireworks show will cap off a full day of activities and a performance by the Dave Friday Band on Saturday, June 9, celebrating Country Rock Night.
   "In our initial planning meeting back last December, the first item for discussion on improvements for this year's celebration was a fireworks show. We sorely missed the fireworks show last year, and our committee worked hard to bring it back," said C. Keith Young, co-chair for the committee. "We contracted with a professional fireworks company early on, and we're expecting a great program this year."
   Running June 5-9, the Covered Bridge Celebration is in its 36th consecutive year, featuring some of the finest regional talent available. Wednesday night is Gospel Music Night, showcasing five area groups, including the Tennessee Melody Boys and No Name But His Thursday night,
   June 6 is Bluegrass Music Night, beginning with the ever-popular Little Mr. and Miss Hillbilly Contest. The Birch Spring Band, the Dennis Cove Band, and Bill McCall and Southern Country will provide musical entertainment for the remainder of the evening. Friday night is '50s and '60s night, featuring the youthful and talented Watts Dance Studio Dancers at 6 p.m., followed by an evening of the "best of beach hits" by the Collegians Beach Band. The block adjacent to the Elk Street Bridge will rumble with the Carter County Car Club Cruise-In Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
   Besides all the evening activities, Kids Island will open up for business at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and an Arts and Crafts show will open on Friday morning at 10 a.m. For the fitness-minded, the Covered Bridge Celebration is sponsoring a softball tournament, while Saturday morning will offer free fishing for kids 12 years of age and under, plus a 5K run, a 3K walk, and the Second Annual Watauga Wallygaggle River Run for the adventuresome at heart.
   Informational brochures on the Covered Bridge Celebration are available at several downtown businesses and at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. For a brochure, stop by or call the Chamber at 547-3850.