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On Saturday, June 30, 2018 downtown Abingdon will be alive with an All-American Independence Day Extravaganza. This free event takes place at the Abingdon Market Pavilion and along Remsburg Drive in downtown Abingdon. Free activities include a watermelon eating contest, a kids’ craft area, historical reenactors, block party with a foam pit, stilt walkers, antique car show, concert, and firework finale. Food trucks will be present to provide concessions.

The free concert starts at 7:00pm, featuring the gospel-blues and southern soul of Devon Gilfillian. This young songwriter grew up outside of Philadelphia,  absorbing  everything  from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian recently had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the NFL Draft, and has been featured as a Rising Artist in Rolling Stone Magazine, for Southwest Airlines as well as countless others. He also headlines several festivals in 2018, including Floyd Fest and Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol.

At 4:00 p.m. the festivities begin with a watermelon eating contest for those ages 5 to 18. Just like any good watermelon eating competition, no hands or other unique equipment are allowed. Contestants should arrive at 3:30pm to sign up, accompanied by their parent or guardian.

William King Museum of Art will be hosting the Kids’ Craft area from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can participate in creative craft projects for free. Activities at the craft area include rotating art projects every hour.

Other draws for families include an antique car show, historical reenactors celebrating Abingdon’s rich Revolutionary War history, and a block party and foam pit.  The entire extravaganza will end in true American style with a firework finale at 9:15.

All activities will take place on Remsburg Drive in downtown Abingdon, either at the Fields Penn Lawn, the Abingdon Market Pavilion or along Remsburg Drive. Public parking is available in the Municipal Lot on Main Street, or on the street as available.

For a full schedule of events and activities, visit

Thursday, July 12th opens the 40th annual production of the State of Tennessee’s official outdoor drama, recreating the events of the early pioneers who settled in this region. Here, near Elizabethton, TN, the “first free and independent government was organized on this continent”, leading to the Transylvania Purchase (the largest private real estate transaction in the history of the United States), the Cherokee siege of Fort Watauga, and culminates in the Battle of Kings Mountain, long recognized as the decisive turning point in winning the Revolutionary War.
During this exciting retelling of our regions’ history, the Fort Watauga amphitheater comes to life with the sights and sounds of the late 18th century on the colonial frontier. Nationally significant events that helped to shape the future of our nation before, during, and after the American Revolution are presented in an engaging and entertaining fashion.
Liberty! is set in front of the full-scale replica of Fort Watauga and tells the stories of these important days of American history as well as demonstrating the lives of pioneers in a frontier settlement. Moreover, it gives faces to the names we see on many of our street signs and other local area designations. For example, we meet John Sevier, who went on to become the first Governor of Tennessee. We are also introduced to John Carter, and his son Landon, both of whom are reflected in the full name of the Carter Mansion, the oldest frame house in Tennessee. It is preserved by the Park and the associated Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

Liberty runs Thursdays-Saturdays, July 12 – 14, 19 – 21, and 26 – 28, 2018 in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, TN. And, all of this is provided to local residents and area visitors at a very reasonable price.
General admission tickets range from Free for Children 5 and under; to $6.00 for Students 6 to 17 years; $11.00 for Seniors 55 and up; and $14.00 for Adults. Members of Friends of Sycamore Shoals may attend the drama any night for a reduced adult/senior admission price of $7.00.
Tickets can also be purchased online at or at the door.

First Night tickets to the opening show on Thursday, July 12th are only $9 for adults and seniors. This year, our 1st Responders Night is celebrated on opening night. All 1st Responders and a guest will be admitted for Free on Thursday, July 12th.

Veterans Night is on Thursday, July 19th, where Veterans are formally thanked for their service during the show, and also with free admission for themselves and a guest.

Liberty! is looking for Extras to portray early settlers and Native American roles 

Liberty!, now in its 40th year, tells the important and exciting history of Sycamore Shoals and the Watauga Settlement during the late 18th century in an outdoor drama format.   This professionally managed and directed play is set against a backdrop of Fort Watauga with scenes presented using quality theatrical lighting, sound, and special effects.

For our 40th season, opening on Thursday, July 12th, we need Extras to begin attending rehearsals.  These are important roles which enable the audience to get an accurate impression of what life would have been like living on the frontier and during the American Revolution.

If you would like to join us as an Extra, please be making plans to attend rehearsals now.   We are requiring Extras to attend at least two rehearsals prior to walking on during a performance.  Your presence at two rehearsals will enable you to become familiar with the action in each scene and how it pertains to your safety and the safety precautions in place during each presentation of the drama.

Wondering about what to wear?  Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park maintains an inventory of period appropriate clothing that we will loan to you when you attend your 2nd rehearsal.

We rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Watauga amphitheater and will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. so we can finish as early as possible.  In the event of rain, practice will be held in the Visitors Center at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.  Please enter via the ramp on the right side of the building.

Liberty! will be performed 9 nights; the last three weekends in July.  This is a 2 Act play, with intermission and concessions available.  The cast Is asked to arrive, dressed and ready, at 6:30 pm.  Shows start each night at 7:30 pm.

July 12th, 13th, and 14th

July 19th, 20th, and 21st

July 26th, 27th, and 28th

If you had additional questions, please call Jennifer or Chad at 423-543-5808

A Very Square Affair” community square dance will be held on June 29, at The Market restaurant located at 1220 W Main St. Abingdon, VA starting 6:30PM to 9:30PM. All ages and skill levels are invited to our celebration of community and Appalachian heritage through music, dance and food. These traditions of mountain culture date back to the early European and African residents of the region who held field and barn dances as a form of celebration or entertainment. All are welcome to join us in paying homage to our culture and ancestors by swinging their partner around the dance floor. 

The event will begin at 6:30PM with an introduction to square dancing class for beginners, and music and dancing kicking off promptly at 7. There is no price of admission, however donations will be accepted. Authentic Appalachian cuisine and beverage will be available for purchase via The Market, and while there won’t be any ‘shine’ provided there will be beer for those ages 21 and up. A cake walk will be held during intermission and the winner will take home a local artisan cake courtesy of Anthony’s Desserts of Abingdon. 

This event is produced in conjunction with the Abingdon Tourism Department, The Crooked Road Music Trail and The Market restaurant, and is curated by Toni Doman and KT Vandyke. We hope that you’ll come join us on June 29 for a true celebration of all things Appalachian.

IPerformers of all types are invited to apply to be a part of the 4th Annual Main Street Busker Fest, happening Labor Day weekend in Abingdon, VA. Accepted artists will receive a fee for their work as well as tips from attendees.

Busker Fest will take place Saturday September 1st, filling the sidewalks of downtown Abingdon with weird, wonderful performing artists. The festival is presented by Abingdon Main Street and the Abingdon Music Experience. The organizers are calling for performers of all stripes to participate in the festival, whether or not they have busking experience.

“Busking” is an age-old tradition in which artists play publicly for tips, performing on street corners or wherever a crowd gathers. Past performers have included fire breathers, magicians, contortionists, acrobats, comedians, dancers, musicians and more.

The Festival will take place Saturday September 1st, 11:00am to 5:00pm on Main Street in downtown Abingdon, followed by Buskers After Dark, an evening event for adults. The Busker Fest is family friendly, with special kid-oriented activities from 11:00am to 3:00pm; Buskers After Dark is a 21+ event.

The Main Street Busker Fest is a fundraiser for Abingdon Main Street, a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Main Street program. Abingdon Music Experience is supported by the Town of Abingdon and the Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau. Main Street Busker Fest is also currently seeking out sponsors for the event, with opportunities at all price levels.

To apply artists should visit and submit a description of their act and a link to a video.  Applications will be accepted through June 1, 2018.

The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park announces a new World War 1 rotating exhibit “Valiant Virginians: Servicemen of World War 1” on the campus of UVA Wise. This rotating exhibit is scheduled to open Thursday, March 15 with a reception at the library. It will run through Tuesday, July 31 at UVA Wise before moving to the Slemp Gallery at Mountain Empire Community College in September.

The park is partnering with the University of Virginia’s College at Wise to place this World War 1 rotating exhibit in their Special Collections room at the campus library. This exhibit features Southwest Virginia men, who served in World War 1 and serves as a commemoration for the centennial of the end of the war. This exhibit will include artifacts, photos and documents to tell the stories of these men. A small reception will be held in the Special Collections room of the library at 6 p.m., on March 15. All are welcome to attend.

For additional information about this exhibit, please call the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park at 276-523-1322 or the UVA Wise library at 276-376-7128.

The Food Pantry at LifeBridge Christian Church in Kingsport is open every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month from 5:30 to 6:30pm. This ministry helps the needy in our community with distribution of food and staple items. The church is located at 617 Donelson Dr. and Sullivan. Call 423-246-0005.


If you would like your local event listed here, please send it to

Or add it yourself to our Community Calendar