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2nd Annual Great Outdoors Festival
May 6, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
The second annual Great Outdoors Festival, a celebration of Unicoi County’s many venues for outdoor recreation, will be held Saturday, May 6, in downtown Erwin.
Organized by the RISE Erwin young professional group, the festival is scheduled 10 days ahead of the well-attended Appalachian Trails Days festival in Damascus, Va., to give AT hikers an opportunity to come down into Erwin and to better establish Erwin as a welcoming “trail town” along their way.
The festival attracted an estimated crowd of 10,000 in its inaugural running last year and is expecting to well exceed that number this year with greater interest generated by the participation of the Trout Unlimited national outdoor organization.
In addition to nearly 50 outdoor recreation vendors set up along Main Avenue, this year’s festival will feature Trout Unlimited’s “International Fly Fishing Film Festival.” A spectacularly filmed documentary featuring the world’s greatest trout streams, the film festival will start at 3:30 p.m. on two screens at the Capri Cinemas and is expected to sell out.
Expert anglers from Trout Unlimited’s Overmountain Chapter will also be on hand at the festival, conducting demonstrations at casing pools set up on the streets.
Live musical performances will run throughout the day on an outdoor stage at Tucker and Main streets, and will be headlined by an evening show featuring the Southern funk group Porch 40 and an opening performance by Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats.
The Johnson City Brewing Company will be serving at a beer garden set up at the Gathering Place and food truck fare by Mimi’s and Opie’s Pizza Wagon will be available along with “gourmet to go” specialities from The Take Out of Erwin, and burgers and more from Toby’s Cafe.
In followup to last year’s Erwin Elephant Revival, eight baby elephant statues painted by professional artists to benefit the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald will be debuted at the festival. The statues will be displayed at sponsoring locations in Erwin through October, when they will be auctioned off in a smaller, second running of the Erwin Revival.
The festival will also feature an expanded Kids Zone of outdoor activities for children. And in a preview to the Pinewood Derby coming to Erwin in June, the Southeastern Autorama will be on hand with derby kits and entry forms and information.
Festivities start at 9 a.m. and admission is free. Ample parking and a free shuttle from Uncle Johnny’s Hostel on the Appalachian Trail will be available.
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