Upcoming Events

From music festivals, car races, history, heritage, food and everything in between. Here's your guide.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Battle on the State Line Pep Rally

September 9, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Bristol’s historic downtown State Street will be decorated in MAROON & ORANGE (Hokies) on the Virginia side of town, and the ORANGE & WHITE (Vols) on the Tennessee side of town. UT & VT flags also will also line State Street in the downtown district, as well as portions of State Street will be closed Thursday evening through Friday afternoon to accommodate the influx of visitors and locals, and to allow the more than 75+ merchants, breweries and restaurants to expand their stores out onto the sidewalk for fuel up before the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept 10.
Quaker Steak and Lube has been designated as the home base for the Hokies, while 620 State will serve as the home base for the Vols, as chosen by each university’s alumni association for Sept 8-10.
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Fans will get a chance to meet a number of former players from both Tennessee and Virginia Tech, several of whom have played in the NFL. The players will be on hand to sign autographs and visit the SPORTS DESK, which will be set up on the Food City main stage.  Former Tennessee and Virginia Tech players, have been invited to participate in meeting fans for pics and autographs on State Street from 12noon-2pm.  Player scheduled to appear will be announced soon.  THIS IS A FREE EVENT!
Highlights include the Food City Sports Desk hosted on the Main Stage at 2 p.m. hosted by ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch (tentative), former Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer, former Tennessee QB Heath Shuler, Jon Laaser – The Voice of The Hokies, Bristol Motor Speedway GM Jerry Caldwell, Food City President Steve Smith, and others.  At 3 p.m., the Spirit Squads and Mascots of both Tennessee and Virginia Tech will help pump up the crowd along State Street in a true pep rally fashion!
Fans will also get to participate in painting the University of Tennessee “Rock” and the Virginia Tech “Hokie,” play cornhole throughout the day and huge tailgating games throughout the day.  Also on tap is live music from SPANK and BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY, beginning at 11 a.m.
Event Schedule:
11-11:45 a.m. – Brothers of the Highway
11 a.m – 4 p.m. – Yard Games (corn hole, jinga, human size foosball, connect four, BMS souvenir trailers, Food City vendors, merchants move out onto sidewalks, photo booth, cell phone charging stations, Selfie Spots, Danny Wilson – Battle at Bristol poster signing,  etc.)
Noon-12:45 p.m. – SPANK
Noon-2:00 p.m. – Former TN & VT autographs
Tennessee confirmed players:  Heath Shuler (1-2 p.m.), Bruce Wilkerson, Phil Stuart, Fred White, Dale Fair, Jabarri Greer, Darryal Wilson, Tony Champion, Brendan Downs
Virginia Tech confirmed players:  Bruce Smith (Noon-1 p.m.), Steve Johnson (Noon-1 p.m.), David Lamie, Milton Franklin, Eric Smith, Jon Laaser – The Voice of the Hokies
12:45-1 p.m. – thank you sponsors – announcements from stage
1-1:45 p.m. – SPANK
2-3 p.m. – SPORTS DESK
tEmcee Dr. Jerry Punch  (tentative)
tVoice of the Hokies John Laaser – Game day analysis
tJerry Caldwell, Bristol Motor Speedway
tIntroduce Food City, Steve Smith
tPanel & Honoree(s): 1-2 well-known former NFL and UT/VT football players on a panel to talk about the upcoming Battle at Bristol football game
tCoach Frank Beamer
tFormer Tennessee football player Heath Shuler
tJon Laaser – The Voice of the Hokies
tInterviews with national media following Sports Desk program (media center will be located behind stage area)
tBattle at Bristol trophy
3-4  p.m. – UT/VT Mascots, Spirit Squads from each school – may also travel from main stage area down towards Piedmont/6th Street
Additional Information for Friday, Sept 9:
On Street Entertainment
11 a.m.-4 p.m.  –  Corn Hole, Trash Can Pong, Human Sized Foozball, Jinga, Connect Four, photo booth, selfie spots, cell phone charging stations, photo booth, etc.
Battle Cries:  “Paint the Rock” and “Paint the Hokie”.  Sharpies will be provided to “paint” your battle cries on the back of these displays.  The “Tennessee Rock” display will be painted by Payton Miller on Thurs., Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. on State Street.
Booths, Displays & Attractions
11 a.m.-4 p.m. – Food City Food Tent, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, Danny Wilson (will be selling and autographing the official Battle at Bristol print).
Commercial Characters
Bristol Motor Speedway Bump & Run, Food City CC Cookie, Corey Apple (Food City), University of Tennessee – Smokey, Virginia Tech University – Hokie Bird
As a precursor to the mega Honda Ridgeline presents Bristol’s Tailgate Party concert at Bristol Motor Speedway, which will feature Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and Old Dominion.
To assist fans in planning their trip, the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol Visitor Playbook will be available for fans online at www.BattleInOurBackyard.com. This site, specially designed for the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, will be a guideline for visitors, directing them to the many special events, including live music and discounts, being offered in Bristol and the surrounding area, Sept. 8-11.
The Battle on the State Line Kickoff & Pep Rally is hosted by the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol Motor Speedway, City of Bristol Tennessee, City of Bristol Virginia, Discover Bristol and Food City, as well as partners Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music and Virginia Tourism Corporation.


September 9, 2016
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


TN United States

Add Your Own Event

Upload your own events to our calendar.

Leave a Reply