Fall in Love with Roane County Festivals

Nothing says Fall in Roane County like a festival! This is the perfect place to usher in autumn with the ones you love while surrounded by great food, good music, and the magic of changing leaves and a chilly breeze.

Lucky for us, Roane County has ample opportunities to celebrate the changing seasons! From Oliver Springs to Rockwood, you’ll find something fun and festive on any given weekend.

Coming up on Saturday, October 1 is the Kingston Country Fair. The Kingston Country Fair features the largest craft show in all of Roane County! Held at Fort Southwest Point, this event features a cornhole tournament, cow chip bingo, dog pageant, kids’ activities, a pie eating contest and performances by Southern Alliance Dance Company all in the shadow of the only Pioneer fort recreated on its original site. Live music will be provided by Gary Johnson as Elvis. Be sure to explore the fort for historical reenactments, an 18th Century working cannon, and an extensive collection of artifacts and arrowheads. This event is free, parking is free and door prizes will be given away!

After spending the morning in Kingston, plan to fall into more fun in Downtown Rockwood at the Fall Festival! Enjoy local music, lots of arts and crafts vendors, pageants, pumpkins, a silent auction, a street dance party and more! This event is free and family friendly!

On the weekend of October 8-9, Harriman joins the fun with the first-ever Tennessee Pirate Fest held at the site of the Tennessee Medieval Faire at 55o Fiske Rd! Be sure to see our previous blog post for all of the fun details! They’ll have bands, food, comedy shows, costume contests, karaoke, and so much more! The artisan fair is reason enough to visit. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children.

While you could easily spend a day at Pirate Fest, don’t forget that Victorian Square Assisted Living in Rockwood will be hosting their annual Old Time Fall Festival on October 8 from 10am-2pm. There will be food, games, vendor booths, and entertainment, as well as a silent auction.  All proceeds go to the Ruth Lewis Resident Activity Fund.

October 15th is the date for this year’s October Sky Festival in Oliver Springs.This down-home festival is a local favorite and will be celebrating it’s 10th year with more than 100 vendors, the crowning of Miss October Sky, a cruise-in car show, rocket launches, coal mining history, tours of movie locations and historic homes used in filming for “October Sky”, displays of vintage quilts, a kid’s zone and more.

Kingston’s Parks and Recreation Department present the ever-popular Halloween Spooktacular at Fort Southwest Point on October 21st from 6pm-8pm! Join us for tricks, treats, storytelling and giveaways! Wear your best costume and come join the fun! Trick or Treating will be held between 6pm&7pm, and storytelling by Elizabeth Rose at 7pm.

Finish up an October full of fun with a walking tour of the Hauntings of Historic Harriman. The Cornstalk Heights Hauntings of Historic Harriman walking tours have become one of the highlights of the fall season. Stories about real occurrences in the neighborhood raise the hair of those with the courage to walk our streets at night. Tours are scheduled for October 22nd and leave every 15 minutes beginning at 7:30and last one at 10 pm from the Harriman Carnegie Library.


Not limited to one weekend and new to Roane County, Narramore Farms is home to Kingston’s only corn maze and pumpkin patch! Open 11am-7pm every Saturday and 1pm-7pm on Sundays until October 3oth, this family-friendly destination boasts a hay ride, culvert slide, face painting, pumpkin tic-tac-toe, corn crib, corn hole and more!

For more information, visit http://www.visitroane.com. We have a calendar full of events – not just those listed here!



Arrrrgh you ready for Pirate Fest?

It’s no secret that the closest thing we have to an ocean is Watts Bar Lake, so when you think of Roane County, you probably don’t think of pirates on the high seas. Well, we’re here to change that.

Hoist your sails and put on your eyepatch! The inaugural Tennessee Pirate Fest will be held at 550 Fiske Road in Harriman on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 from 11am-6pm.

The Tennessee Pirate Fest seeks to transport  you to the fictional pirate town of Port Royale in the Tortugas. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and tastes of pirate life. Live music from steel drum bands and groups performing pirate shanties create the perfect soundtrack for this experience. There’s even pirate karaoke! (OK, it’s not just pirate songs, but bonus points if you perform in your best pirate voice.)

Laugh yourself silly at the comedy stage, and if you’re feeling brave, you can perform! Start researching pirate jokes now, people! This is your chance to make your fellow marauders chuckle.

While you’re at it, dust off that pirate costume you bought for Halloween last year because there’s a costume contest complete with prizes! If you can’t find your costume, bring your game face so you can compete in volleyball, tetherball, limbo or port hole (that’s corn hole to you land lubbers)!

Feeling hungry? Food and drink vendors will be on hand so that you can sample pirate fare and enjoy a beer or two.

Make sure to take a picture of your family in the stocks – this is a favorite among those looking for a Christmas card photo! Speaking of Christmas, this is a great time to start your shopping. Vendors will be on hand to sell special keepsakes in the artisan village.

If you’re wanting to become a part of the action, make sure you take in a match of Kombat Kroquet where you can cheer on the Brits or the pirates. Choose wisely! Join the governor of Port Royale to celebrate his birthday and perhaps even help him choose a suitor for his lovely daughter. Look sharp, fellas!

Shine up your boots and practice your accent! We’ll  see you at the first-ever Tennessee Pirate Fest. Don’t miss out – this fantastic event is only on October 8-9!



Homegrown in Roane

It’s Saturday morning. You wake up to the sun spilling in through the open window and a breeze blowing in from the lake. Your feet hit the hardwood floor and you waltz into the kitchen looking for a coffee cup. The birds are chirping, and the slight chill of early autumn greets you as you step out on the front porch. You drink your coffee and leisurely make your list. Apples, tomatoes, sourdough bread…At 8am, you hop in the car and head to David Webb Riverfront Park in Harriman for the Farmers Market.

Once you arrive, you greet many local farmers and gardeners with a smile while discussing the best fresh produce for the week. You talk about everything from green tomatoes to grandchildren. You may not know the vendor, but you know he’s from Roane County, and that’s good enough.

You make sure you get there early enough to get the good stuff. Depending on the week, you could find fresh breads, jams and jellies, vegetables of all kinds, fruit and an assortment of homemade arts and crafts.

With a bag full of goodies and a happy heart, you head back home. The Farmers Market is good for the soul. Time moves slower, the sun shines brighter and the people are sweeter. You’ve looked forward to this all week, and it was every bit as wonderful as you’d imagined. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…temporarily.

As September comes to a close, the 2016 farmers market season will end as well. Don’t miss out on your chance for the perfect Saturday morning in Roane County. If you’re not an early bird, you can still catch the market on Wednesdays from 3pm-6pm. Get there early to get your pick of the produce! Farmers Market will return next year, but soak up the last few days of summer while you still can.


Stargazing at Tamke-Allan Observatory

Stephen Hawking was once quoted as saying “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

If this sounds appealing, you’ll love public stargazing night at the Tamke-Allan Observatory. Amateur astronomers and curious observers are invited to come see the stars on the 1st & 3rd Saturday every month, all year long!

The Observatory often brings in guest lecturers to discuss the celestial events of the season, space-related subjects and all things atmospheric.

The Tamke-Allan Observatory is located on Caney Creek Road – turn left onto Keller Road (near the TWRA boat luanch area) and the road to the observatory is on the left. Gate opens at 7 pm.

Bring the family and make it an educational night out for everyone! Visit http://www.roanestate.edu/obs/ for more information.


Rockin’ on the River Fishing Tournament

If you’re looking for some serious fishing and a dose of health competition, sign up today for Rockin’ on the River. The Morristown Marine Team Trail Invitational fishing tournament held annually at Tom Fuller Park in Rockwood is one of the largest tournaments on Watts Bar Lake with the top pay out.

It’s no secret to locals that Watts Bar Lake is brimming with bass, crappie, striper and more. Get in on the action and you may take home the top prize and bragging rights to the best fishing tale of the tournament.

If you’re planning an overnight trip, be sure to book yourself into one of our hotels now. These rooms are likely to fill up. If you’d rather be one with nature in preparation for the tournament, we’ve got you covered with campgrounds as well! Tent campers can claim a spot at Riley Creek Campground while those who aren’t so fond of “roughing it” can bring their campers to Caney Creek or Soaring Eagle RV Resort.

Registration will be held on Friday, September 30th at The Roane Alliance (1209 N Kentucky Street Kingston, TN 37763). Drop on by to register and check out the competition. Veteran competitors and fishing-f0r-fun types are welcome to try their luck.Registration is $115 per boat with payouts for biggest fish, smallmouth lunker, and the possibility of a skeeter bonus.

Watts Bar Lake covers 61 square miles with breathtaking views and ample opportunities for recreation. Once the tournament ends, jump back in the boat to tube, ski and wake board. There are also places to paddleboard, canoe and kayak along the waterfront as well as pavilions for picnics and great local restaurant options.

For more information about the tournament, visit http://morristownmarine.com/2016-schedule.html.




The Sounds of Roane County

It’s no surprise that the music made in Tennessee is the soundtrack of America. In Bristol, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and every little town between, you can find a band, a beverage and a dance floor within a short drive. Roane County is no exception to that rule. In fact, you’ll find some of the best kept secrets here on any night of the week.

If you’re looking for some down-home bluegrass, the Bradbury Community Club is the place for you. Every Tuesday, local musicians come together for Jammin’ Sessions from 6pm-10pm. On the third Saturday of every month, you’ll find a full house for the Bluegrass Show at Bradbury.

In an old school house off Buttermilk Road, musicians show up with instruments in hand ready to join together for a toe-tappin’ good time. Admission is only $1 on Tuesdays. On Saturdays, $2 will get you in AND provide you with concessions. Cloggers and music lovers fill the dance floor, but if you’re not the two-steppin’ type, be sure to enjoy the museum in room #4 with lots of unusual and old instruments and memories from shows past.

Looking for something a little different? Ladd Landing Listening Room could be the perfect place for you. The Ladd Landing Clubhouse comes alive most Friday nights (excluding summer months) with local musicians featuring every genre from funk to folk rock. Perfect for a date night, many music lovers choose to bring a bottle of wine with them as this venue is BYOB.

Maybe you’re more of a symphony or brass band fan? If that’s the case, you’ll love the Babahatchie Community Band. The Babahatchie Community Band provides free concerts during the summer months at Riverfront Park, including the popular Music & Melons Concert in August.  On the first Saturday in December the band sponsors the Merry Tuba Christmas concert at the Harriman High School auditorium. This band is made up of locals who volunteer their time and talent to contribute to the culture of Roane County.

Beyond those options, many of our local restaurants feature live music as well. Caney Creek Grille is home to some of the county’s best karaoke and a great venue for some waterside tunes. You’ll also find great bands at most of our festivals! Favorite festivals include Gizmo Jam, Smokin’ the Water, Hooray for Harriman, our fall festivals, and many more.

If you’re really lucky,  you’ll be in town on a night that a band has booked the Princess Theatre for a performance. The Princess Theatre is a restored 1920s art deco style venue that provides a perfect backdrop for tunes of all types.

There truly is something for everyone to listen to in Roane County. Bluegrass, blues, country, classical – you name it, we’ve got it!