National Tourism Week Recap

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For those of you who don’t know me, the voice behind the blog, I’m Sam. I’m the Communications & Marketing Manager for the Roane Alliance, and it’s my job to tell the world about all of the great things Roane County has to offer. When Lake Season begins, we hit the ground running, typically launching into full summer mode on National Tourism Week in early May. Since then, things have been crazy, but I wanted to take a minute to recap what a great week we had!

As part of National Tourism Week, we went on the road with brand new t-shirts and koozies to showcase a few of the many things we love about Roane. This meant visiting local attractions, restaurants and lodging as part of a marketing strategy encouraging visitors and residents to Soak in Roane. We also wanted to make our tourism partners aware of the merchandise we have available in our welcome center by advertising our tourism brand.

We kicked off the week with a Grand Re-Opening Party at the K-25 Overlook & Visitor Center in Oak Ridge which gave the public an opportunity to try local food trucks, hear homegrown bluegrass music and experience the history of Happy Valley and its role in the Manhattan Project.

On Tuesday evening, my mom and I put on our dancing shoes for an evening of wonderful music and fun as we sat in on bluegrass jams at Bradbury Community Center’s weekly Pickin’ and Grinnin’ event! We had a blast going from room to room listening in and singing along to gospel and bluegrass favorites. Now, it’s an event I don’t miss!

On Wednesday, Gabe Collier took me on a tour of Whitestone Inn’s beautiful grounds compete with a sneak peek into their summer concert series. We took the golf cart all over the property, peeking into the beautiful suites, scoping out the tennis courts and talking about what makes Whitestone such an incredible place to stay.

On Thursday and Friday, Alix (our project manager) and I hit the pavement visiting Our Town Coffee Café, Rusted Roots Café & Market, Amazing Bakes Cookies and Cakes, Harriman’s Carnegie Library, Chuck’s Deli, Oliver Springs’ Depot Museum & Abston Garage, Old Pals Kitchen, Jolly Bowl, the Clubhouse Bar & Grill at Rockwood Golf Course, Shipwreck Diner, Cadillac Grill, and The Living Room Arcade & Event Center. We topped off the week with our friends from the Morristown Marine Team Trail at Jerry’s Bait Shop where more than 220 boats were set to launch as part of their fishing tournament series. Donna Cox at Jerry’s Bait Shop said that the week had been “great” and that business was better than ever while expressing her thanks for the part we play in promoting her business.

It was so much fun to connect with local business owners while promoting all of the wonderful assets we have in Roane. The sights, sounds and flavors of Roane County all come together to create something truly special, and I love that we get to share it all during National Tourism Week!

What’s your favorite Roane County restaurant or attraction? Who would you like to see featured on our tourism facebook page, Roane County Visitors Bureau?



Spend a Saturday Evening in Kingston

meg on waterTomorrow, there are 2 very different events taking place in and around Kingston. Whether you’re more into fear or farms, we’ve got you covered!

For those that like to be scared, don’t miss your chance to experience The Meg on the Water at Kingston City Park (333 W Race St, Kingston) on Saturday, June 22.

Bring your own inner tube, life jacket (life jackets are required) and $15, and you can spend the evening floating in Watts Bar Lake while you watch The Meg on the big screen! Don’t have an inner tube? Bring an extra $5 to rent one! Everyone who stays in the water until the end of the movie will get an “I survived” style t-shirt!

The movie starts at sundown (approximately 9:00 PM). Brave movie watchers should arrive and check in at 7:00 P.M. at Kingston City Park under the pavilion. There will be directional signs and shuttles to drive you and your tube to the drop-off location to enter the water. There will be multiple parking areas surrounding the park including: Roane County High School, Kingston Community Center, Byrd Field Park, The Gravel Pit, and limited spots available inside Kingston City Park. You will be allowed entry 1hr prior to start of movie. Food vendors will be at the event, so come hungry!

Before you head down to get in the water, stop by Our Town Coffee Cafe for a shark bite frozen lemonade, too! We’ll call it liquid courage even though there’s no alcohol. Ha!

If you’re not a scary movie fan, there are other options! Head to Narramore Farms Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze (199 Laurel Bluff Road) for their first-ever Sweet Corn Festival! On Saturday, June 22 from 5p-9p, the farm will be open for an evening of family fun.

For just $5, you can come play on the farm, enjoy live music by husband & wife duo Westwend, purchase their sweet corn right from the source,  enjoy roasted corn, shop local vendors & top off the evening with s’mores around the bonfire.

Rumor has it, Narramore Farms’ corn is the best around. So why not bring the family over to find out? There’s plenty for kids of all ages to do, too!  This includes swings, small slides, culvert slides, pedal car track, duck races, ring toss, tetherball, tug o war, culvert swing, and many other activities.

For a calendar of upcoming events around Roane, click here.

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Friday Nights on Roane

If you’ve been to Harriman recently, I’m sure you’ve noticed that downtown seems a little more lively these days. This is thanks, in part, to an influx of wonderful entrepreneurs who see the potential in this town and want to be in on the ground floor of making it great. You’ll find boutiques, antiques, an arcade and a candy store all within a few steps of the twinkling marquee of the Historic Princess Theatre. It’s not hard to see why we love to soak in Roane when strolling the streets of downtown.

Because these shop owners love where they work, they want all of us to come play there too! That’s why they’ve introduced a new monthly event called Friday Nights on Roane! On the second Friday of each month through October, you can head to Downtown for live music, vendors, food trucks & great deals in many of the shops!

There’s free parking available throughout Downtown, and you’re sure to find something you just have to have – whether it’s a juicy burger or a cute jumpsuit! Make plans to stop in and see all these businesses have to offer. Play a game of pool or buy the perfect birthday gift. Find a cute dress or dig through a crate of vinyl. You’ll have a great time, and you’ll be supporting local businesses at the same time!

Friday Nights on Roane will take place from 5p-8p on these dates:

June 14

July 12

August 9

September 13

October 11


Photo above is from Hooray for Harriman, an event that takes place in Downtown Harriman every Labor Day.


Summer is the Perfect Time to Soak in Roane!

Designsensory-RoaneCo-July2017-PROOF-049-DQ9A9749Summer is here, and there’s no better time to “Soak in Roane!” All season long, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for festivals, food, fishing and fun!

Looking to escape into another world for a few hours? Two weekends remain for Harriman’s Tennessee Medieval Faire. On June 8-9, you and your entire family can be transported to a time of jesters, jousting matches and just about any artisan vendor you could want.

Downtown Rockwood’s Polk Salad Festival brings fun and local flavor to town on June 15! Good food, great music & historical vendors make this a can’t-miss event every year! The ladies of the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion sure know how to cook!

Looking for a little more music? You’ll find great bands and solo artists playing all summer long. Every single Tuesday night, you’ll hear live bluegrass at Bradbury Community Club on Buttermilk Road. Want to be a part of the action? Bring or borrow an instrument and join right in!

If you’re more of a casual observer, give the game of Singo a try on Thursday nights at Old Capital Public House! It’s played just like Bingo, but with a musical twist. Order dinner, grab a card and sing along.

If Gospel is more your style, you can find it at Whitestone Inn’s Summer Concert Series. With performances by Jeff and Sheri Easter, Guy Penrod, The Martins, The Isaacs and many more. Tickets are on sale now.

Maybe you’d rather listen to music on the banks of Watts Bar. Well, you can do that too! Our marina restaurants book bands nearly every weekend, and it’s sure to be a rocking good time.

Speaking of Watts Bar, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of summer days on the water. You can rent a paddleboard in Kingston, fish on the banks of more than 700 miles of shoreline, kayak across a quiet cove or meet your friends on the sand bar for a day of sunshine and good times!

On June 22, those who dare can float in the waters of Watts Bar after dark at Kingston’s Jaws on the Water event! If you’re brave enough, you can watch this classic American horror film from the comfort of your own innertube.

Begin July at Kingston’s Smokin’ the Water July 4th Festival! Great live music, an amazing kid’s area, tons of vendors, and the best fireworks display on the water in East Tennessee make this an annual favorite throughout the region. Best of all? It’s free! Save your money to spend on food trucks. You won’t be disappointed.

Round out July with an All-American experience at the City of Harriman’s Annual Cobbler Festival on Saturday, July 27. Sample creative and classic cobblers in the gazebo, vote for your favorite and stick around to hear who wins! There are plenty of vendors and musical acts to keep you busy.

This is just a small taste of how you can “Soak in Roane” this summer. There are many more events happening across the county. Make plans to visit your favorites, and be sure to use the hashtag #soakinroane so we can share your adventures with all of our followers across social media.  For a full calendar, visit www.visitroane.com/events.