Nestled behind the iconic Kingston TVA Steam Plant, Lakeshore Park is one of the best birdwatching sites in the region. Birds can be seen throughout the park, whether they be swimming in the water, hopping beside the trails, or soaring in the air. Even a quick stroll through the park reveals why this park is one of the most-coveted birdwatching sites around.
Lakeshore Park, featured in our new outdoor guide, opened in 2014 and sits on a serene peninsula on the Emory River. The park is now one of the best birdwatching areas in the entire region. In addition to being a safe haven for wildlife, this park also offers many recreational opportunities. There are miles of scenic trails for walking or bike riding, multiple fishing piers, kayak launches, a boat ramp and dock, and picnic areas for a peaceful lunch in the great outdoors. Located just a few minutes from I-40, this park not only makes a great destination, but it also makes a relaxing stop if you are travelling through the area, especially for bird-lovers.
According to Waxwing Eco Tourism, there have been 90 bird species seen at Lakeshore Park in the past 30 days—and that’s only what has been reported! Included in this lengthy list are several species highlighted in our outdoor guide, such as the black-crowned night-heron, bald eagle, great blue heron, and osprey, all of which are associated with Roane County’s waters. Both great blue heron and osprey nests can be seen from the walking trails, providing a special experience for birdwatchers and non-birdwatchers alike. The river is not the only place to find fascinating bird species, however.
Within the trees and grasses of Lakeshore Park are a striking number of songbirds and other species that aren’t as comfortable in the water. When walking or biking the trails, you may run into a flock of chipping sparrows, hear the raspy call of a gray catbird, or find a pair of cedar waxwings flying between the trees. Other species found within the park are the beautiful yellow-throated warbler and the brown-headed nuthatch, a tiny, delightful bird that lives almost exclusively in the Southeast. These are only a few of the many bird species to look for at Lakeshore Park. With birds around every corner, don’t forget to bring your camera, binoculars, and field guide for an exciting adventure at Lakeshore Park.
Your summer plans have probably been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. With events being cancelled left and right, what can you still do during a pandemic? Visit a farmers market! Farmers markets make a great excuse to get out of the house, get outdoors, and find fresh, delicious produce. Wherever you are in Roane County, you’re never too far from a farmers market, making this the perfect summertime outing. So, we encourage you to join us in celebrating National Farmers Market Week (Aug 2-8, 2020) at one of our local farmers markets!
Harriman Farmer’s Market
The Harriman Farmer’s Market at David Webb Riverfront Park has been a part of the local community for over 10 years. Home to friendly people, flavorful produce, and fantastic deals, it’s no wonder why this market is a county staple. The local farmers bring a variety of fresh produce to sell, from tomatoes and cucumbers to cabbage, okra, blackberries, and more! You’ll find unbelievably great deals on the produce here, making it the perfect place to save money and eat local. Not sure what to do with your fresh fruits and veggies? Head over to Harriman Farmer’s Market’s Facebook page for recipes that use the produce found at the market. Whether you like your produce by itself or mixed into a dish, you’re bound to find something your taste buds will enjoy!
Fruits and veggies aren’t the only items being sold at this market, however. You may also find handcrafted knives, handmade aprons, engraved signs, handmade jewelry, and more! You can even chat with the artisans while browsing their talented work. Whether you’re an early riser or enjoy sleeping in, this farmer’s market has you covered. Harriman Farmer’s Market is open from June-September on Wednesdays from 2-5pm and Saturdays from 8am-noon. A lot of the produce sells quick, so be sure to arrive early or on-time to buy the faster-selling items. If you can’t make it earlier, don’t worry! There is still great produce and artisan products to find, and you may find that it’s less crowded and easier to talk to the farmers who are selling their produce. If you’re interested in being a vendor at this market, now is the perfect time to join! Because of the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on so many people, Harriman Farmer’s Market has waived all vendor fees this year! So, whether you’re wanting to purchase produce or sell it, head on over to the Harriman Farmer’s Market for a great, small-town experience!
*Saturday August 8th at 10:30am Sparky “The Fire Dog” will be at the Harriman Farmer’s Market to talk about fire safety! Bring your kids out for a fun day at the Farmer’s Market where they can learn about fire safety, enter a watermelon eating contest, pickup a craft to go, and play some fun yard games in the Park!
Kingston Lakeside Farmer’s Market
There’s a new farmers market on the block, and you need to know about it! Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market is brand new and already enjoying success. There are typically 25-30 vendors at this market, with each one being different from the next. Here, you can find a variety of flavorful, locally-grown produce, ranging from squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers to artichokes, muscadines, and herbs. Most of the produce is picked the day before the market, giving you some of the freshest produce around. If the delicious produce wasn’t enough, Lakeside Farmers Market is bursting other great food finds. Stroll around the market to find candy, jams, breads, meat, eggs, honey, and so much more—all locally made or harvested! This market is a foodie’s dream come true!
Food isn’t the only thing you can find at this market, however. Many of the vendors sell handmade specialty items you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world! At Lakeside Farmers Market, you can purchase flower arrangements, jewelry, indoor and outdoor décor, soap, dog treats, clothing, dryer balls, stationary, and, again, so much more! These vendors are extremely talented, and most have a wide selection of products to choose from. This market is the perfect place to purchase presents for birthdays, holidays, and, of course, yourself!
Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market can be summed up in one word: community. This market was truly formed with the community at its heart. It brings artisans, farmers, and customers from across the community to one place. This farmers market is a great place to meet new people who share a love for Roane County, fresh food, and handmade items. This connectedness is a favorite aspect of the market, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. When events are getting cancelled left and right and everyday life is being interrupted in many ways, Lakeside Farmers Market is a wonderful way to have fun and connect with people on a regular basis. Kingston Lakeside Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday through Labor Day from 8am-11am.
In addition to helping the community, Lakeside Farmers Market also makes a positive impact on the planet. One of the biggest environmental impacts this market is making is by reducing the emissions that are caused by shipping items over long distances. Another positive environmental impact is found on the local farms. While many of the farms haven’t undergone the pricey process of organic certification, most of the farmers use the same or similar environmentally-friendly practices. You’ll find their “almost-organic” produce to be much fresher than the produce found in grocery stores, and you’ll also have the pleasure of supporting local farms. Shopping local doesn’t get better than this!
*Shipwreck Food Truck will be at the Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market Saturday Aug 8th from 8 am until 11 am. They will be set up in the KUMC Clothes Closet Parking Lot. Come See Us!
For a full calendar of upcoming events, local favorites, and more visit www.roanetourism.com or find us on social media!
While the temps are rising, like a typical Tennessee summer, this July 4th holiday weekend is going to be different to say the least. Many of our usual Independence Day celebrations have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
However, our parks, restaurants and some attractions are open in Roane County and there’s plenty of places to safely explore throughout the long weekend!
Take a night off from cooking and find a local restaurant
Don’t we all spend holiday weekends the same way – eat, play, eat, eat, sleep, eat, repeat? Well we think you deserve to treat yourself to a night off from cooking. Let one of our local restaurants cook for you! Many restaurants in Roane are open for dine-in and/or offering takeout meals. You can find a list of restaurants in Roane on our website.
Dig in at Food Truck Friday
Did someone say Food Truck? Count us in! Start the weekend off at the Jim Henry Event Center with a delicious lunch from the Enjoy Latin Food truck. The Jim Henry Event Center hosts Food Truck Friday each Friday throughout August featuring a different truck every week. So, if you can’t make it there this weekend, be sure to check it out over the next few weeks!
Book a weekend of luxury at this sanctuary for the soul
If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded retreat to get away, then look no further. Discover the magic of refined country living at Whitestone Inn – a bed and breakfast on 600 beautiful acres in Roane County! Each of the rooms come with a whirlpool tub, free WiFi, and a country breakfast in the Farmhouse restaurant, surrounded on three sides with windows providing incredible views of meadows, the lake and mountains. The intimate fireplaces, comfortable beds, and fresh air are what make this romantic getaway such a great choice for your quiet retreat!
If you aren’t yet ready to dine-in and takeout is your new normal, switch it up for the holiday and plan for a picnic at one of our local parks. Lakeside views and lush green parks make for the perfect opportunity to hang a hammock, throw a frisbee, fly a kite, ride a bike and certainly pack a picnic. You can also find some top-notch fishing, birdwatching and other outdoor activities in Roane. Pack your coolers, chairs, blankets and sunscreen and find your spot (there’s plenty of room for everyone!).
For more information on everything you need to know about Roane Outdoors grab a copy of our new outdoor guide at any of our kiosks or download it online at www.roaneoutdoors.com!
Rent a fast boat or take a slow float
Up for an adventure on beautiful Watts Bar Lake? While kayak rentals are on hold for this weekend at the rental facility between the bridges in Kingston, there is still plenty of fun to be had on WBL. If you’re lucky enough to own a kayak yourself, one great spot to launch your ‘yak is Roane County Park. If you don’t own your own watercraft and a pontoon is more your style – Blue Springs Marina and Caney Creek Marina offer boat rentals!
Even though they aren’t offered this weekend, you can find more information on Kingston Parks and Recreation’s rentals by visiting our website.
Pick out fresh fruits and veggies at a local Farmers Market
Harriman Farmer’s Market brings local farmers and their customers together in a convenient location. They strive to help sustain our local farms while bringing the goods to the people! Their season spans from June to September, every Wednesday and Saturday – including July 4th! We hope that you will stop by and shop for the local fresh food our community has to offer.
Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market will be open on Saturday, July 4th. Stop by for lunch and to visit your favorite vendor. They will be giving away a Market Basket with some awesome items from their vendors. You will be able to register during the market for a chance to win an awesome basket of goodies!
Enjoy LIVE music lakeside
Listen to some great music, eat awesome food, and celebrate our freedom among friends at one of these LIVE music spots! Although these events won’t have a fireworks display, they will get your toes tappin’ and your head a bobbin’!
Bayside Marina & RV Park has a weekend lineup that won’t disappoint! With a different band each night, great specials on food, plenty of outdoor seating and cold drinks it’s safe to say that this event is a good catch!
Party in the USA
Celebrate Independence Day with a car show, crafts, games and even wrestling at the 4th of July Block Party in Downtown Harriman! This is an event for all ages and is FREE to the public. So, grab the kids and the sunscreen and we’ll see you there!
For some, it’s all about the FIREWORKS
Looking for fireworks shows? Blue Springs Marina and Crows Nest has you covered! Their annual Independence Day fireworks celebration will be on July 4th with the fireworks show starting at 9:30pm, preceded by our national anthem. A short reloading intermission will feature a solo trumpet performance and the evening will end with Taps. Full menu, fireworks, and great drink specials – what more could you ask for?!
Note: fireworks donations are currently being accepted in the Ship’s Store & Restaurant! Blue Springs Marina will match what is collected! If you plan to attend, please be safe and practice social distancing by remaining in your boat/car during the show.
Tune in for a virtual Independence Day celebration
While some businesses have canceled their annual in-person Independence Day events, one group has put together a way to virtually celebrate the holiday.
Instead of the traditional in-person celebration the Young Professionals of Roane County have planned an event called Celebrate Together, Roane County! Encouraging everyone to set-off their own fireworks at 9:30pm on July 4th to create a community-wide fireworks display!
Cruise your way past the weekend
Throughout the summer, on the first Tuesday of each month, Rockwood Merchants Association offers fun for the whole family with classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles at the Cruise-In Downtown Rockwood! Even though this isn’t an event for the holiday weekend, it’s one that you won’t want to miss if you are in town until the beginning of the following week. There’s no entry fee required so join us in Rockwood on Tuesday July 7th for door prizes, live music, vendors and more!
Whether you live or vacation here, Roane County offers plenty of opportunities for family fun, outdoor adventure, toe-tapping music, lakeside views, and the relaxation that you have been looking for. For a full calendar of upcoming events, local favorites, and more visit www.roanetourism.com!
Today, the City of Harriman, celebrated 21 years at David Webb Riverfront Park. And of course, the namesake and man behind the park – David Webb – was honored, along with friends and family who built memorials or gardens to make it the park it is today. This marked the 21st anniversary of the opening celebration on October 18, 1998. David talked about the history of the park and showed a slideshow of where it started to how and what it is today.
Interesting details about the park that I didn’t know – a $10,000 grant from TVA got the park started, while bricks used for the fountain came from the former Emory Gap School and flag pole from the old post office. A large number of businesses and individuals over the years have donated plants, playground equipment, materials, and labor; and specifically, the first piece of equipment for the playground was donated by Roane Medical Center and the entire property where the park is located was donated by Christmas Lumber Company. Dr. Julian Ahler was instrumental in building the gazebo where so many special moments have been made – whether it was the crowning of Miss Tennessee Polk Salad, being the backdrop for a beautiful wedding, or a celebration like today. It truly has been a community effort.
The Tennessee Polk Salad Festival was held in the park for many years in the spring and at one time was not only one of the most unique festivals in the region but also one of the most popular. People flocked to the festival to see antique cars, buy handmade and local goods, listen to bluegrass and gospel music, and of course – enjoy a mess of poke sallet cooked up special for the day.
There were other days where people flocked to the park – special Veteran’s Day ceremonies, Sunday afternoon concerts by the Babahatchie Community Band, movies in the park, and the ever-popular Cobbler Fest where you could try any flavor of homemade cobbler! And David Webb and his wife, Mildred were not only there to enjoy every moment but were also there ahead of time to get the park ready and do whatever they could to make it perfect for the community.
And that was in addition to David and Mildred running a large local country store – Rocky Top General Store. David has certainly left his mark, not just on the city and the county, but also on visitors and people passing through Roane County. He is the best ambassador for all things good in the county, and in fact, he had us set up a ‘satellite visitors bureau’ at the general store so he could provide brochures and information to visitors, along with his famous free popcorn. And if anyone had the pleasure of being there when a group tour bus pulled in – well you know, he loved having Rocky Top blaring from the speakers when the bus pulled in the parking lot. The store has sense closed to allow David to “retire” but all of us that know him know that word doesnt really exist for David. In fact, he already has ideas for what to do on the expanded property at the east end of the park under the overpass. He thinks he would like to build a waterfall for everyone to enjoy!
The park includes a walking trail, playground, pavilions (available for rent), park benches, fishing pier and a number of memorials honoring military, fireman, police and more. It is also home to Harriman’s Farmers Market held in the summer on Saturday and Wednesdays. For more details visit VisitRoane.com.
Four years ago Roane Tourism amped up our marketing program by first creating a more visual website – after all, people do come here because of the beauty. So this required photo and video shoots to capture life in Roane. Then we went to work marketing all over about how you could Soak in Roane (SIR), the first-ever tourism campaign that launched early spring with social media contests throughout the summer with SIR swag, a Jackson kayak from Uncle Lem’s and a weekend stay in an RV from Caney Creek RV Resort.
We created new visual media such as pull-up banners, post cards, visitors guide plus SIR t-shirts, stickers, koozies and bags. Not to mention, WBIR’s spotlight on Watts Bar Lake in July, with a live remote for Live at Five at Four at Kingston’s City Park. Whew! What a busy year! But the amount of advertising even surprised us when it was all said and done. Take a glimpse as I flip through the 2017 Media Marketing book!
And the numbers show those efforts are working. Comparing 2017 to 2013 (before we amped up the marketing program), visitor spending in Roane increased by $5.3 million, creating $380,000 more in local tax receipts that goes directly to our schools. Increasing visitors also provides more jobs in the hospitality businesses. In that same time, 70 more tourism jobs became available that provided $2.5 million in payroll. So yes, we feel our efforts are working and can’t wait to meet even more visitors coming to Soak in Roane!
Want to know more about the Roane Alliance and how we work to increase Roane’s economy? Check out our 2017 Annual Report and visit www.VisitRoane.com to learn more about tourism in Roane.