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Feathered Horse Classic at The Expo Center

The Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center, often simply referred to as the “Expo Center,” is one of Roane County’s hidden gems. The Expo Center opened in 1990 and is a part of Roane State Community College’s Roane County campus. The Expo Center is the busiest arena in Tennessee and brings an impressive amount of tourism into Roane County. The Expo Center hosts dog shows, a popular rodeo, many equine events, and more! Most events are free, making them perfect for fun family outings! Although the Expo Center will not be hosting any events for the rest of the year due to the current pandemic, they are hoping to reopen at the beginning of next year or possibly sooner should the situation change. For now, however, the Expo Center is celebrating their last event of the year, and there’s still time to check it out! 

This weekend, the Expo Center is excited to host the Feathered Horse Classic for the first time! This event stars the Gypsy Vanner, a stunning breed with a rich history. Gypsies in England and Ireland sought the perfect horse to pull their caravans, so they began breeding horses with desired traits. The result was an easy-going, feathered horse with a beautiful, flowing mane. While Gypsy Vanners still aren’t the most common breed, they have spread from Europe and can now be found in countries around the globe. The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society was founded in 1996 and has promoted this breed ever since. Gypsy Vanner lovers agree that this special breed deserves more attention, and just once glance at this beautiful breed will show you why. 

The Feathered Horse Classic prides itself in being “the largest & longest pure bred Gypsy horse show series” and has been going for 15 years and counting. With shows across the United States and even an annual show in Canada, the Feathered Horse Classic is important for the Gypsy Vanner community and fans alike. People came from several different states, including Florida, Texas, and Colorado, to make this weekend’s event possible. Liberty and Driving are two favorite parts of the show for both participants and attendees. While this is the Feathered Horse Classic’s first event in Roane County, it may not be the last—the show manager is hoping to come back next year for an even bigger event.   

The Feathered Horse Classic continues on Sunday, August 30th beginning at 7:30am. For more information about the Feathered Horse Classic, Click Here.

For more information about the Expo Center, Click Here.

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Lettuce Meet Up At Our Local Farmers Market To Celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week!!

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!

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Our New Outdoor Guide—Your Resource for Safe Summertime Fun!

Roam in Roane

Summertime is here, and we’ve got your resource for outdoor fun in Roane! Getting outside is healthy, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 has thrown a loop in many of our plans, it doesn’t have to stop your next outdoor adventure. Social distancing is easy to accomplish in the great outdoors, and being outside not only boosts one’s health but one’s mood as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that “Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. In many areas, people can visit parks, trails, and open spaces to relieve stress, get some fresh air, and stay active.” Thankfully, Roane County is one of those areas. If you are having trouble deciding what to do on your next outing, don’t sweat it! Our new outdoor guide is here to help with activities for all ages to enjoy. Included in the free outdoor guide is a list of parks and their features, helping you choose the best park for your next outdoor quest. 

Float in Roane

Fishing is a favorite pastime in Roane County, with bass, catfish, and crappie being some of the top catches. These fish and more are featured in our outdoor guide, along with other fun lake activities like tubing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. We’ve also included a list of local marinas to help you launch your next adventure on the water. 

Soar in Roane

If fishing or boating isn’t your thing, there are numerous outdoor activities off the water. Birdwatching is a growing hobby in Roane County, and there are plenty of great birdwatching spots located throughout the county. To help you decide where to go first, we’ve included a few top birdwatching spots and the bird species you may find along the way. Birdwatching goes hand-in-hand with other fun outdoor activities, such as biking and hiking. The trails and greenways in Roane County are full of incredible plant and animal life, just waiting to be discovered!

Photos by Rick Mcculley and Aaron Brandon

If we’ve successfully got you craving outdoor adventure then it’s time for you to download the guide for more inspiration. Once it’s downloaded then you can Get Out there and start exploring! Be sure to tag us, the Roane County Visitor’s Bureau, in your social posts so that we can follow along with you as you explore!

To download the new outdoor guide, visit https://www.roanetourism.com/get-outdoors/ or pick up a copy today at the Visitor’s Bureau – 1209 N. Kentucky Street Kingston, TN 37763.

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30 Fall Events in Roane!

30 Fall Events in Roane

Fall officially began on September 23, so grab your pumpkin spice latte and check out our list of 30 Fall Events in Roane!

With cozy sweaters, leaves falling, pumpkin spice and everything nice, it is no wonder that Autumn is our favorite season around here! The gorgeous autumn scenery and crisp weather make it easy to get out and Soak in Roane during the fall. This time of year, Roane County hosts a wide array of fun-filled fall events! So, to make planning your fall fun even easier, we’ve created a list of events being held right here in Roane to help you find exactly what you’re looking for! Each of the events listed below is linked and once you click it, it will take you to that specific event on our calendar. From pirates, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, live music and movie nights to haunting history, trunk or treating, spooktaculars, and a field of screams….. the possibilities are endless!

30 Fall Events in Roane

Happy Fall, y’all!

Did we miss an event? Let us know by emailing tourism@roanealliance.org

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What the Heck is Singo?

I’m sure any person reading this is completely familiar with bingo. Someone calls out a number followed by a letter, you mark the space, you hope to fill up the row and win, right?

Something new has come to Roane County, and we’re excited to show you that this is not your mama’s Bingo! This new phenomenon taking Roane County by storm is played every single Thursday at Old Capital Public House in Kingston, and it’s called “Singo!”

Singo is much like bingo, but instead of calling out numbers and letters, the host plays song clips. It’s up to you to mark your card accordingly. The added challenge is that you have to know the song! It’s challenging, it’s entertaining and you don’t want to miss it!

Pair this fun game with the delicious food and craft beer at Old Capital Public House, and you’ve got a home run for date night, family night, girls night or anything in between! For more information, visit roanetourism.com/events.

singo

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Boutiques & Bluegrass

When you think of Roane County, you probably think of Watts Bar Lake, but these days, we’re gaining popularity among travelers due to our abundance of boutiques and our local bluegrass at Bradbury.

Over the past few years, locals have opened up new boutique shops all over Roane, each with a different style. You’ll find beautiful clothes, fun accessories and cozy home goods – all within your budget and taste!

Harriman is home to Emory Lane Family Boutique, Beyond All Measure Children’s Boutique, and Pansy Hill Boutique. Emory Lane is your one stop shop for personalized items! Add a monogram or a name to just about any article of clothing you can imagine. Beyond All Measure features lots of great children’s clothes, but they also have an entire wall of educational and engaging Melissa & Doug toys! Pansy Hill is your go-to for game day apparel – both high school and collegiate. You’ll also find a variety of Simply Southern tees, too!

In Kingston, stop by Everly Blu for the season’s latest trends. EB stocks a wide selection of clothes for women of all sizes, and the shoe selection is fantastic! You’ll also want to browse the selection of accessories because we guarantee you’ll find something you need!

A&E Mercantile, located in Rockwood, has the cutest selection of  wardrobe classics that are sure to become your new favorites. These staples come in lots of sizes, lengths and styles, all designed to make you feel beautiful. They also feature lots of local vendors for jewelry, home decor and more!

After a full day of shopping, head down to the Buttermilk Road exit to relax and enjoy local bluegrass music every Tuesday evening from 6p-10p at Bradbury Community Club. The Club also features a monthly jam on the third Saturday that you won’t want to miss.

Located in a restored schoolhouse, you’ll find music around every corner, but don’t be surprised when they invite you to sing along! This toe-tapping good time is a one of a kind experience you only get when you soak in Roane.

For more information on the boutiques in Roane or Bradbury Community Club, visit http://www.visitroane.com.

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Oliver Springs

Have you ever heard of a town that’s actually in 3 places at once? Sounds impossible, right? Well, Oliver Springs is proof that it’s not! This small town, located in Morgan, Anderson and Roane Counties, was once well-known as a vacation destination due to its beautiful hotel and natural springs.

Historic Oliver Springs was founded in 1821 as a coal mining town. The small town of 3000 people was incorporated in 1905, and is known for their pre-1900s buildings. Some of these include a former hospital, a family general store, and a train depot that serves as a museum/library. A walking tour brochure showcasing all of the beauty of Oliver Springs is available at the Roane County Visitors Center (1209 N Kentucky St in Kingston).

Downtown’s Train Depot Museum is a must-see! Built c. 1893, the Oliver Springs Depot was one of the busiest of the Coster Division. Its popularity grew along with the nationally known Oliver Springs Resort Hotel and nearby coal production. The last passenger train pulled through the depot in 1968. In 1983 Southern Railway planned to demolish the structure. The town rallied for saving this historic remnant and eventually struck a deal with Southern Railway, provided it would be removed from the site and relocated elsewhere. In 1986, the citizens of Oliver Springs were able to have the building moved across the street with the help of TVA. Today, you can even get up close and personal with a train caboose, ticket station and more! The Depot Museum is located at 610 Walker Avenue.

Oliver Springs is also home to one of the country’s largest distributors of confections, Country Fresh Fudge, and its retail store, Pamela Anne’s. Be sure to stop in and load up on sweet treats while in town!

train depot

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Murals Around Roane

We’ve all seen that picture perfect Instagram photo in front of a cool mural and wondered where we’d have to travel to snap the same photo. Look no further than right here in Roane! With murals of all kinds spread out across the county, you’ll be racking up likes in no time.

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Kingston, Rockwood and Harriman all have an abundance of artwork to check out, all with their own unique style and subject. From riverboat scenes to football games, there are lots of ways to enjoy these larger than life pieces of art.

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To begin your mural tour, we recommend starting your morning at Our Town Coffee or Handee Burger for a quick breakfast. Make your way toward the courthouse and you’ll find at least 3 murals within walking distance.

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From there, it’s a quick car ride down to Harriman where you’ll find gorgeous murals on both ends of N Roane Street. One even features a football game between Harriman College and the University of Tennessee in the early 1900s! You just may spot the remnants of murals from days gone by if you look close enough between buildings.

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Last, make your way to Rockwood to see their beautiful tribute to the city’s 150th birthday featuring a Tennessee Tri-Star mural that has quickly become a favorite among visitors in Roane.

No matter where you wind up, be sure to tag your murals photos with #soakinroane so we can see them!

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K-25 Overlook & Visitor Center

Roane County is made up of 5 unique cities, but did you that one of those cities was once a secret community that changed the course of history? Oak Ridge, Tennessee, formerly known as “The Secret City,” was formed from farmland in Anderson and Roane Counties and used as a top-secret location for enriching the uranium that went into the atomic bomb that ended World War II.

Both counties are doing their part to preserve that history, and Oak Ridge is now a part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park! Fortunately for us, Roane County holds much of the rich history of the Manhattan Project, including the community once known as Happy Valley.

In fact, Happy Valley is where the K-25 Facility sat from the 1940s until recent years, and it’s history is now being preserved through the K-25 Overlook & Visitor Center.

The Overlook & Visitor Center was recently renovated by our friends at Bionomics, Inc.  and the help of Designsensory with the shared vision to see this space become a recreational hub as well as an additional resource for preserving this piece of our past.

The Overlook features maps of trails surrounding the visitor center, historical displays and a chance to relax and recharge before exploring the recreational opportunities laid out before you.

The Overlook is open during daylight hours. Be sure to use the hashtags #soakinroane and #exploreroane when you visit!

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Hooray for Harriman

Every Labor Day, the City of Harriman opens its arms to everyone as they gather to celebrate the city’s history and tradition at the annual Hooray for Harriman street festival! This event features live music, lots of arts and crafts vendors, delicious food and fun for the whole family! This year’s event takes place September 2 from 9a – 4p in Downtown Harriman (N Roane Street).

This year, the Princess Theatre is getting in on the fun! You can beat the heat by stepping inside this restored art-deco theatre and enjoying a variety of entertainment. See schedule below:

9a-11a – The History of Harriman

11a – 12:40p – Film: “A Dog’s Life”

2p – The Singing Cookes on stage

Once you step back outside, you shouldn’t miss kids alley! There will be kids activities, inflatables and more! One of our favorite parts of the day is strolling from vendor to vendor finding all sorts of great handmade items. If you’re ready to start thinking about Christmas, it’s a great chance to get a jump start on gifts! Many of the downtown shops will be open as well, allowing you the opportunity to meet local business owners who are striving to make Harriman an even better place to live, work and play!

For more information about Hooray in Harriman, visit http://www.cityofharriman.net.

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