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.
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!