Arts and craft vendors began setting up booths and tents on Thursday and will be ready to go this morning. Food vendors are also set up and ready to serve lunch. Although the celebration is a day shorter this year, it is bigger, with every vendor slot taken.
The Covered Bridge Celebration has been going on for more than a half century and is one of the major annual projects of the Carter County Chamber of Commerce. Evenings on Elk got started last month, with plans to hold one on the second Friday evening of each month through the warm season. It is a partnership between downtown merchants and Project Move to showcase everything the town has to offer.
The focus of the Covered Bridge Celebration is the Covered Bridge Stage and the bands that play there. The music starts this afternoon at 5 p.m. with High Test Grass from Gate City, Va. Mountain Rose, from Roan Mountain, takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday’s headliner, Jeff Woods, starts at 8 p.m.
There will also be free live entertainment offered in several of the stores staying open late for Evenings on Elk, which runs from 5-9 p.m. There is an after-event party taking place at Jiggy Rays Pizzeria and Riverside Taphouse from 9-11 p.m. The evening also marks the grand opening of the Riverside Taphouse, which had a soft opening for the past month. The ribbon cutting for downtown’s first tap house will be at 4 p.m.