The Tennessee Department of Tourism last week sent out an email blast highlighting fall activities in Tennessee.
Or, should we say, parts of Tennessee.
The fall vacation guide highlighted events in Gatlinburg, Johnson City, Chattanooga and Sevierville.
But the closest it came to promoting events in rural Tennessee was the Days of the Pioneer Antique Show at the Museum of Appalachia just outside Clinton.
We’re biased, of course, but we believe Scott County merited a bit of mention alongside its larger neighbors. Scott County, after all, is the only rural community in Tennessee with an entire month filled with activities this fall.
Termed Sizzlin’ September by local tourism officials, the month of September is jam-packed with events — something different every weekend.
Many of them are the initiative of local organizations or private businesses. The local Chamber of Commerce has loaned its efforts to help support those events, and organized one of its own — the Bluegrass & Bike Festival at Oneida City Park on Sept. 7.
The Bluegrass & Bike Festival is already garnering second and third looks from bicycling enthusiasts across East Tennessee. Organizers have been successful in booking the widely-recognized Tennessee Mafia Jug Band to headline the event (and has already drawn the attention of an even bigger act for next year’s event).
But that day-long event is just the start of activities that not only make Scott County unique but that draw thousands of visitors from throughout East Tennessee and far beyond.
The biggest events, in terms of popularity, will be a pair of competing ATV festivals on Labor Day Weekend: Brimstone Recreation’s SXS/ATV Roundup and Trail’s End Campground’s Ridin’ Dirty event.
Country music star Gretchen Wilson will headline the Brimstone Recreation event, where she will be joined by up-and-coming country artists Tyler Farr and Chris Janson, both of whom have charted singles this year.
Well-known songwriter and singer Colt Ford will be one of the main acts at Trail’s End’s event, along with Dry County, Big Smo and Michael Hardy.
Later in September, Friends of the Big South Fork, the Big South Fork Airpark and the Scott County Airport will present the annual Wings Over the Big South Fork, one of the region’s largest air shows. That will be followed by a popular storytelling festival in the Big South Fork — Haunting in the Hills. And, finally, an event that is perhaps the most unique of all will cap the month: Scott High School’s Heritage Festival at the Museum of Scott County. The museum is the nation’s only student-designed, student-built and student-curated museum, and the annual Heritage Festival is as unique as the multi-acre museum grounds on which it is held.
The Chamber of Commerce has worked tirelessly to promote tourism in Scott County, through the relaunch of a tourism-based website and publishing a tourism guide.
The efforts of the community are worthy of a little recognition.