By Ashley Rader
Downtown Elizabethton will be a busy place in the coming months as holiday events are held in the historic shopping district.
The first event will be the Betsy Bash, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The festival will include a number of competitions for the public to enter.
Downtown Business Association President John Bunn has encouraged all businesses to stay open for customers during the festival.
The contests include Clara’s apple pie contest, a scarecrow contest, Aunt B’s homemade-pickle contest and a costume contest. They will be judged between 4-6 p.m. during the Betsy Bash.
The apple pie contest will be judged at 4 p.m.; the scarecrow contest will be judged at 4:30 p.m.; the pickle contest will be judged at 5 p.m.; and the costume contest will be judged at 5:30 p.m.
Contestants are asked to pre-register for the scarecrow contest at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. The other contests will have registration the day of the festival. The cost to enter the pie and pickle contests is $5.
For the apple pie and pickles contest, individuals are asked to make a pie or pickles to be taste-tested by the judges. For the scarecrow contest, individuals will decorate the scarecrow and for the costume contest, adults and children are asked to dress in their best 1950s-themed costume. The Elizabethton High School Class of 1957 will be judging these contests. A prize of $50 will be awarded to the winner of each contest.
The downtown merchants have been asked to decorate their storefronts with traditional fall-themed items, such as hay bales, fodder shocks and pumpkins. The scenes will be judged by members of the Carter County Car Club, and the winning business will receive $100.
The Car Club’s Cruise In will have extended hours during the Betsy Bash. Instead of beginning as usual at 5 p.m., the car show will start at 3 p.m. on Oct. 27.
The downtown trick-or-treat will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 3-5 p.m. Bunn again encouraged all the merchants to stay open during the trick-or-treating and to dress in costume.
The Christmas Open House will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Parade will also be held Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.
Bunn also noted the Chamber’s Fraser Fir lighting ceremony will be held on Nov. 13. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the tree will be lit shortly after 6 p.m.
The DBA had polled the retail members of the group to determine the most popular date for the open house. Sunday, Nov. 18, received four votes; Sunday, Dec. 2, received three; and three votes indicated no preference as long as the open house was held on a Saturday.
John Huber commented that for the members in attendance at the meeting the consensus was to host the open house on a Saturday. He said this left the date for the open house to be Nov. 18 or Dec. 1.
Bunn suggested an all-day event on parade day with the open house in the morning and afternoon with the Christmas parade that evening. Huber made a motion to host the open house on Dec. 1, which was unanimously approved by the five retail businesses in attendance at the meeting.