JOHNSON CITY, TENN., (August 27th, 2021) — After canceling plans in 2020 due to the pandemic, the third annual Meet the Mountains Festival returned to Johnson City, Tennessee, this August to invite folks to come outside and discover outdoor recreation opportunities and learn about programs in the region from local vendors.
Johnson City, Tennessee
“There’s no reason to be bored in Northeast Tennessee, especially if outdoor recreation is something that you like to do. There’s literally something for everybody here,” said Kayla Carter in 2018, when organizing the first-ever annual Meet the Mountains Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee.
The Meet the Mountains Festival took place this August 20th and 21st. Since 2018, the Appalachian Highlands region has seen a rise in growth of outdoor recreation of all kinds: new biking trails, talk of a whitewater park, and new rec shops and entrepreneurs.
SORBA Tri-Cities hosted a bike skills set-up on festival grounds for participants to come out and test their demo fleet, as they had in previous years. This is a great way for kids to build confidence and try out the sport, especially if it's their first time!
Samm Keys, this year's MTM Festival Director, was tasked with navigating plans for the festival around the pandemic. By expanding the music talent (Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root) out to King Commons, this allowed for much more space for festival goers to spread out and Meet the Mountains in a safe, outdoors atmosphere.
The festival also promoted their first online auction this year, where donors like USA Raft Adventure Resort and Trophy Maker Fly Fishing, and several others, contributed items up to bid that would support NETREP. Any Meet the Mountains Festival product or event goes toward NETREP's Outdoor Development Foundation. The foundation's mission is to foster stewardship, education, infrastructure, and economy in Northeast Tennessee.
The festival had over 50 vendors this year with an eclectic mix of local artisans like Tessa Stacy of Wildflower Collective, as well as regional legends like the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium also made an appearance on grounds this year to celebrate their 50th anniversary!
Fun For All
Folks came out to support the third annual MTM Festival in a family-friendly atmosphere promoting health and well-being by getting outside and learning about all the opportunities in our region. From whitewater boating and mountain biking to Boy Scouts programs and frisbee dogs, the feeling of community in Johnson City feels stronger than ever!
Send Me On My Way
Friday night wrapped up with some dancing and musical talent from Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root.
Vendors, volunteers, festy goers, dogs, kids, and everyone showed up this year to Meet the Mountains and support the community here in The Appalachian Highlands.
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