Bootleg Bash draws large crowd to kickoff Battle at Bristol tailgating


JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)– Folks in Johnson City packed Founders Park on Thursday night for the Bootleg Bash. Officials in the downtown area organized the free get together for UT and Virginia Tech fans to jumpstart tailgating for the big Battle at Bristol game.

Attendees could enjoy food trucks and we even found some local merchants selling UT and Virginia Tech gear. Merchant Matt Whitson with Overmountain Outdoors tells us what brought him out to Bootleg Bash.

Whitson said, “First, to celebrate the Vols and have a little fun. Second, to hopefully sell a few things and just get out in the community,”

The event also boasted live music including Knoxville-based band The Black Lillies as its headliner. We were able to speak with the band who says they’re thrilled to be able to play at home here in east Tennessee.

Cruz Contreras with The Black Lillies said, “We just have a lot of connections here and anytime we’re in east Tennessee there’s kind of a homecoming feel to it.”

“A bunch of us are UT grads, I am, and I was there for the ‘98 championship year and I’m a big fan so we might even play a little Rocky Top tonight,” he said.

A large crowd of spectators from both far and wide took part in the night full of festivities.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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