Elizabethton city manager says it’s “premature” to speculate on future of city events

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The future of three Elizabethton events is up in the air after the city’s Chamber of Commerce confirmed on Thursday that it would no longer sponsor them.

A chamber representative confirmed to News Channel 11 on Thursday that the Covered Bridge Celebration, the Christmas tree lighting celebration and the Christmas parade would “no longer be a part of (the chamber’s) programs.”

Previous: Elizabethton Carter County Chamber of Commerce to no longer host three major events

City Manager Daniel Estes wasn’t able to shed any more light on what would become of the community’s three major events.

“I think it’s premature for anybody to speculate what the outcome will be, but I see it as an opportunity for the community to come together and rally around one of our signature events,” Estes said on Thursday.

The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, less than a week away. Estes said the event is still taking place as planned.

Elizabethton is implementing a new Main Street program. The goal of the program would be to increase tourism in the area similar to Main Street programs in surrounding areas.

Main Street Elizabethton Director Courtney Washburn said Thursday that the program is still in its infancy and hasn’t picked up any of the city’s events.

“We’re a brand-new program and this year is about strategy and research, she said, adding that Main Street Elizabethton will be seeking accreditation through Main Street America.

The Carter County U.T. Extension Office hasn’t picked up any of the events either, according to director Vickie Clark.

“We agree that we don’t want the community Christmas tree lighting event to not happen,” she said. “That’s too special for our community.

“We would be willing to pick that up if that is the case, but we don’t have any kind of funds to replace lights or anything like that. We would need financial assistance.”

The Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce announced a press conference to reveal more details. The conference will take place Friday at noon.

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