KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Organizers offered News Channel 11 a sneak peek at the festivities planned for the 14th annual Racks by the Tracks Festival this Saturday.
Those who wish to purchase tickets for the wine and beer tasting event will have the opportunity to sample over 100 different drinks, and nearly a dozen barbecue vendors are set to line Clinchfield Street.
The festival has been held in the spring every year since 2008, but last year, thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic, it was held in the fall.
Frank Lett, the senior associate executive director of Visit Kingsport, told News Channel 11 that even with the change in date and the public health concerns, 2021’s turnout was “great.”
“We were down a little bit last year but our numbers are already ahead of last year. So we’re expecting back to our normal numbers pre-pandemic so it can be you know, 7500 to 10,000 people throughout the day,” Lett said.
Along with tickets to the tasting and concert, festival-goers can enjoy an abundance of barbecue for free. Organizers with Visit Kingsport said there are also tickets available for designated drivers to enjoy the drinking area without drinking.
“That’s for folks that will want to hang out with their friends but not participate in the tasting but want to be in the tasting area, and then they’ve got a safe way to get home,” Lett added.
Among the many sponsors for the event is Powell Valley National Bank. The bank is the main sponsor of the road races, which are 5 and 10 kilometers.
“When we decided to move to Kingsport, there was never a question that our location was going to be downtown. And what better way to be able to support downtown and market downtown and the sponsor the road race, you know, brings in several 100 racers and they started by our bank and it’s just a great way to promote downtown,” said Ted Fields, senior vice president and market executive for Powell Valley National Bank.
Fields explained that to the sponsors of the event, it’s all about giving back to the local community and the local economy.
But it’s also about having fun.
“Good food, good spirits, and a lot of good fellowship, and I would encourage everyone to come down on Saturday and enjoy it,” Fields said.
Myron Woods, head cider maker for Slammin Ethyl, knows a thing or two about good spirits. This is the seventh year his cidery has presented its product at the Kingsport-based festival.
“The reason you should come is one you’re going to have the best cider that you’ve ever tasted from us,” Woods told News Channel 11.
He said every year he presents his product, he grows prouder. As a home-brewer, the Racks by the Tracks festival draws a lot of attention to his cider, 11 kinds of which he plans to present Saturday.
“Come out and have a really good time and come and make us laugh and make us have a good time and that we’ll have a great time here,” Woods said.
There is a lot to do Saturday, with a little for everyone at the family-friendly beer fest.
“It’s a lot in one day, people can come no matter what age they are from, from kids to adults, they’re going to enjoy a certain aspect of the festival,” Lett said. “So whether they want to run in the road race or ride the carousel for free on Saturday or participate in the beer tasting and seltzer tasting, barbecue tasting, there’s something for everybody.”
For tickets, click here.