By Brad Hicks

The second annual Erwin Great Outdoors Festival, an event showcasing the opportunities for outdoor recreation available throughout Unicoi County, will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Erwin.

The event, presented by the Town of Erwin, will feature a variety of nature-inspired vendors and demonstrations and will be held along Main Avenue near the Unicoi County Courthouse.

“Whether you are digging in your own garden, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or rafting the Nolichucky River, this nature inspired festival has something for you,” a release announcing the event states.

Vendors on hand will offer a variety of crafts and items, including lawn furniture, birdhouses, pottery and yard art, as well as various annuals and perennials.

The Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Project Healing Waters will be sponsoring several interactive demonstrations and special events throughout the day. These two groups are also sponsoring a showing of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at 3:30 p.m. at Capitol Theatre.

According to its website, the International Fly Fishing Film Festival consists of short and feature-length films produced by professional filmmakers from around the world “showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing.”

While the Erwin Great Outdoors Festival is free to attend, tickets for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival are $12.

This year’s festival will feature an “8 o’clock Block.” This block will be along Main Avenue from Tucker Street to Gay Street and will feature music, food vendors, some craft vendors and the Johnson City Brewing Company beer tent.

There will also be live music throughout the festival. The Unicoi County High School Bluegrass Band will take the stage at 10:30 a.m., Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats will perform at noon, Porch 40 will begin its performance at 1:30 p.m., The Company Stores will begin playing at 3:30 p.m., Greg Forbes will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and KarahAnn Kiser will perform beginning at 6:45 p.m.

The Erwin Great Outdoors Festival will also feature a free kids zone, which will include painting, planting and kayaking and fishing demonstrations, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Main Avenue.

The Erwin Trunk Project public art project will also make its debut along Main Avenue during the Erwin Great Outdoors Festival. Through this project, eight fiberglass elephant statues were purchased prior to last year’s Erwin Elephant Revival event and painted by regional artists.

The painted statues will remain on display in downtown Erwin throughout the summer and, later this year, will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee located in Hohenwald.

Major sponsors of Erwin Great Outdoors Festival are Cumulus Broadcasting, Waste Management and Bristol Event Parking and Campground.

For more information on the Erwin Great Outdoors Festival, contact Erwin Communications Specialist Jamie Rice at 743-6231 or communications@erwintn.org.