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Kiwanis bringing back ‘Nolichucky Opry’ every Friday

The Nolichucky Opry music series will be held every Friday in The Gathering Place in downtown Erwin.

By Richard Rourk

The Gathering Place will be the place to be every Friday this summer as  the Kiwanis Club of Erwin brings back the Nolichucky Opry to downtown Erwin beginning in June. 

“We are excited to be sponsoring The Nolichucky Opry concert series again this year,” said Kiwanis Club President Saundra Miller. 

“The concerts run every Friday night starting June 3 and ending Aug. 5,” Miller added. “This year we have adjusted the starting time for the concert just a little later so it can be cooler for our audience and our band  members.”

She noted that concerts will now start at 8 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. The event will be held at the Gathering Place on N. Main Ave. 

Miller said that she hopes to see some familiar faces at this year’s lineup of shows, as well as some new ones. 

“This year audience members can look forward to some returning bands that have been favorites in the past as well as some new faces,” Miller said. “With ten performance dates scheduled, we hope to offer something for every person to enjoy. Our goal is for families and friends to get together at the Gathering Place, bring their camp chairs, sit outside in our downtown surrounded by our beautiful mountains and enjoy some live music. It’s a great way to have family time and fellowship at no cost.”

Miller said she and her fellow Kiwanians are proud to showcase some of the best artists around while paying homage to traditional venues in Unicoi County. 

“The Kiwanis Club of Erwin had sponsored a campfire concert series  for many years in the past, but a few years ago we decided to move it downtown to increase accessibility and to have a rain location at Erwin Town Hall,” Miller said. 

“Many years ago there used to be a Nolichucky Opry performance space in Erwin and we were inspired by that to bring the series downtown and offer this free entertainment option for the community,” she added. 

“Since there’s no charge, we just asked the community to come out and enjoy the show every Friday night. Attendance is a wonderful way to let us know that you enjoy the program and want it to continue.”

Miller and company hope to bring some happiness to the community. “One of the goals of the Kiwanis is to make life better for the people of our community, especially our children,”  Miller said. “Providing a free, family-friendly event that everyone can enjoy is just one of the many ways we support that goal. The Kiwanis Club has several events coming up later this year that support our organization’s goals. One event that the whole community looks forward to is our annual Christmas Shopping tour,  but before that, we have some fundraisers planned to support both old and new initiatives including our goal of building an outdoor classroom at the high school. Look for more information about that coming soon.”

The Kiwanis Club of Erwin is thankful for all those that make this event such a success. “We couldn’t have done the program with so many performance nights this year without the support of the Town of Erwin and the help of Jamie Rice who has just been amazing to work with,” Miller said. “We also couldn’t have done this without the wonderful community coming out to support the concert series. We appreciate everyone’s support of this concert series.”

The schedule for the summer music series follows:

• June 3, 700 South

• June 10, Troublesome Hollow

• June 17, Jonah Riddle & the Carolina Express

• June 24, Zach McNabb & the Tennessee Esquires

• July 1, Cliff and Kristin Sliger

• July 8, The Tennessee Bluegrass Band

• July 15, King Springs Road

• July 22, My New Favorites

• July 29, Adam Larkey and Friends

• Aug. 5, UCHS Bluegrass Band

In the event of inclement weather, performances will be held indoors at Erwin Town Hall.