Outdoor festival slated for the Gap
Published 11:15 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023
BY JAN RUNIONS
Mark your calendars for one of the biggest outdoor festivals in the tri-state area, slated for July 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – rain or shine. This second annual event is following on the heels of a very successful inaugural fest held last year in Cumberland Gap where more than 2,000 people showed up – a substantial amount of the individuals traveling hundreds of miles to participate.
The Tri-State Outdoors Fest celebrates all manner of recreational fun just a hop and a jump away from the historic Gap region.
Some 50 vendors are reportedly cranking up their wares in anticipation of the event, some traveling from distant locales that include Maryland, Indiana and Georgia.
Event coordinators have enticed several new entities to the Festival – the most anticipated being ‘Blood, Sweat & Beers 5 K Run’ slated to begin at 8 a.m. The run is hosted in collaboration with Cumberland Gap’s Barley Made It Running Club and partnered with HOKA Footwear.
Also new to the Fest is The Jeep Crew and their prized Wranglers, who will host a night ride through the local Cumberland Mountains.
Another soon-to-be-popular event is the Backcountry Cook Off, presented by Alt Route Meals and boasting its theme ’Backcountry Chili.’
Meanwhile, the Campbell County Raging Axes will be overseeing the axe throwing competition.
A plethora of children’s activities have been added to this year’s schedule, including the Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest slated for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and geared for ages 5-16.
The Children’s Entrepreneur Market is another addition to the festivities. The Market allows kids to create and sell their own products from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Returning fan favorites include the Climbing Wall and Archery Instruction. The Seminar and Guided Hike will provide basic wilderness first aid along with instruction on the how-to’s of Cherokee medicines and mountain biking.
National award-winning author and fest favorite Mark Warren will be returning as well.
Live music will permeate the festival from noon to 5 p.m. with the Beer Garden staying open until 4 p.m.
Copying last year’s idea is the major community cleanup occurring the next day – July 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The 2022 cleanup resulted in more than 3,000 pounds of waste collection. The cleanup efforts also helped clear the Little Yellow Creek located in Middlesboro.
Festival coordinators are asking for volunteers for the day of the festival and during the cleanup on Sunday. Both events count as community service hours.
Event coordinator Guardians of the Gap is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.