Last updated: June 25. 2014 3:08PM - 742 Views
By - manders@civitasmedia.com



Marisa Anders | Claiborne ProgressThe 2013 White Lightning Trail Festival, as seen from the Pinnacle Overlook in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. This year's festival is slated for this weekend, and organizers say there will be food, fun and entertainment that will satisfy people of all ages.
Marisa Anders | Claiborne ProgressThe 2013 White Lightning Trail Festival, as seen from the Pinnacle Overlook in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. This year's festival is slated for this weekend, and organizers say there will be food, fun and entertainment that will satisfy people of all ages.
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The award-winning White Lightning Trail Festival is on tap for this weekend in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.


Friday and Saturday are full of things for people of all ages, from entertainment to crafters and food vendors.


“We will have great food vendors, featuring a variety from which to choose,” said Carl Nichols, Claiborne County tourism director and festival director, naming just a sampling of what will be available. “Wonderful and unique art and craft vendors will be selling their wares. There will be activities for children. Visit the campsite of the Long Hunters from the Wilderness Road State Park. See a blacksmith demonstrate his art, as well as, ceramic art, basket weaving, wool spinning, and the making of stained glass. See your favorite flavor of ice cream being made in a 1932 Maytag washer.”


The festival has grown each year, and Nichols hopes for around 30,000 people at this year’s festival.


The WLTF was named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for June 2014 by the Southeast Tourism Society, and Nichols has traveled far and wide to spread the word about the annual event. The festival celebrates the history of the area, through which the White Lightning Trail runs.


The WLTF events actually kick off on Thursday, with the WLTF Beauty Pageant at Cumberland Gap High School auditorium. The pageant will be held from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.


On Friday, the Berkau Park Stage will feature the Ken Wilson Band from 3-3:50 p.m., Chelsea Ryan Band from 4-4:50 p.m., Kitty Wampus Band from 5-5:50 p.m., Southern Steel Band from 6-6:50 p.m. and wind up with the Shadow Ridge Band from 7 until 8 p.m.


The Festival Park Stage will also have plenty of entertainment on Friday. Becca Davis will perform from 2-2:50 p.m., Hannah Odom from 3-3:50 p.m., Lakyn King from 4-4:50 p.m., Rachel Lynn from 5-5:50 p.m. and Phil Smith and Friends from 6-6:50 p.m.


The Middlesboro School of Dance will perform on the street from 4-4:30 p.m. Friday.


Saturday’s events kick off early, with a 5K Run beginning at 8 a.m. and registration from 6:30 -7:30 a.m. For more information or to register, contact run director Tracy Brooks at 423-851-2665 or tnbrooks24@gmail.com.


For musical entertainment Saturday, the Berkau Park Stage will feature the Realbilly’s Band from noon until 12:50 p.m., Michael Jacobs from 1-1:50 p.m., Strange Brew Band from 2-2:50 p.m., Tennessee 90 Band from 3-3:50 p.m., Snake Hollow Band from 4-4:50 p.m., Pine Mountain Grass from 5-5:50 p.m., Kelsey Kate Band from 6-6:50 p.m. and Lockdown Band from 7-8 p.m.


Saturday’s schedule for the Festival Park Stage includes Tommy White from 11-11:50 a.m., Deric Jeffers from noon until 12:50 p.m., MacKenzie Partin from 1-1:50 p.m., Arville Smith from 2-2:50 p.m., Michael Jacobs from 3-3:50 p.m., T.J. George from 4-4:50 p.m., Chanioa Partin from 5-5:50 p.m. and Zac Hart from 6-6:50 p.m.


Street performers on Saturday will include Country Girls Line Dance from 11-11:30 a.m., Broken Spur Line Dance from noon until 12:30 p.m., Cumberland Gap Dance Club from 1-1:30 p.m., Steppin’ Out Line Dance from 2-2:30, Pine Mtn. Dancers from 3-3:30 p.m., Kickin’ It Country from 4-4:30 p.m., Stoney Creek Cloggers from 5-5:30 p.m. and Tri-State Martial Arts from 6-6:30 p.m.


“Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy two stages of live entertainment,” Nichols said. “Street dancers will be performing clogging, line dancing, square dancing, ballet and martial arts.”


Other events on Saturday include the first annual Quilt Exhibit, which will be held Saturday inside the LMU Convention Center from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. for more information contact the Quilt Exhibit director Joe Wolfenbarger at 865-585-5941 or whistlestop93@hotmail.com.


The Third Annual WLTF Bike Run, which will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation this year, will begin in Cumberland Gap at 10 a.m. and will return to Cumberland Gap around 2 p.m. The Bike Run director is Dickie Runions, for more information call 423-307-9129.


“Be present around 2 p.m. Saturday as we expect a large outpouring of bikers participating in the bike run to benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation,” Nichols added. “It will be fun for the entire family.”


The WLTF Car Show “Cruise-in” will be held from 4 until 8 p.m. Saturday. Antique, vintage, classic cars and trucks will be there and there is no pre-registration required.


“It’s going to be a great festival,” said Nichols.


The festival will run from 3 until 8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday.


In addition to festival vendors, several businesses in Cumberland Gap will be open.


For additional information, go to “Events” at www.claibornecounty.com or call Carl Nichols at 865-585-7386.


Marisa Anders may be reached at 423-626-3222 or on Twitter @newsgirl88. Follow the Claiborne Progress on Twitter @ClaibProgressTN.

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