Springing Back to Life: Festival Season 2021 in the Tennessee River Valley Rebounds

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fairly difficult
Festival organizers up and down the Tennessee River Valley report that the past few months represented a delightfully welcome reversal from the dismal days of 2020
Not only do festivals provide community-building and wellness-enhancing social contact among neighbors, friends and friendly strangers, they're often also a central component of economic sustainability for local nonprofits dedicated to heritage protection and cultural preservation.

Oh, what a difference a year makes! No more are event promoters telling tales of pandemic-lockdown woe in the Tennessee River Valley.

Relaxed attitudes and eased restrictions on public gatherings have worked wonders for festivals cancelled or dramatically scaled back last year. By most accounts, 2021 events did exceptionally well this spring, both in attendance and vendor sales -- even if the weather occasionally tried to inflict residual sniffles.

Local businesses that cater to visitors and guests were in dire need -- and appear to have received -- a "vital bounce" in commercial activity this spring, said Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association Executive Director Alicia Phelps, who noted that the festival and event sector is a key component of the tourism and…
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