Summer is off to a good start. It’s time to enjoy the region in all its rugged, green and mountainous glory. Here are some events to mark on your calendar this month.
• The Kingsport Town Center Association will host a Father’s Day themed shop on Thursday, June 2 from 5-8 pm with extended hours, refreshments, specials and more.
• The Kingsport Axmen kick off their 2022 season with a home game against the Greeneville Flyboys on Thursday June 2 at Hunter Wright Stadium. For more information, visit https://www.mlb.com/appalachian-league/kingsport.
• GSM Filtration will celebrate its 10th anniversary at Kingsport on Thursday 16th June from 5-7pm GSM is located at 2015 Gateway Park Court.
• Eastman Credit Union‘s new location at 225 Clinchfield St., Kingsport will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, June 16 at 11 a.m.
Notes from the field
Do you realize that the Boone Dam has been closed for nearly eight years? I was still a student at the University of Tennessee when the decision was made to drain the lake to repair a sinkhole that had formed near the base of the dam, which raised concerns about internal erosion.
But this summer, everything changed.
The reservoir is rising at a rate of about 2 feet per week until it reaches its optimum operating altitude of 1,382 feet above sea level in July, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority. This is 30 feet larger than the lake that has been held for years and, according to TVA, will expand the pool by approximately 1,400 acres in area since repairs began. (You can monitor the level of Lake Boone or any other reservoir in the Tennessee River watershed by following the TVA cell phone lake level monitoring app).
The lake officially reopened on Memorial Day weekend, including the beach where locals gathered to soak up the summer sun. It will undoubtedly be the best place for boats and those who want to be on the water this summer and have a picnic nearby, but it will also offer more than just a waterway for the summer.
The opening of the lake will hopefully serve as a boost to local businesses – especially lakeside restaurants – real estate, tourism and more this summer. It is also expected to spur an increase in sales of recreational vehicles, boats and water sports. And it all comes just a month before the opening of a regional attraction, the forthcoming Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Bristol, which is expected to draw an influx of visitors to the Tri-Cities.
Not to mention, the lake also doubles as a nearby water destination for locals, which is a little easier on your gas tank amid rising gas prices.
The lake is centrally located near Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City and offers over 4,000 acres of water and wildlife. It is considered a small lake compared to others, but undoubtedly attracts water lovers of all kinds to the shores.
Another problem posed by the sinkhole in 2014 was low water levels and fewer fish available. This year, not only will the water be replenished, but the fish should also be plentiful.
The lake project involved various clean-up events organized by the Boone Lake Association, the removal of vegetation from years of tree growth and weeds in the lake, as well as efforts to return various species of fish to the waters. before reopening.
Now we just have to enjoy our newly repaired lake, keep it clean, and enjoy the weather on and by the water in our area.