Battle at Bristol fans converge on State Street ahead of game

Bristol's iconic State Street sign is getting prepped for many downtown events leading up to the epic "Battle At Bristol" football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech on Saturday.

BRISTOL - Bristol’s iconic State Street sign is getting prepped for many downtown events leading up to the epic “Battle At Bristol” football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech on Saturday.

On Wednesday, city crews installed new orange and maroon lights for the sign to match the team colors for the Vols and Hokies.

Crews lit the sign Thursday night in the midst of the Battle of the State Line Kickoff in downtown Bristol.

Bristol's historic State Street is decorated decorated in orange and white on the Tennessee side and maroon and orange on the Virginia side.



While all of downtown businesses will be open and welcome to fans of all team colors, 620 State Line will serve as the home base for Vol alumni, while Hokie fans will be headquartered at Quaker Steak and Lube.

On Friday, hundreds of excited fans flooded the streets for a combination block party and pep rally.

City leaders and business owners have been anticipating this day for years, planning for the huge crowds.

There will be visitors from every state in the union represented in the more than 150,000 people expected at the game, as well as people from at least four different countries.

No matter which football teams wins on Saturday, the cities of Bristol in Tennessee and Virginia feel they've already won.

Here's the schedule of events for downtown activities, via


5:30-9:30 p.m., BREWFEST AT BRISTOL (, a craft beer festival with 40+ breweries and live music at the Country Music Mural, will take place at the Downtown Center on State Street. Brewfest at Bristol is a ticketed event, 21+.

6:00 p.m. — 10:30 p.m., Live music by award-winning FOLK SOUL REVIVAL, along with BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY and JAMES MEADOWS on the Food City State Street main stage. THIS IS A FREE EVENT!

9:15 p.m., SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTING THE HISTORIC BRISTOL SIGN — you don't want to miss this! Live music will continue from Folk Soul Revival and will conclude at 10:15 p.m.


11:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m., Fans will get a chance to meet a number of former players from both Tennessee and Virginia Tech, several of whom have played in the NFL. The players will be on hand to sign autographs and visit the SPORTS DESK, which will be set up on the Food City main stage. Pep bands from both schools, as well as cheerleaders and mascots, have been invited to participate and to get fan bases pumped up! 

Fans will also get to participate in painting the University of Tennessee "Rock" and the Virginia Tech "Hokie," play cornhole throughout the day. Also on tap is live music from SPANK and BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY, beginning at 11 a.m.

You can get more information at this website.


(© 2016 WBIR)


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