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  • Writer's pictureSheila Caldwell

TN Dept. of Tourist Development Presents Johnson County Officials with $31,500 Tourism Enhancement Grant Check

Last April, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill to make the country rock anthem, Copperhead Road by Steve Earle, the twelfth official state song. In continuing the recognition this honor has garnered, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) presented a check to Johnson County in the amount of $31,500 as a part of the Tourism Enhancement Grant for the creation of the Copperhead Road Landmark. The ceremonial check was presented by Melanie Beauchamp,  Assistant Commissioner, Rural Tourism & Outreach for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, to Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter at the Doe Mountain Recreation Area Adventure Center on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

Funding through the Tourism Enhancement Grant will help underwrite the cost of this unique landmark, which will be located near the iconic road in Johnson County at the Watauga Lake Winery in Butler.  Tim White, Bluegrass star and host of the PBS show, “Song of the Mountains,” and the artist of The Birthplace of Country Music Mural in Bristol, is collaborating on the creation of the landmark which is slated to be unveiled in late May. More information will be made available soon through


Tennessee’s Tourism Enhancement Grants support cities and counties seeking to invest in their local tourism assets, lift visitation and increase economic impact. Eligible projects include stages, signage, historic preservation, ADA compliancy and other improvements to local attractions and venues.


The (TDTD) is dedicated to driving economic growth and tourism in all 95 counties. The full list of awardees, including projects, is available here.

Pictured: front, L>R: Sheila Caldwell, Melanie Beauchamp, Mayor Larry Potter;

back, L>R: Allison Eastridge & Charles Ridlehuber

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