Byrdstown-Pickett Co Update Sept 3, 2021

Happy Friday!!

Happy Labor Day! Make memories and stay safe! Reminder, our office and many others will be closed on Monday in Observance of Labor Day. The August Business of the Month is East Port Marina! Please read their story below. 

COMING UP THIS WEEKEND AND SOONObey River Grill/East Port Marina will have trivia tonight (Friday and every Friday night this season). We don’t expect any farmers at the market this weekend, but they should be back starting next Wednesday and Friday. Cars and Coffee is Saturday morning from 8-10AM at the Byrdstown Activities Park. 

Live Music: Friday and Saturday evenings at Dixie CafeThe Steel Coop, and Sulphur Creek Resort/Mike’s Landing Restaurant and Lounge (EVERY NIGHT)! Forbus General Store is having Justin Miller (aka Elvis) on Saturday evening from 6-8PM. Backyard Grill is having live music on Saturday nights through October 9, 2021. Obey River Grill is having live music on Sunday and Monday evening. Plenty of other great food out there! You can find our member places to dine at this

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park has a variety of workshops this weekend. Space is limited so you need to register for the one(s) you are planning to attend.

It’s time to RSVP for their fundraising Gala on September 18 at 6PM for Good Neighbors Theatre. At this time, this is still going to happen. They would also like to let everyone know they are accepting donations for the Rollercoaster Yard Sale that is also a fundraiser for the group. If you have something to donate, please call Tony Milsted at (931) 267-6678. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be hosting the Annual Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival on September 18th as well. We still have plenty of space in the Fall Dale Hollow Bass Classic on October 2 & 3, 2021. If you didn’t get a form, you can download the form here. The Rollercoaster Yard Sale will be that weekend as well – September 30-Oct. 2. The Town of Byrdstown 3K/5K will be the following weekend – on October 9, 2021. Forms are available at the Welcome Center and Town Hall or by email request. If you would be interested in sponsoring/donating this year, please reply to this email and we will get things worked out for you. We are celebrating our 10th year and would like to make our donation amount be $10,000.00 for 10 years! We appreciate your helping the committee reach their goal. WCTE TV has a several events coming up in the near future. You can click here to learn more.


DAV will meet at the Welcome Center on the second Saturday of each month at 9:30AM

The Rescue Squad meets the 1st Thursday of each month at the Rescue Squad Building at 7PM

ID & JECD Boards will meet on Wednesday, September 8 at 11:00AM at the Welcome Center

Chamber Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, September 9 at 11:00AM at Sunset Restaurant by The Steel Coop

The Board of Education will meet on Thursday, September 9 at 7PM at the Board of Education Office

The Byrdstown – Pickett County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate East Port Marina for being selected as the business of the month for August 2021.

Richard DeVries has several businesses which he is an owner and/or partners with in Pickett County;East Port Marina and The Farm at East Port. He has been a member of the chamber of commerce 14 years this coming November. Richard has owned East Port Marina for the entire 14 years and the business has grown tremendously, at least four times over.

Richard’s background has always been in sales and he has taken advantage of opportunities which have come his way and has given then more than 100% of his time to all his endeavors. Richard was a district manager at Office Depot for about thirteen years. In 2006 Office Depot starting making some poor decisions and he knew their decisions couldn’t last so he decided he needed to make a change in his career and it was either going to take him to the Bahamas or he wanted to purchase a marina. Since the Bahamas was not a reality, he set his eyes on East Port Marina. He has told his son on numerous occasions if you want to be successful you only have to work seven and half days.

Richard stumbled across East Port Marina in 2006 with his wife Wendy by his side, who was very supportive of his decision to purchase a marina until he actually put the offer in and then she told him she never thought he would do it and she sure as heck didn’t think anyone would give him money to do it. But here we are almost 14 years later and he has one of the most successful businesses in Pickett County.

In 2008 the first full year in operation, the economy tanked, but he still feels he made the best decision for his family. Currently Richard is working with his son Nathan and Nathan’s wife Lee in the daily operations of the businesses. Richard, family and partners plans include seeing “The Farm” at East Port take off with festivals and events which would bring a huge revenue stream in for the county. Being located two hours from Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, the 90-acre farm, 35 acres hay field and pond would be a perfect venue for festivals and other events, it’s almost like a natural amp theater.

Richard feels we as the chamber can continue to support all the businesses by advertising, getting the word out and with the board changing we are hopefully improving for all the businesses. Richard hopes Byrdstown continues its efforts to the revitalization with all the mom-and-pop shops, such as Rustic Roots Boutique, Dale Hollow Outdoors and Southern Dreams Bakery. He feels the most valuable thing the chamber has is

Richard DeVries runs daily specials and has live music on occasion, follow East Port Marina, the Farm at East Port on Facebook at or visit them at 5652 Eastport Rd #6429, Alpine, TN 38543, 931-879-7511.

If ANYONE needs any help, questions answered, etc., please reach out to our office (931) 864-7195, the County Executive’s Office (931) 864-3798 or Mayor Gibson’s Office (931) 864-6215.

Bill Robbins, Byrdstown-Pickett Co. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janice Neal & Donella Beaty, Assistants to the Executive Director