ROGERSVILLE — After a year when most of its events were canceled due to the pandemic, on Thursday the Rogersville Heritage Association released an optimistic schedule of events for 2021 featuring old favorites and a few new creations.

Not all RHA events were canceled last year, including the annual Heritage Days in October, as well as a new mini Heritage Days in July called the Vintage Market.

However, all of its Christmas events were canceled, including the highly anticipated inaugural Dickens of a Christmas festival that was scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

These events are important For two main reasons

RHA Director Melissa Nelson told the Times News on Thursday her board of directors approved an optimistic 2021 slate of events in hopes that the pandemic gets under control and life can get somewhat back to normal.

If the virus is still a problem when the time comes, events will again be canceled, which would be unfortunate because they are important for two main reasons.

First, they’re fun for the community and help promote the beauty and history of Rogersville.

But they’re also necessary fundraisers.

The RHA’s primary function is maintaining and restoring historic properties under its control — including the Hale Springs Inn, Crockett Creek Park, Rogers Tavern and the Rogersville Depot.

COVID-19 stalls some RHA projects

Currently, the restoration of the Rogers Tavern remains stalled thanks to state grant funding being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rogersville Heritage Association also wants to install lighting at Crockett Creek Park to help with security and also so the public can enjoy the park at night.

The Rogersville Depot is in need of repairs, particularly to an area of the exterior that was damaged by water due to a faulty gutter.

And there is work needed at the Hale Springs Inn, including HVAC repairs and preservation of the patio.

“Contributing to the preservation of our historic town”

“We’ve had some issues with the heating and cooling at the inn that we were not prepared for, and that’s a hefty charge,” Nelson said. “Thank goodness for our great members who supported us throughout the year and keep us going. But we really do depend on these events to assist.”

Nelson added, “Of course we want people to get out and enjoy our beautiful city, and we’re doing this for them, but we also need these events. The idea is for everyone to get out and have fun, while at the same time contributing to the preservation of our historic town.”

There is sometimes confusion about who is responsible for Rogersville’s festivals and events.

The RHA is one of a handful of organizations that organize events and festivals in town.

The Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Program is responsible for some events, including monthly Cruise-Ins during the summer and early autumn, the annual motorcycle Bike Night, the Halloween Trunk-Or-Treat, the Christmas parade and a variety of other, smaller downtown events.

The Rogersville Arts Council organizes a handful of arts and entertainment events each year.

As for Rogersville’s annual Fourth of July Celebration at the City Park, an independent committee raises money and does the organizing for that event.

Here’s the RHA’s schedule of events for 2021

Feb. 13: Valentine’s Dinner at the Hale Springs Inn. Reservations are suggested.

March 20: Wine tasting at the Hale Springs Inn. Reservations are suggested.

April 12: Salad Luncheon RHA fundraiser at the Hale Springs Inn.

April 22: Earth Day cleanup at Crockett Springs Park.

May 22: Historic Places and Spaces tour of historic Rogersville homes, businesses and other locations.

June 19: Vintage Market on Main Street followed by a benefit concert at the Hale Springs Inn with proceeds to help increase the longevity of the inn’s patio with some type of “historically aesthetic” cover.

July 17: Margaritaville at the Hale Springs Inn. Dinner, drinks and DJ. Reservations only.

Aug. 21: Roaring ’20s Gala and Auction. Catered by the Hale Springs Inn, but event location and cost to be determined.

Oct. 8-10: The annual Heritage Days festival.

Nov. 8: Soup & Sandwich Luncheon at the Hale Springs Inn.

Nov. 19-20: Decorating for Christmas to begin at the Hale Springs Inn.

Nov. 27: A Dickens of a Christmas presents a Merry Little Christmas Town daylong festival with performers in Charles Dickens-era attire, and a day of live entertainment, storytelling, caroling and Christmas arts and crafts.

Dec. 1-25: Gingerbread House Contest at the Hale Springs Inn.

Dec. 4: Breakfast with Santa at the Hale Springs Inn. Reservation only.

Dec. 11: Rogersville Christmas Tour of Homes.

Dec. 18: Tacky Sweater Contest at the Hale Springs Inn.