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Summertime is here!

The official first day of summer has arrived but for most of us, summer begins when school ends! So, what is summer in the Tug Valley?

Summer is hearing June Bugs buzzing in the morning and frogs croaking at night. Someone is always grilling in their backyard. The delicious smell makes you hungry instantly.

It’s early morning hikes in the mountains. If you’re in Williamson, the hike might be to Death Rock. At Death Rock, you have a birds-eye view of the town. If you’re in Lenore, your hike might take you to the Devil’s Tea Table. No matter what area you live in or where you hike, you’ll have the most amazing look at the mountains.

Summer is late-night bonfires with family, friends, or anyone that wants to join the fun! Talking, laughing, and enjoying the nighttime breeze. It’s making s’mores by a small campfire. Telling scary stories about the ghostly “woman in white” that walks up and down the road after midnight.

It’s getting up early in the morning to go kayaking with friends on the Tug Fork River. A day spent on the river with friends is a day well spent. Then there are those late-night fishing trips after everyone else has put away their rods and reels for the day.

Summer mornings are spent working in the garden. Tending to the rows of corn, cucumber patches, and beds of lettuce. Not everyone has a garden though. If you don’t it's Saturday morning at the Williamson Farmers Market talking to the growers about how the tomatoes are doing this year while picking the best-looking peppers and onions to grill that day.

Its kids wandering around the yard after dark mason jar in hand with holes punched in the lid catching lightning bugs. The hope is to catch enough of them to make a night light for your bedroom, but it always ends up a “catch and release” situation instead.

Summer is dirt bikes and ATV’s out on the trails. Racing around those mountain roads and enjoying every minute! If you’re lucky, rain the day before gives mud puddles to split wide-open!

It’s swimming in backyard pools or sliding on the slip and slide! It’s spraying each other with a garden hose until an adult catches you and tells you to stop wasting all the water!

Summer is watching fireworks to celebrate Independence Day! Going to the Southside Mall to get the best spot on the hill to watch the spectacular display put on each year by the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department is a summertime must. Walking through the Mingo Pike Car Club Car Show, shopping in the mall, having a snow cone, and hanging out with friends is what it's all about.

Its friends sitting outside playing music on the porch. If you don’t play guitar, you listen and sing along. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not, having fun is the best part. (If you can’t sing – just sing a little quieter!)

That’s just a little bit of what summer is in the Tug Valley. Summer is something different to everyone, but there’s always something to do. What do you do in the summer?

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