Sevierville Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival 2018

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It was a jam packed weekend downtown Sevierville with history walks, ‘chalk walk art,’ cooking competitions, bluegrass music, and lots of food. Sevierville has never been busier. Here are a few scenes from the 2018 Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival in downtown Sevierville.

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We saw that Bloomie,’ the festival mascot, made a lot of new friends on Friday evening.

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The Brad Hudson Band played on the Main Stage at 6:00 p.m.  Pictured from left to right: Josh Cantrell, Logan Hembree, Brad Hudson,  Dylan Abney, and Andy Stinnett. Brad Hudson and Andy Stinnett live in Sevier County.

 The Brad Hudson band took the Main Stage on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. Interestingly, they had a show the next day in Maryland! (Picture and video are courtesy of Ursula Stinnett.) This song is called “Pike County Breakdown.”

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After a passing shower, we were out and about on Court Avenue checking out the vendors.

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We loved this T-shirt on sale at the Ole Smoky table.

 

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We loved this honey truck with the live bees on display behind glass.

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These looked amazing. We had to just walk away.

 

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We took a walking tour at 6:00 on Friday evening. The clouds look dark over Bruce Street, but we were able to complete the tour before more rain arrived.

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Roasted sweet corn was highly recommended by festival goers.

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I looked up from my camera and saw Coach Wilhoit and the words ‘Rib King’ at the same moment. That made perfect sense!  Ellen and Shane Wilhoit enjoyed walking around and seeing the festival with family.

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Rain washed away the art from Friday afternoon, but the streets were dry by Saturday so I was able to see some examples from the Chalk Walk on Bruce, sponsored by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. I will cover that and an upcoming event for them in a new blog, coming soon.

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There was a barbeque tasting contest at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. It was VERY, Very popular with attendees. People could buy a ticket for $10 and get 15 samples from the cooking teams. Tasters voted by putting the cup with an entry number on it in a box. Don’t eat lunch before you try this.

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Barbeque tasting cups are placed on pizza boxes to allow tasters to transport them to a place to sit and try them. Excellent idea. Dress for hot weather and wear something dark so sauce won’t accidentally stain a shirt or pants. This is my advice for first timers to this event.

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You can buy a yellow or blue ticket. The teams are anonymous so you can judge the samples without bias. $10 for 15 samples. That equaled about a cup of barbeque—that is a lot! You may want to consider sharing with someone.

It takes a big grill to cook competitively. This wasn’t the largest one by far at the festival.

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A long line formed by 2:15. Don’t worry—it will move very quickly at start time.

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I went into the Arts in Common Gallery to say hello and to escape the heat. You can see through the window barbeque aficonados lining up for the tasting event . These rocking chairs will be auctioned off on June 9th at the gazebo. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog story in advance of this event.

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The assembly line serving the samples was efficient and speedy. These volunteers hardly looked up because they were so quick. Thank you!

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It takes a while to try 15 samples of barbeque so you have to find a cool place to sit. The free water was much appreciated at this point. All the samples were outstanding, in my opinion. I tend to like sweet/spicy sauce so several really appealed to me. Fun!

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Advertising, food, and competition collide in this sign. Will look forward to it next year too.

See you out and about in Sevierville.

 

Shine and Dine: Cinco in the City 2018

The Sevierville Commons Association knocked it out of the park with a fun event yesterday, a fundraiser that incorporated local food and spirits with the Cinco de Mayo date. It was a relaxed, comfortable and (at times) joyous event as patrons enjoyed food, refreshments, and music that made the day quite a pleasure. Follow along as we take you through the Shine and Dine Cinco in the City event.

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This new event will take the place of the fall Art Walk. Although many of us loved that event, the Shine and Dine has a lot to offer and I think that it will continue to grow. So glad that I got to attend the first one!

IMG_2272I met Karen at the Sheriff’s Dept. parking lot and we walked up Bruce Street to find the party. The festive spirit began at the entrance. We checked in and selected a bead necklace. Sombreros were a popular item while they lasted.

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The first vendor that we passed was the Old Forge Distillery. Old Forge offered two refreshments: a Margarita cocktail and a Sangria concoction that were both crowd pleasers. Their product is always excellent.

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Our favorite barbecue place had good things to give away. We love Buddy’s bar-b-que!

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Keeping true to the Cinco de Mayo theme, the Old Mill offered some outstanding, authentic guacamole, pico de gallo,  and steak tacos. This was the real thing and we really enjoyed it.

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Bistro 109 prepared meatball appetizers and hummus with cucumbers. They always have a beautiful table display so it is easy to find them. Loved the food!

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XXX Moonshine is always good to see at these events. Peaches and Cream and Coffee are the favorites.

IMG_2351Andrew Temple  and Keener Shanton observe the nice crowd attending the Sevierville Commons Shine and Dine event.

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Healthy Balance served pico de gallo for a good food selection. This reminds me… I think that I need to go by there and pick up some good things for lunch at work next week.

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Candace and Kevin Moon were enjoying the nice weather during Cinco in the City.

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I have heard good things about this restaurant on Newport Highway and hope to visit in the coming weeks. The baked pasta and a sample of their cheesecake were fabulous.

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Old Smoky never disappoints. From the creativity to the sample size of the refreshments, they really are a crowd pleaser at any event.

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Sevierville Commons members enjoying the success of Shine and Dine Cinco in the City.

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These were the cutest outfits!

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I did a blog story a few months ago called “Lift Your Spirits” about a visit to Sevier Distilling Company. We are going for a return visit on a Thursday soon because they were out of Tenekeela in January.

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I was quite impressed with this big stage! I wasn’t expecting it. In addition, I was impressed that the first act played a two hour set with little break. Here, Rossdafareye is in full sombrero mode and playing music that had a comfortable festival groove.

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Love this title! A new genre of music that I need to learn more about.

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Dogs seemed to be welcome to the event if they were on a leash.

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My friend, Karen, and her neighbors.

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This chef works out in my HIIT class. He will do two classes in a row, as you can tell. Good to see him there.

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These guys came from Morristown and Memphis to the event. The guy from Memphis had come with his girlfriend, who must be local.

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Chad and Cindy supporting the Sevierville Commons fundraiser. IMG_2330 2

Having so much fun!

Now, the main act from Atlanta was ready to take the stage. We were ready to hear the Breakfast Club!

The guy in front of the stage must be a ‘super fan!’

A few moments later, I realized my friend Karen likes Van Halen. Who knew?

The band played all the 80s favorites and even came back for an encore.

The encore was “Don’t Stop Believing,” by Journey. We didn’t want to stop singing.

There were many vendors so I hope that I got a photo from each. These businesses  play a vital role in the success of these events. Here are some more that we enjoyed.

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Union Steak and Lube ladies were so nice and having a good time as well.

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Additional thanks to the  event sponsors pictured above. Thank you!

As the clock approached 8:00, it was time to go. We left with good memories of a new, enjoyable event in downtown Sevierville. Many of the people that I met were not from here. Some were from Knoxville, Morristown, and even Memphis. They all were having a great time and several said that they want to come back next year. Consequently, the Sevierville Commons Association hit a home run with this event.

It is one of our favorite new events this year. Well done!

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Fun at the Ladies Derby Hat Social 2018

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The Ladies Derby Hat Social in April ushers in spring events for me. It is a prelude to the Night at the Derby event on April 20th, presented by the United Way of Sevier County. This is my third year to attend the hat social and it is still great fun. Follow along for the fun…

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Emily Whaley, Donna Rolen, and Amy Harper don their most festive hats at the Ladies Hat Social event.

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There was a beautiful assortment of hats in colors to suit every taste. I already have two hats so I enjoyed trying on a few more—just in case.

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My friend Karen always enjoys this part and commented that it would be fun to bring that era back, to bring back the time that ladies wore hats. Karen is wearing a cabi Spring ’17 top that matches the trim in that beautiful pink chapeau.

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This hat was fabulous! This lady looked ready for the Derby.

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You can nosh in a healthy way at this event. This is the plate that I always want when I see something catered at/by Courthouse Donuts.

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You can tell when someone is wearing the perfect hat for them. This young lady looked beautiful in every hat.

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My friend, Sophia, looks simply smashing in this one. Love the colors! She is wearing the Te Amo blouse and pants from the cabi Spring ’18 collection.

 

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But I also liked this Derby hat too. It had such panache. Decisions, decisions…

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I am fascinated by the little hats called ‘fascinators.’ The first ones that I saw were in a photo of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Did the Brits start the ‘fascinator’  trend?

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Donna Huffaker and Marvelle Sewell were available to help with hat selections. Sassafras is my favorite shop in the Old Mill area in Pigeon Forge. Here is a link to the store Facebook page.      https://www.facebook.com/SassafrasOldMill/

Here is a link to the Old Mill.  You could eat at the Old Mill and spend hours in that area.

http://www.old-mill.com

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Jodi Ramsey wears my favorite hat of the evening. What beautiful colors! Orange and white, naturally. I hope Sassafras orders more of those soon. I must have one!

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Desserts for the Ladies Hat Social are always a temptation.

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The door prizes are an exciting moment during the event. In fact, they can offset the ticket price in a good way. There were several gift baskets and a gift certificate worth $25 at a local boutique; consequently, the $15 ticket was recouped with most of the door prizes.

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A view from our table shows someone winning a door prize, presented by Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County.

 

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This hat was so pretty that I considered buying another one. I am wearing a cabi Bell jacket, Purr came, and the Drop Sparrow necklace. The hat brought the outfit together nicely.

The time quickly came to an end and we left thinking ahead to the upcoming event, Night at the Derby, presented by the United Way of Sevier County. It will take place on Friday evening, April 20th, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. You can buy tickets or buy a table reservation. Here is a link to the United Way webpage. http://www.uwosc.org/upcoming-events/

Here is also a link to the event Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/NightattheDerby/

Call the United Way of Sevier County for more ticket information.

The Night at the Derby is a fun event that helps to support the organization’s mission. The United Way of Sevier County partners with many agencies in Sevier County to provide critical programs in the community. This is one of their most important fund raisers of the year so get you hats, dresses, and coats ready. We’ll soon be off to the races.

It is one of the most fun things to do while out and about in Sevierville. 

 

Relay For Life +SCHS Host ‘Hoops For Heroes’

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March Madness hit the SCHS gym last Saturday afternoon when local heroes battled it out on the hardwood for bragging rights—and to support one of the hardest working volunteer organizations in Sevier County. It was Hoops for Heroes to benefit Relay For Life.

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I walked in, paid the $5 admission, and said hello to the student volunteers. Many, many concessions were available. Have lunch there when you go next year.

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I was late so games were in full swing by the time I arrived. Six teams competed:  Pigeon Forge Police, Sevierville Police, Sevierville Fire, Pigeon Forge Fire, and two teams from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department.

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Above is a collage of four of the teams.I missed two of the shirts due to the speed of the players.  😉

Play was divided into 15 minute segments. There was a 5 minute break between games. Competition was fierce. Good recovery here!

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Sevier County High has a Relay For Life student chapter. Some of the organizers for this event were Leslie Mattern, Michael Maddron, and Ben Brabson. Scorekeepers were Beth Ownby and Ben Brabson.

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Officiating was strict! Officials were Scott Ward and Jason Ownby.

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Event co-chairs for the Hoops for Heroes event were Judy Bales (left) and Danette Rolen (right).

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Sevier County Mayor, Larry Waters; Judy Bales, event co-chair; and Brian McCarter support the Hoops for Heroes basketball competition.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department team scores a basket.

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My friends, Wendy and Becky, cheering on the Sevierville Fire and Police Department teams.

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Our favorite, Officer Leia Loveday, getting ready to play for the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department.

A battle for the basket by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department.

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This was just part of the cheering section for the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Seals and his wife Wanda were enjoying the game, especially since they had two teams in the event.

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All eyes are on the ball!

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Becky Roberts and the parents of star player, Jaime Roberts. I saw him hit some three pointers.

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Players in the championship game.

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Relay For Life board members, Carlene Maples and Sophia Conerly enjoyed the event.

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This political message is paid for by Tad Wynn.

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I expected some of the players on the teams to be former high school players due to the skills. As I watched the Pigeon Forge Police Department, a couple of players stood out. I talked to this player at the end and then recognized him. This is Logan McCarter, an SCHS athlete and member of the class of 2013. Fun to watch him play again!

Some former high school hoops players shine on the hardwood.

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Brian McCarter brings his commentator skills to the Relay for Life Hoops for Heroes event. The team nicknames were priceless! (The Budgetbusters?) I am still laughing about that one.

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The scorekeeping was in good hands.

There was strong play in the championship game between the Sevierville and Pigeon Forge Police Departments.

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It was a battle, but the Pigeon Forge Police Department won the championship game; thus, they are the winners of the Hoops for Heroes event. Fierce play!

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department won the consolation game. Well played!

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Clearly, all participants and volunteers last Saturday were heroes, especially in helping the fight against cancer. If you wanted to find a hero, the SCHS gym was full of them in the picture above. Many thanks to them all.

This was a wonderful, family friendly event and I am so glad that I was able to see some of the games. I will arrive early next time. Be ready for next year because I think that this event will return with teams ready to ‘even the score.’ There may be even more teams. Lawyers? Moonshiners? Stay tuned! Relay for Life’s Hoops for Heroes was one of my favorite things to do this month. It was a good Saturday to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

 

 

Sevierville Commons Arts Council ‘Make It and Take It’ Workshops Begin For Spring 2018

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There is something fun going on downtown Sevierville on Saturdays— and it is free! The workshops are welcome to everyone, young and old. You don’t even have to be good with your hands because an artist will guide you through the process. It is time for the Spring 2018 Sevierville Commons Arts Council ‘Make It and Take It’ workshops. I visited last Saturday and here is what I saw.

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It was a sunny day on Bruce Street and nice to be out and about. I arrived after 12:00 to find the room busy.

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There are a lot of things to see. Just walk in and say “hello.” You will be invited to come back and make something special to take home.

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The workshop on Saturday instructed participants how to make beaded necklaces.

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I didn’t make this one, but admired it. I liked the moon and starfish charms.

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The Sevierville Commons Arts Council won a grant that provides materials to create things in the workshops. Donations are accepted too.

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Children accompanied by an adult can actively participate and create in the workshops. They love it!

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A second workshop was taking place called Jelly painting. The designs were so interesting and pretty.

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These young artists created some beautiful designs. I admired them all!

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Check this schedule for more workshops throughout the spring.

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Here is information on a June fundraiser for the organization. These aren’t your typical rockers!

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Here is something the organization will be doing on the Saturday before Easter. Drop by!

This is one of the best things to do downtown in the spring. It is free and family friendly. Furthermore, this organization is significantly contributing to the vitality and revitalization of downtown Sevierville. Come check it out when you are out and about in Sevierville. 

I’ll share some the pretty jelly painting designs by the young artists on Saturday. They wanted me to take pictures of their work, so here they are!

 

A Year in Review: Out and About Sevierville 2017

It is time to take one last look back at 2017. According to Google Analytics, the second year of this blog found 67 stories and 6,732 views. It was seen by people in 52 countries. The top five after the United States: Canada, China, Mexico, Philippines, and Ireland. With all that production, it is appropriate to take one quick look back over the shoulder before stepping into 2018.  Here is a look at 2017. Our little town was pretty busy!

If I were to give awards to story topics, then this is how it would follow…

MY Favorite Stories

My favorite stories? There was a 3- way- tie. These three stories were fun because they were especially creative and involved collaboration with D.B. Photography, and others. If you missed them, click the link and take a look.

  1. The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in Downtown Sevierville  https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/10/08/the-most-instagram-worthy-spots-in-downtown-sevierville/

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2.    I am dreaming of… a Mural in Downtown Sevierville  https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/11/26/i-am-dreaming-of-a-mural-in-downtown-sevierville/

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3.    Formal Treasures, From the Heart   https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/02/20/formal-treasures-from-the-heart/

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This is the info for the blog photographer.

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As for other stories during the year…

Biggest surprise: the immensity of the Sheriff’s Office Spooktacular Event for Halloween. There must have been thousands of people there!

Fun, but the most out of my comfort zone were Sims Barbershop, the SCHS Turkey Chase 5 K, and flying high at Sevier Air.

My favorite new event: the United Way Progressive Dinner.

Most relaxing story: Oak Haven Spa.

Best sources of consistent blog stories 

1 Sevierville Commons Arts Council

2. Sevierville Commons Farmers Market

‘I am rooting for you’ award

Bloomingtails Thrift Boutique. Go visit this wonderful little place full of treasures. Proceeds go to Pets Without Parents.

Unique fun for ladies

Ladies Derby Hat Social

I would like to spend more time

at Charlotte’s Creative on Bruce Street

Celebrity Surprise

Running into Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund at the Dolly Statue

And so many more things. I leave 2017 here with pictures that best capture the year while out and about in Sevierville. The photos start from last January and end with this month.

( View on desktop for better view of mosaic photo presentation.)

See you in 2018!

The Top 10 Stories of 2017

A lot has happened in Sevierville this year so I tried to capture some moments with this blog/website. I used Google Analytics to create the list for the most popular posts of 2017 for the blog Out and About in Sevierville. The analytics track each story by readers and then maintain a running total. Here is the list of the most read stories on the blog this year from number 10 to 1. Will your favorite make the list?

#10

SCHS Foundation 5K : Turkey Chase 2017

It was cold and it was fun! We will do it every year. Thanks to the SCHS Foundation and Nancy Trundle Hewitt.

#9

United Way Progressive Dinner, November 2017

This was a new event and one of the best of 2017. Can’t wait until next year.

#8

Sevierville Commons Arts Council Launches Blast Off Event

This July event helped to launch the Sevierville Commons Arts Council in the new space downtown. We can’t wait to see what they do there in the future.

#7 

An Early Visit to a Sevierville Tradition: Sims Barbershop

It was so early, but I knew that I was going to a special place. Jayson Nave served as my navigator. Sims Barbershop is so full of history! Walk in just to say hello to this friendly Sevierville barber.

#6 

Downtown Sevierville Spooktacular Event: The Bruce Street Area

I had never been to this event before and didn’t realize what a wonderful family outing it would be. For that, I am not surprised to see it show up at number six on the list by Google Analytics. This blog story was part 1, near the Bruce Street area and the gazebo.

#5 

First Downtown Sevierville Farmer’s Market of the Season, May 26th, 2017

The opening of the Sevierville Commons Farmer’s Market signals that summer is near. Music, food, produce, soaps, jewelry, treasures—you can find it all here.

#4

Shopping at Bloomingtales Boutique in Downtown Sevierville

I love this little thrift boutique just across the street from downtown Sevierville. Proceeds benefit Pets Without Parents. Go visit the resident cat, Maddie, and find something special.

#3

I Am Dreaming of a Mural in Downtown Sevierville

Murals can be economic boosters for downtowns and promote the arts at the same time. We found the perfect spot for one here in Sevierville. Go to this blog story to see more.

#2

Sevier County Sherriff’s Office Spooktacular Event: Courthouse Area

This outing caught me by surprise. It was the most epic event of the year. This story was the second part of my evening visit, near the courthouse area. Good fun!

 

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A Grand Event: Night at the Derby 2017 

 

Night at the Derby must be the best fund raiser of the year; in addition, it is a favorite party of the year for many. You can’t have more fun than this while helping 16 local agencies. The United Way has served our county since 1983. Don’t miss it next year!

These are the top 10 stories of 2017 for Out and About in Sevierville.

What will 2018 bring?

What would you like to see as a story on the blog?

Stay tuned as the 2018 New Year arrives and we go out and about in Sevierville. 

 

Glassware Makes a Huge Difference: Tasting Experience at KaTom

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A few weeks ago, Sophia and I decided to go to the Glass Expose event at KaTom because we wanted to learn more about the topic—plus, I love glassware. What we learned at that event completely shifted my thinking on the topic. I never realized what a difference better glassware can make in regard to taste and temperature of beverages.

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It was dark when we arrived at KaTom so Christmas lights beckoned us inside. What we didn’t know was that within 20 minutes, we would discover that a top grade serving glass is essential to food service. Here is what we learned.

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KaTom is on Inc. Magazine‘s list of the fastest growing companies in the country so any event there is going to be an exciting learning experience. Sophia and I just thought that it would be an interesting event, but it proved to be much more informative that we would have ever guessed.

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The tasting event was hosted by Libbey Glass presenter, Matthew Rutowski, Sr. V.P. and Brand Director of Spiegelau, USA.

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I had never seen such a large set-up in on the KaTom showroom floor. Each place had  glassware set up and ready for attendees. At this point, Sophia and I knew that the presentation was going to be rather special.

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Multi-media presentation was in place to begin the event.

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The gist of the presentation asserts that it is not just the design of the glass that improves the tasting experience, but the materials that make the glass as well.

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The Spiegelau Company is located in Germany. The factory has a long tradition of manufacturing glass products since the 16th century.   http://www.spiegelau.com/info/

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The presentation showed how they mine the special glass material, which makes it lighter and better suited to specific brews. It also showed how the company has collaborated with some of America’s master brewers to design the best glass for their brews.

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I would have never really believed there was difference—until they led us through an experiment and we decided for ourselves. It was amazing how a regular pint glass could not compare to the Spiegelau glass in keeping the beverage cold and maintaining the taste. After only a few minutes, we tried it again and the IPA in the pint glass was warm and tasteless. The Spiegelau glass was still very cool and flavorful. It was a completely different experience.

There are specific glasses for specific brews.

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At the end of the presentation, Mr. Rutowski always asks attendees to raise a glass if they agreed that the Spiegelau glasses gave a better experience and enjoyment to the tastings. Everyone overwhelmingly agreed.

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Amanda and Adam just opened Barley Waters in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. They came to the presentation to learn more and to buy glasses for their new business. If you visit Johnson City, their place is next to Freiberg’s restaurant. (Oddly enough, I ate lunch there with family last May.) Barley Waters has been open over a month. It has 32 taps and over 206 beers in all. Their customers will certainly benefit from Spiegelau glasses they bought that evening. Adam attended the Brewing Science program at South College and worked for a few years at Blackberry Farm before starting Barley Waters.

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These attendees were from Knoxville. The gentleman on the left has a Food and Beer blog. The gentleman on the right manages Suttrees, an establishment on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. They overwhelmingly agreed that the presentation changed their minds on the difference that glassware can make in tasting, plus the advantage over a regular pint glass. IMG_4104

The Glass Expose and Tasting event at KaTom seemed like a fun event; however, it ended up shifting my thinking about how important glassware is to dining and how it can enhance one’s experience in a significant way. I will never ask for a regular pint glass again.

Now, we are hoping Spiegelau will return some day for a presentation on whiskey or wine glasses. There is more to know…

You can learn all kinds of things when you are out and about in Sevierville.

 

You Gotta Hustle! Santa Hustle Smokies 5K and Half Marathon 2017

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If you drove down highway 66 this morning, you were likely to see a couple of thousand Santas running and walking down the road. You weren’t seeing things! It was the Santa Hustle Smokies 5K and Half Marathon races.

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A colleague talked me into running again. I have participated in the 5K with my sister, niece and nephews on two occasions, but have not done it in a few years. When the forecast predicted 19 degrees at race time, I had decided to stay home. However, the Lord showed us great favor this morning when I saw that it was actually 28 degrees. I knew that when the sun came up it would get warmer so I suited up and took off for the Sevierville Convention Center parking garage.

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This screenshot shows new things that participants got this year. Socks and medals are new. The Dri Fit Santa shirt is comfortable and fun to wear to work or the gym. Love these goodies! In the 5K, you run from the Wilderness Resort to Starbucks and Ruby Tuesdays on highway 66, turn around, and come back. The half marathon goes to Pigeon Forge, near Starbucks, then returns.

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Participants are encouraged to dress up in a holiday style. I saw her running with this outfit. There was plenty of room inside for her arms and it may have blocked the cold breeze. So fun!

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There is a competition for costumes and it is fun to see what runners can race in. This couple looked great!

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These tiny ‘reindeer’ were popular with children and adults alike.

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So cute!

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There is a DJ playing Christmas music and announcing the line up times to race. Very festive!

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This photo captures the first seconds of the race. I have tried to embed a video link below for the opening seconds of the half marathon runners.

https://youtu.be/UuK1-pIxj8Q

If you are going to run in freezing temps, it is good to have a few extra things to wear. I went to a local sporting goods store and bought a fleece neck warmer and special gloves.

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The neck warmer made a huge difference!

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This race provides a lot of good treats post-race to recover energy. My favorite thing was the  two toasters warming Thomas English muffins for peanut butter and/or jelly. Nice!

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Little Vols are fans of the race too!

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Fun to see colleagues at the race. Jennifer and Brittany had a great time today with their families.

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Ed and Barbara OBrien have hiked every trail in the Smokies AND do 5K races. They are unstoppable!

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Milk and cookies for a post-race Christmas treat.

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There are lots of photo opportunities and bragging rights here. Heidi and I broke our personal records!

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Every race usually has at least one, cool, ‘chill bump’ moment. The picture above was ‘it’ for me. Heidi and I were waiting to cross the street to go to the parking garage when we stopped to watch some half marathoners coming up the street. They were some of the first to return. The guy above in the yellow-green shirt ran by us so fast and he must have been in his 80s. He was so fast! You can see the young man behind him running who must have been 60 years younger. Respect!

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I think that these ladies said that they came from Knoxville and Sevierville for the Santa Hustle.

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They make the race fun in every way. Heidi is going to send this pic to her son. He is a college student in Texas right now and will be happy to see his mom having fun and active.

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Fun photo with Rudolph.

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All finishers got some good souvenirs this year.

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See you in 2018 when Santas are running out and about in Sevierville. 

Sevierville Christmas Parade 2017

There was great weather and a good crowd for the 55th annual Sevierville Christmas parade on Saturday. I met Sheley and we were able to catch it from the beginning at our spot across from the courthouse. Follow along to see the highlights!

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We were shopping upstairs at Two Coyotes Studio when I heard a quick emergency vehicle sound so we ran downstairs just in time to see the honor guard open the parade.

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City officials walking the route.

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The parade Grand Marshall this year was Albert Atchley.  The Grand Marshall’s car was followed by some First Responders from the Sevier County wildfires a year ago.

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A four-legged First Responder participates in the Sevierville parade.

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Vintage fire truck with festive trim.

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A highlight for many was the Sevier County High School band. They set the mood for Christmas!

IMG_3848On the left side of this picture, the Dolly statue seems to look on with approval on her former high school band.

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See more pictures of the SCHS band on the blog Facebook page for pictures. Here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

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Every parade needs majorettes!

Donna brings them and they shine!

IMG_3874Ober Gatlinburg Snow Creature.

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Catlettsburg school float.

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It looks like fun to ride this float.

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My next favorite thing in a parade: horses.

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There were church floats.

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There were girl scouts.

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There were antique cars.

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There were festive tractors.

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Sophia Conerly drove the car for Relay for Life of Sevier County. Their mission is ‘Save Lives, Celebrate Lives.’

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There were beauty queens.

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And finally, the most anticipated member of the parade—Santa!

If you want to see a fun ‘behind the scenes’ look at the start of the parade from this float’s perspective then follow this link to their Facebook page for a Facebook Live recording. It was fun to watch because I always stay downtown, but didn’t realize how many people are also on the Parkway to view the parade.

The link was long so I created a smaller one below.

        https://tinyurl.com/y8e6be2g

In all, the parade was over in about 47 minutes from our viewing area downtown. You didn’t have to wait a long time and parking was easy downtown.  Great job to everyone who was involved with the production. It was a great morning to be downtown and one of our favorite Saturday morning things to do while out and about in Sevierville. 

See more pictures on the blog Facebook page for pictures. Here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/