Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass 2019

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This is the premier event for downtown Sevierville—and 2019 didn’t disappoint. There were crowds, great food, music, and a few storms. However, it looked bigger and better than last year. I am ‘limited’ when it comes to heat and crowds so I didn’t linger, but I did manage two quick visits and a few photos.

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I parked near Sevier County Bank and walked in the back way. In doing so, I passed several trailers that housed the cooking competitors. The signs and slogans were fun to view. Here are a few examples in collages.

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This is a local competitor based in Gatlinburg. It is family owned and operated. Must visit this summer!

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Another well known local competitor.

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My other interest was the chalk art that would be happening on Bruce Street.

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I saw competitors carrying covered dishes to a secret location on Bruce Street.

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There was tight security for the competition. Would love to be a judge for that!

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There were all kinds of gift ideas.

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I really appreciated the Bush Beans company for the freebies. There were working hard both days handing out free individual servings of baked beans—perfect for barbecue.

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The company even let you take a photo with their mascot, Duke. What a good dog!

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Local businesses, like Courthouse Donuts, were open for extended hours during the event.

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There were several vendors, but this one has the largest sign and draws the longest lines.

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I got a brisket combo to go. It will last all weekend. So good! I will go back to them next year.

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That looks like enough sauce.

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Tents lined Court Avenue. I thought that all the vendors had good things to offer.

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Non-stop entertainment on the Bush stage.

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The Sevier County Courthouse had a crowd and non-stop entertainment as well.

IMG_5737 2A tip for next year: there was nice shade on the sidewalk across from the courthouse on Court Avenue. This would be a nice break or meet-up area out of the sun. If the dining tent were crowded then I spied a few shady steps here on which to sit.

Sorry that I didn’t get any people pictures—I am just not good in heat and crowds! However, these photos will give visitors a glimpse of what to enjoy next year. It is one of the best ways to be out and about in Sevierville. 

 

Bruce Street Brewfest 2018

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Despite the remnants of Hurricane Florence heading our way, the weather held out for the Bruce Street Brewfest on Saturday, September 15—and it turned out to be a fine event. We saw many returning brewers, met some new participants, and ran into old friends. I was limited in my time there so here is a quick rundown of our visit.

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You get a nice souvenir glass at check-in.

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Some notable Knoxville breweries participate in the event. This Knoxville brewery is one of the best.

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Some breweries come from farther away— a testament to the popularity of Bruce Street Brewfest.

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The addition of food trucks adds an interesting addition to the event for foodies. They were fabulous!

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A local expert, Smoky Mountain Foodie, was impressed with the fried okra. Only $3 for a large serving. As good as Cracker Barrel!

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Attendees from every species enjoyed the day. It is nice that the event is dog friendly.

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We ran into Tobias Deckard, from Gatlinburg Brewing Company. He makes great artisan bread. Must try it again soon!

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We ran into Tobias several other times. Everyone was of good cheer!

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There are some local home brewers who are doing a great job. Perhaps I should write a story on that topic soon?

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This is an award winning home brewer. Every thing is good from this one.

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Jeff Large has been brewing for several years. The brand name is unique.

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A name that you won’t forget! I must ask the story behind it again.

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It was a busy day so I only had a couple of hours to spend at the event, but I wanted to see one of the best micro- brewing festivals in the state—right in our downtown. These are the pictures that I took because I didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s time or space. There is a laid back vibe so I just ‘went with it’ and thought to not write a blog about the day—but it is a great event so I changed my mind. Voila! Here is a quick look at what we experienced.

Craft beer is a booming business and there are many who appreciate it. These are exactly the people who should come back (or make a first visit) to the Bruce Street Brewfest in 2019. It is a very enjoyable way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

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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.