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. 

Candy Canes and Cocktails 2017 : A Benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains

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We enjoyed this event so much last year that it was unthinkable to miss it. Candy Canes and Cocktails is a preview party before the opening of Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees. Proceeds support a great cause, the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Attendees can buy a ticket online and attend between 6:00-9:00 p.m. You may enjoy holiday hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails. In addition, there are silent auction items and holiday adornments for purchase: wreaths, decorated trees, swags, etc.

I had not intended to take many pictures— just to enjoy the evening with my friends; however, I will share a few photos from last night. Put on your jingle bells and follow along…

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We parked across the street on a surface lot that was very convenient to the event. The Gatlinburg Space Needle never disappoints for a dramatic night time picture.

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Everyone started getting into the spirit of things after seeing beautiful things on display.

Randolph made a festive nog with a caramel surprise

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Do you recognize this from your childhood? Love this tree.

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The highest approval rating possible for Christmas cookies.

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The Rel Maples Institute at Walters State made some nice cookies that you can’t find just anywhere. Love the candy canes cookies!

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This would be a good one for Pastor Charlie, Kathryn, Suzanne and Andy…and more.

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Selfie stations are always a lot of fun and this one had a lot of good props. Also, there was a nice volunteer taking pictures so you didn’t have grab anyone to do that.

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There are a variety of spots that you can do your own holiday photo shoot. This life size Santa is quite striking.

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Someone made the highest bid for a very comfortable auction item!

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It is fun to see Sevierville friends at the event while supporting the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Pictured here are Lessie Koopman, owner of 3D Dance and Fitness, with Les Center.

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Les Center and Chuck Ottolini chatting about fitness and the holidays.

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These people have worked all year on the Candy Canes and Cocktails event. Thank you for such an enjoyable evening!

 

 

Art Happening: November, 2017

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There was another great Art Happening in downtown Sevierville last Thursday evening. This event presented the work of  Dasha Jamison. Lights shining from within Courthouse Donuts served as a beacon as I arrived after dark for the event. Come along and see the work of this special artist.

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Art Happenings take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. and are free to attendees. These events are sponsored by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council and the Sevierville Commons Association. I missed the first half of the event because of an 11 hour day at work; however, I was able to catch the last part of the evening and to hear Dasha address the gathering.

The Sevier County Courthouse is reflected in the windows in Courthouse Donuts. Several pieces of  Dasha’s art are featured in the front window.

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Irina Vibly, Dasha Jamison, and Trista Bentley attending the November Art Happening.

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I love this work. The brush strokes make me feel the ocean breeze rolling off the ocean.

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Title of the previous work references a trip to Hawaii. I would like to be there!

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Jeff Earle serves guests with wine from a boutique winery in Napa. The owners are friends of Earle and Dasha. It was divine!

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This a small, boutique winery in Napa. If you like reds then it will please you.

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Olga Loveday and Camille Barton Spires attending the Art Happening for Dasha Jamison.

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I was lucky to arrive in time to hear Dasha address the gathering for the Art Happening. Dasha is originally from Russia and has taken art classes since childhood. Her mother encouraged her to explore this talent and passion. I admired the paintings and drawings that covered the walls.

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High five for the November Art Happening!

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Dasha Jamison, featured artist for the Art Happening, has attended classes with instructor, Camille Barton Spires, pictured left. Camille owns Art Studio of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.  Camille said that Dasha attended the first Art Happening in June 2016. At that time, a couple of her ‘exploratory’ pieces of art were displayed in the windows of Courthouse Donuts. Camille said,” Tonight, her artwork covered the interior walls with her very own show! Dasha is not only talented, but driven with inspiration to succeed.”

I love the vivid, bold colors in Dasha’s work.

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These two may be my favorites. However, I love the beach scenes too.

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Sevierville Commons Arts Council board members with featured artist, Dasha Jamison. Pictured left to right are: Jill Greene, Dasha Jamison, Crystal Lynn Sharp, and Laurel Kiewitt.

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Love this picture and the beautiful chalk pieces.

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Who wouldn’t want to be here? I can almost hear the waves.

I enjoyed the music of Andy Springfield, a musician with the Kingdom Heirs. My sisters and best friend will tell you that I love this tune! He played it without being asked. Loved it!

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It was time to go home so I exited Courthouse Donuts and took a last look at this nice sign. Make sure you come to an Art Happening some time! It is one of my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville.

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View of the courthouse on the way to my car.

United Way Presents Sevierville Progressive Dinner, November 2017

I have always wanted to attend a ‘progressive dinner’ and finally got a chance  last Thursday evening at a event presented by the United Way. The United Way of Sevier County continues to consistently provide innovative and enjoyable events while serving the community. Here is a recap of that enjoyable evening.

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Bruce Street was closed to traffic so we just walked up through the center of town. There, we found several booths set up with items to sample.

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Merchants of Beer in Knoxville had a selection of cigars to peruse. Notice the nice silver plated ash tray on on the right side of the table.

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The Sevierville Casual Pint brought a sample of the New Belgium Accumulation White IPA.

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I like this picture of the Old Forge barrel lid on display with the barbershop in the background. It was the last customer of the day in the barbershop.

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I loved the fire pit in the middle of Bruce Street. Not only was it beautiful, but the warmth was a nice amenity a couple of hours later. Notice the white tent with tables set up for the main course of the progressive dinner to be served later in the evening.

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United Way Board member, Elise Collier-Massey, preparing for the event with her husband Beau Massey.

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Dustin Manning, owner of Bistro 109, chatting with Leesa and Jim McGill.

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Sierra Williams and Elise Collier-Massey ready to greet guests.

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The check in table was located by the gazebo. It was quick and efficient so we breezed right into the starting point for the progressive dinner.

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United Way Board member, Vonda Cash, with Sophia Conerly, a Sevierville Commons board member.

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Cheri and Al Schmutzer ready for the evening. They were also celebrating an anniversary. Congratulations to them!

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This handout explains the procedures for the evening. People just voluntarily divided into two groups and it went quite smoothly.

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Appetizers from Bistro 109 were perfect! These kabobs were healthy and easy to handle during the cocktail hour.

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You become proud when one of your former students goes to the Tennessee House of Representatives. This is Tennessee State Representative Andy Farmer.

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Mike Comer, United Way Vice Chair, thanks attendees and explains the procedures for the evening. Board member, Austin Williams, is pictured behind him.

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Sophia and I made our first stop at the Arts in Common Gallery for a salad by Healthy Balance. The strawberry and spinach salad was so fresh and was a great first course in the progressive dinner. Please notice the beautiful, old brick wall. I love the seasonal decor as well.

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Local artist, Andrea Wilson, (pictured in tan sweater, center) was giving a tour of the Arts in Common Gallery to United Way supporters. The back wall contains the original brick and windows. It will be fun to see how the Sevier Commons Arts Council uses this new creative space in the years to come.

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If I didn’t have a chihuahua then I would definitely have a Pomeranian. There could not be a sweeter little dog than this one. Sweet Annie!

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Next stop was Mom’s Vintage Kitchen down the street. This was the best pumpkin soup that I have ever had in my life. I actually walked into the restaurant today to see if they had more. It had little’ heat’ to it so it was really a foodie delight. As you can see, I was talking a lot and didn’t finish my first course so I just carried it with me to Mom’s. I love this restaurant!

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Emily Whaley also enjoys the soup at our second stop on the progressive dinner.

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We finished the soup course then proceeded outside to the tent. It was an elegant presentation on Bruce Street for the evening.

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With the Sevier County courthouse in the background, Kirk Fleta prepares to perform. Mike Comer makes announcements with Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way.

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I have heard of Kirk Fleta and finally to got to hear him in person. Find him on Facebook and Youtube. Here is a link       https://www.facebook.com/kirk.fleta

http://www.KirkFleta.com        www.FletaFest.com

Here is a video clip of Kirk Fleta singing the first song of the evening, by James Taylor.

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Montay Calloway, branch manager at U.S. Bank, chats by the fire pit with a fellow supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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Mixologists from Old Forge Distillery are always friendly and ready to serve.

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We were ready for dinner under the big, white tent. Buffet style was quick and efficient. Please notice the pumpernickel bread from Mom’s Vintage Kitchen in the basket in front of Sophia. It is gluten free and the best in the world. I promise!

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Restaurateurs Dustin Manning and Christie Champ standing by with their wonderful creations. Pass me another slice of pumpernickel bread, please!

The meal went too quickly! We could have stayed under the white tent for another hour, but it was time to move on to the dessert course at Courthouse Donuts.

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Sara greeted us with dessert course. Sara was our model last month in the “Most Instagram Worthy Spots in Downtown Sevierville.” Here is a link to that blog story

https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/?s=Most+Instagram+Worthy

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A sweet tooth will love the Cherry Crumble cake from Courthouse Donuts.

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Lauren Chesney from King University and another supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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The final course and great conversation in Courthouse Donuts for the final course of the progressive dinner presented by the United Way of Sevier County. Pictured are Joe Cagley, Clancy Optical; Chris Massie, Titanic; Beau Massey, and a supporter of the United Way of Sevier County.

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Also enjoying the United Way Progressive Dinner are Danielle King, Mariah Farmer, and Rachelle Shults.

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I heard several people remark that an additional benefit of the United Way Progressive Dinner was the chance to talk, connect, and network with people that you rarely get a chance to see and spend time with. Conversation and networking is what is happening in this picture during the dessert course at Courthouse Donuts. We enjoyed it so much!

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Alas, all good fun must come to an end for I had an early call at work the next morning.  I slipped out of Courthouse Donuts and took one last look at the United Way Progressive Dinner through the windows. It was one of the most innovative events that I have attended anywhere. Easy, relaxed, and completely enjoyable. Everything was close and convenient. Bruce street and the businesses there lend themselves easily to a variety of events. This one utilized everything beautifully. I wouldn’t change a thing and can’t wait until next year.

The United Way Progressive Dinner is one of my favorite ways to spend time out and about in Sevierville. 

See you at the gazebo!

Top 10 Reasons to Run the Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 5K

It is November so it is time to consider running in the SCHS Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 5K. I ran it last year and can’t wait to do it again. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should consider this 5K race in our own backyard. I’ll use some pictures from last year to illustrate some points.

  1. It is fun! It is laid back and relaxed as you will ever find a 5K. Show up and run by yourself. You will still have a blast.

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2.   Proceeds support the SCHS STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Scholarship.

3.   You will meet nice people. There will be families that are both local and visitors for the holiday weekend.

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4.   Race conditions are very comfortable. If it is like last year, the race is mostly on a flat surface. You will not be far from shelter or a bathroom. That is important to some of us!

5. You can walk or run the 5K. Do it at your own pace.

6. You may find yourself running alongside local dignitaries and celebrities too. At the starting line, I found myself standing by Judge Gary Wade and Coppley Vickers. You will probably see Coach B and Kristi Atchley at the race.

7.   You have a decent chance of winning an award. If you are over 40 then you have a very good chance of winning an award. If you are over 50 then you have an outstanding chance of winning an award! Last year, there were 3 awards in every age division. I actually won in my age group!

8.   You will probably laugh several times. Student encouragers will use humor to keep you moving.

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9.  You may get to meet someone famous. Last year, we met a famous Spartan racer.

Jamie McCart ran the race and won in his age group. Train hard, guys! He had an interesting story last year. Click this link to see his story on my blog last year.

https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2016/11/28/part-2-the-best-thanksgiving-5-k-in-tennessee-the-smoky-bear-turkey-chase-2016/

10.   You can be in and out in an hour and a half. Go home and eat Thanksgiving dinner with little guilt.

Bonus: You will have the best afternoon nap ever.

Want to sign up? You can find them on Facebook. Here is a link. https://www.facebook.com/SCHS-Foundation-5k-1467641556852735/

This is the best little 5K race in Tennessee on Thanksgiving Day. Come run with us!

It is a fun, healthy way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

Sevier County Sheriff’s Office ‘Spooktacular’ Event: Court House Area

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Last night was the biggest event that I have ever attended in downtown Sevierville—and the best. I really didn’t really know what to expect from the Sevier County Sheriff’s ‘Spooktacular’ event at the Courthouse, but I quickly saw that it was a great gathering for families. The first thing that I noticed was a line that wrapped around the courthouse. The photo above shows the first line that I noticed as it wrapped around the building.

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Our friends at Courthouse Donuts had a free cinnamon doughnut for all children attending the Spooktacular event. They smelled divine!

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Foodie shot.

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I wasn’t kidding about the line wrapping around the block. Amazing!

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This T-Rex graciously posed for a picture.

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These firemen were serving popcorn in plastic firemen hats—a double bonus for kids! They gave me some and it was, without a doubt, the best kettle corn that I have ever had anywhere. 

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I ran into my friend Ashley and her superhero at the kettle corn table. They were having such fun!

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I liked the little policeman in this picture talking to the real ones. However, after looking at this photo a minute, there is something in the background that is amusing in this shot.

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Our friends from Pets Without Parents attend the event with Rocko. Drop by PWP on Chapman Highway and say hello to Rocko and other pets some time.

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Friendly ladies from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office having a great time and greeting young trick or treaters.

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I was impressed with the attendance of public servants of all kinds at the event, like Connie Holt in this photo. In the following photos, the sun is setting quickly and my flash was trying to keep up. I apologize for the strange colors.

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Fun to meet firemen and Sparky.

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A funny story here… I asked ‘Sparky’ if I could take a picture and then went on my way. A young man came up to me and told me that Sparky was actually a former student of mine so I ran back and said hello. Good to see Jason after all these years!

 

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Great costumes and tower of treats!

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The Pigeon Forge Police Department showed me great hospitality and a hot doughnut. Great decorations too!

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Sevier Air and a Ninja manning a trick or treat stop at the Spooktacular.

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It was good to see our SRO from last year, Officer Conrad. He really needs to clean up his squad car though!

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Another former student who works for the Sheriff’s Office. I don’t think that is a Batman uniform though. That is the real deal.

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Local dignitaries supporting the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office Spooktacular event.

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Finally, Stacy Cutshaw’s son wins my vote for the best Halloween costume of the year. This electric chair was so real looking and amazing that I couldn’t stop looking at it. The child was just walking around with it, but it looked like he was sitting in real electric chair. Stacy said that they just used materials around the house and made it themselves. You win! The best costume of 2017!

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The moon was rising over the courthouse as I headed home, but today I heard someone say that there was still a big crowd about 10:00 in the evening. Amazing attendance. There must have been thousands there.

I saw families relaxing and enjoying the evening because they knew that they were in a safe place, with safe treats, and safe activities. It had a great vibe and I enjoyed being there. The great efforts of Sevier County first responders and others made it a night to remember. What a great way to get out and about in Sevierville on October 31st.

See you there next Halloween!

 

 

 

Sevierville Commons Art Crawl 2017

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It was a warm, glorious evening at the Sevierville Commons Art Crawl last week. It is the primary fundraising event so we look forward to it all year. With a wood-working art theme, the event was like a relaxing stroll with food and drink. Stroll along here with us to see what we enjoyed during the Art Crawl 2017.

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This was our first sight on Bruce Street. XXX Moonshine has two locations: Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley. They have a great tent and their vendors are fun to talk to. In addition, Tennessee XXX Moonshine has collaborated with Dark Horse comics, creator of the Hellboy character in print and movies, to produce Hell Boy Hell Water Cinnamon Whiskey. To find out more, click the link below. Amazing things happening with this local distillery.

https://www.send2press.com/wire/hellboy-hell-water-selects-xxx-distillery-llc-of-sevierville-and-pigeon-forge-tennessee/

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Around the corner, we found delights from one of our favorite downtown restaurants: Bistro 109. Owner, Dustin Manning, brought our favorite items on the menu: orange-cranberry chicken salad, hummus with cucumber slices, and sweet potato fries. The table presentation is always beautiful.  We came back for dinner here later. Divine!

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Stefanie Johnson greeted us at the main table and helped us to get acclimated to the event.  We bought our tickets in advance at Citizens National Bank. (I got mine at the Kroger branch because they are open until 7:00 p.m.) After giving her the tickets and showing ID, we received wrist bands and began the evening.

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Next, we ran into Sevierville Commons Arts Council member, Andrea Wilson. I was delighted to see her in this top because we were both wearing Cabi! She knew that and gave me quite a surprise. Fun!

Friday’s restaurant had a nice  treat. I think that it was Jack Daniels chicken. The servings were generous. We also got a coupon for a free appetizer. Good deal!

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Sara serves treats from Courthouse Donuts. Get ready for some new things on the menu there!

Mom’s Vintage Kitchen offered her home-made pumpernickel bread and pimento cheese with a home-made puff. It was probably the best bread and pimento cheese that I have ever had. There were about 5 different kinds of cheeses in that pimento cheese. Oh my!

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Art Crawl attendees enjoying the evening as the sun went down.

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We are always glad to see Healthy Balance at local events because we know that they will bring something good for the body. Skewers with tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese were a great appetizer.

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David Elrod’s friendly smile always attracts attendees to his tent. His presentation and products always contribute to an enjoyable experience.

Old Forge brought several treats. It is apple time!

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Karen and I inspected the beautiful workmanship in the bowls. They were so smooth and lovely. Woodworking artists Roger Jessup, Ralph Obenauf, Otto Preske, and Jackie and Janis Proffitt were available to answer questions about the items and the craft.

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Old Forge Distillery entertains and refreshes.

We were most impressed with the woodworking items from the Sevierville Senior Center.

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Our favorite item was this piece of wood with a photograph transposed on it. I would love to learn to do this technique. What a magnificent keepsake. The sunset is reflected in it.

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The Shantons enjoy sunset on Bruce Street during the Art Crawl.

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Sugarlands Distillery always brings delightful refreshment to local events. Indeed, it is always a crowd pleaser.

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I was delighted to run into my  Dominican Republic travel friends, the Conerly family. They enjoyed the evening as the sun set on Bruce Street. Sophia is a member of the Sevierville Commons Association and always has exciting updates to share about the revitalization of downtown Sevierville. Stay tuned!

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I wanted to linger at Charlotte Wear’s gallery, Charlotte’s Bruce Street Creative,  but time was limited so I grabbed some fliers with info about her October activities. Can’t wait to go there and create something wonderful next month!

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Old Smoky Moonshine brought a nice punch type of drink. They were friendly and ready to help us have a nice evening.

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I always enjoy the music and ‘vibe’ provided by musician Ross Paul Heatherly.  Ask him to play some Hendrix and you won’t be sorry!

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Austin Williams and Stefanie Johnson thanked vendors and attendees for supporting the 2017 Art Crawl. In addition, they drew the name for a winner of the art door prize. It was one of the beautiful bowls that Karen and I had admired earlier in the evening.

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Shadows are falling as the sun sets on Bruce Street. Jim McGill sits at the table ready to help attendees.

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The Pottery House Cafe is our favorite place in Pigeon Forge. Shrimp and grits, anyone? Oh, yes!

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Karen found water and tea located at the gazebo. Such a pretty place in the evening.

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It was so nice to have more time at the Art Crawl this year. Rather than 8:00, the event ended at 8:30 this year. It was so nice to relax while watching the sun go down on the courthouse bell tower. Kudos to the Sevierville Commons Association and the Sevierville Commons Arts Council for an enjoyable September event. We can’t wait for the next one!

Plan on attending the Art Crawl next year. It is one of my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

What is going on in Sevierville during Labor Day weekend 2017

Someone used search terms  ” what to do in Sevierville on Labor Day weekend” on my website so I decided to list a few things that I know are going on this weekend. Blog traffic picks up on holidays so here are some suggestions for our visitors this weekend. Most activities are in Sevierville, but a couple are nearby. I used some screenshots to get this blog completed quickly. Here are some local Labor Day activities. 


Check out the Sevierville Commons Farmers Market tomorrow. There will be great vendors with many gift ideas and fresh produce. I have been doing some Christmas shopping there already. 


For the first time, our fair will last nine days and two weekends. This is a wonderful small town fair with food and fun for the whole family. The best food from the booth by Sevierville First United Methodist Church. Step right up! 

Do you like Jeeps? Then this may be for you! 


Something new is opening in Gatlinburg and it looks like fun. 


Labor Day weekend means BBQ. Find some at Bass Pro Shops. 


Bring your lawn chair and snacks to the Sevierville downtown gazebo for a free movie. I love the 80s! 


This may be the greatest thing in town this weekend. Go to the Dollywood website for tickets and more information. 


Go just up the road to enjoy this equestrian event. 


I think that my friend Tad Wynn may attend this event. It is just up Chapman Highway from downtown Sevierville. 


Art is downtown Sevierville. Check out several artist gallerys. This is one of my favorites! 


Find a bargain at Bloomingtales Boutique at 202 Parkway in Sevierville. Proceeds go to to Pets Without Parents, a local no-kill animal shelter. 

Also, find more treasures at Treasures From the Heart thrift store at 230 Court Avenue, Sevierville. 


We have one of the best boutiques in Tennessee. Congratulations to Loralei’s! Find it easily at 1235 Dolly Parton Parkway, Suite 7, Sevierville, Tennessee. 


We also have the best doughnuts in East Tennessee. Go to Courthouse Donuts in downtown Sevierville, across from the courthouse. 

Those are some fun things going on this Labor Day weekend if you get out and about in Sevierville. 

Enjoy the weekend! 

Sevierville Commons Arts Council Launches ‘Blast Off’ Event

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There was a big crowd on Bruce Street this evening attending the Blast Off event for the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. People from all parts of the county came to support the arts in downtown Sevierville. There were refreshments, music, auction items, and demonstrations galore. Follow along as I take you on a tour of the event. It was the hottest ticket in town this evening!

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First of all, I know it will be a fun time when I see Bruce Street blocked off!

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It is fun to walk right down the middle of the street. But I wasn’t thinking and took the sidewalk instead. Oh well…

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We were greeted at the door by Pat. He showed us where to check in and it went quickly.

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There was a line out the door when I arrived so I sat on a bench outside and waited for Melinda. The line went through quite quickly as we entered the door. Above, Andrea Wilson and other volunteers process guest arrivals.

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There was rain approaching so I liked how the dinner part was to be conducted, rather than have it out near the gazebo with downpours on the way. We drew a voucher from a bowl to determine the location of our dinner. The draw was Mom’s Vintage Kitchen. We love all those places listed above and were happy to go to Mom’s later. What a great idea for a dinner lottery. Fun!

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Artist, David Freeman, was drawing profiles as we entered the door. I saw him do one on TV this week as a promotion for the event. A fun addition to the festivities.

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Attendees pictured left to right: Michael Johnson, Sevier Commons member Austin Williams, and Katie Williams.

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I expected a lot of art items for the silent auction and was not disappointed! Melinda told me that this artist is often featured at Arrowmont.

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Al Schmutzer and Jim McGill attending the Blast Off for the Sevier Commons Arts Council.

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Local artist, Charlotte Wear, pictured with friends Jayne Wise, Sonya Nave, and another local artist, Mary Phillips.

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A popular silent auction item. The cups were beautiful and the Old Mill coffee is probably great. I am having auction regrets for not bidding on this, but I had to set a limit of 2 items.

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Cheri Schmutzer and Leesa McGill enjoying the evening in the new Arts in Common Gallery on Bruce Street.

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The Johnson family introduces a future art lover to the event. Pictured left to right are Stefanie, Sheena, and Alex Johnson with a sweet little attendee.

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I was glad to see Chris Webb with his wife, Summer. I know Chris’ mom, Patt Webb, and send her greetings!

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Gail Monson, Ken Greene, and Jill Greene enjoying the Blast Off event to benefit the Sevierville Commons Art Council. Proceeds from this event will help to purchase things needed for the gallery. Furthermore, the event will help us learn more about the new art space downtown.

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Melinda Derrick and I were happy to see our friend, Joey Rose, pictured right. The space to his right in the picture above would be for his wife, Sheley, who was a little under the weather and couldn’t attend. I saved the space to his right for her. (Hi, Sheley!) Joey and Sheley are old friends of ours and support the local arts scene, as does Melinda.

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Attendees pictured left to right: Justin Duncan, Jennifer Duncan, and Andrew Temple.

This silent auction item was quite interesting. I don’t need many things so ‘experiences’ are very interesting.

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Crystal Sharp takes a moment to speak to the group and make announcements. There were over 159 attendees while I was there and over 62 items were donated for the silent auction. I bid on two. Will I get them? Stay tuned!

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The music was excellent! Musicians Greg Fitch and Pat Corn were wonderful and added to the ambiance during the evening.

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I remember when there was only 1 restaurant downtown. Now, we have so many more. Many thanks to these restaurants who added to a successful event.

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Love the creative way to thank sponsors. So nice!

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Jennifer Dyer, from Courthouse Donuts, looking at vintage pictures. We think that the upper right picture is the current location of  her business. By the way, Courthouse Donuts just won third place for the best donuts in the state, the only one on the survey located in East Tennessee.

I was intrigued by the ‘fairy doors’ on a table by the Sevierville Senior Center. Very interesting creations! Google it or go to Pinterest to see more ideas.

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As we left, there was more art and even demonstrations outside.

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I love the food voucher drawing idea. We proceeded to Mom’s Vintage Kitchen for tomato basil soup and chicken salad sandwiches. So good!

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Storms were headed our way so we hurried to our cars. The courthouse is pictured above under stormy skies.

The Sevierville Commons Arts Council is thinking of having this event every year to raise money for their Arts in Common Gallery and programming. I had a great time and will go every year. Consider going too if you couldn’t make it this year. The Blast Off event was a great way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

See you on Bruce Street!

Barbara Tenney Presents Three Cool Summer Salads at KaTom: July 12, 2017

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Barbara Tenney’s ‘Perfect Summertime Salads’ menu was just in time for the hotter temps   in mid-July. A crowd of 28 people gathered to see the preparation, try the dishes, and take home the recipes. I was so happy to see an old friend there. Come with me as I take you through our evening at KaTom.

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I was so happy to see our friends, Shirley and Milford Blair, pictured right. We worked together for years so it was a great pleasure to see her at the event. Shirley told me that it was her first time at a KaTom demonstration and that she had learned about them from this blog. How happy that made me! Pictured left are Shirley and Milford’s friends, Sue and Harold Ownby. They had the best seats in the house!

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I was delighted to sit with my friends pictured from left to right: Harriet Berrier, Sarah Berrier, Debby Smolnyki, Rose Anders, and Cindy Anders. We are becoming regulars.

The Menu

Ripe Peach and Grilled Corn Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Shrimp Salad

Burst o’Lemon Muffins

Vanilla Ice Cream

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The secret ingredient to the Burst o’Lemon Muffins is a cup of lemon yogurt. They were divine.

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Barbara at work in the KaTom kitchen. Catch more of her classes at Butler and Bailey in Knoxville and cooking segments on WBIR TV. I have followed her for over 20 years. What a great lady and talented cook/teacher.

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This salad is great for a crowd and requires no cooking. I would NOT have thought about combining peaches and avocado, serano peppers and onion…but why not? It was my favorite dish of the evening. Fabulous!

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Voila!

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The Asian salad blended well with the lemon muffin.

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Barbara prefers Hellmans mayo to any other.

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Shrimp salad is a cool entree for hot summer days.

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Homemade vanilla ice cream was made with a special attachment for KitchenAid machines.

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See how it attaches to the machine. Let it run for 30 minutes, then freeze for 14 hours. You can find these at KaTom Chef Supplies store.

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These ladies came from Knoxville for the event. Mimi and Brenda attended the last session  with Chef David Pinckney, Executive Chef from Cherokee Country Club. Teresa, pictured right, said that this was her first cooking demo. They enjoyed it as much as we did.

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I always meet some new people from Morristown and they often have a link to my sister Suzanne. Today was no exception. Janet Johnson is pictured left. Dene Masengill-Jones, pictured right, was my sister Suzanne’s riding instructor in high school when she was learning to jump horses. Dene still owns and runs Walnut Grove Riding Stables. What a small world!

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Always get your picture with the chef at the end of a good meal. Barbara and I holding a peach, an ingredient in my favorite salad. Some of you may notice that we look like we are on the RHOA. (Wink if you know that reference.)

There are more cooking events to come at KaTom. Follow them on Facebook. Here is a link to their events page.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/KaTomRestaurantSupply/events/?ref=page_internal

See more pictures on my Facebook page for blog pictures. Here is a link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1254469567899261/

If you like, follow me on Instagram. I am smokymountainfoodie .

KaTom cooking demos are one of my favorite ways to get out and about in Sevierville. Save a place at the table for me!