Some Warriors Don’t Carry Weapons: Relay For Life of Sevier County Celebrates 20 Years of Hope

There are many groups here, but I am sure none work harder than Relay for Life of Sevier County. Relay For Life is an organization with the mission to raise money for cancer research and programming. The Sevier County Relay For Life group has raised over $3.8 million dollars for the American Cancer Society. Last Saturday was a 20 Year Celebration for the local organization—and it was a big one. Follow me downtown Sevierville to see activities during the 12 hour event.

First, I am going to share some of my favorite things for the general public. Then, I will share some things that I saw that will hit close to home for cancer survivors and caregivers. There is something for everyone at a Relay For Life event.

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I was happy to see plenty of parking and chairs, many in the shade. There was a schedule of events posted on Facebook and in the Mountain Press featuring free music and non-stop entertainment. Anyone can come down and enjoy the outdoors with the courthouse and Dolly statue in the backdrop.

 

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Citizens National Bank offered treats and the thrill of a dunking booth. This lady said that the water was a little chilly at the beginning of the day. What a good sport and supporter of Relay For Life.

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There were games and prizes. Surely, this team had the best smiles!

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Sophia and I had lunch from the Norma Dan Monkees team menu. Grilled right there! They chose ‘monkees’ as a name mascot because it is upbeat …and they are just fun!

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Serving burgers to benefit Relay For Life of Sevier County. They were great!

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More games from Tennessee State Bank. The candy pull game looked fun. Popcorn too.

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The crowds were huge at Dollywood so this family stopped by downtown and took advantage of some of the activities. Face painting was very popular.

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More games!

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Inflatables were a big draw for families.

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Low carb snacks. A huge plate for $2 !

There was a large selection of silent auction items. I am bringing more $ next year to do some birthday and Christmas shopping.

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There are only a few Smoky Mountain-Opoly games left. Sheriff Seals supported the Relay For Life event in person, and as a sponsor.

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Author, Missy Barrett, speaking with Tennessee Representative Dale Carr.

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I heard really good music all day. The band pictured above was quite popular. “Priscilla and Little Rickee” came from Chattanooga to play for the Relay For Life event.

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Late in the afternoon, past event Chairs and members of the first steering committee were recognized. These leaders have championed the fight against cancer to help others in Sevier County live better lives.

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With the courthouse in the background, Relay For Life of Sevier County teams receive a check $15,000  from the Smoky Mountain Wine Trail from the Pink Wines and Stomp Out Breast Cancer Walk. An amazing donation!

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I enjoyed the live auction under the direction of Dale Carr. He skillfully guided the bidding until the highest dollar was found.

To see a live auction is truly an amazing thing.

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As the sun set, I was waiting for the Luminaria ceremony to begin. One could donate a luminaria in memory of a loved one or to honor one who had battled cancer. I bought one for a sweet lady who had passed last year.

IMG_3226 Luminarias lined the street and served as a visual reminder of the terrible reach of cancer.

During the luminaria ceremony, each person was given a small candle.  The candle would be lit as they called out categories of loved ones affected by cancer. Then, there was a quiet memory walk around the courthouse to reflect on these loved ones.

The moment that the Boyd’s Creek Church of God choir began to sing “Amazing Grace” was somber and touching. I almost did not video this moment because it was so solemn, but I felt that it was important for people to see the beauty and dignity of the remembrance walk. As the choir sang, people took their candles and walked along the luminarias that lined the courthouse.

The Relay For Life of Sevier County teams worked hard for 12 hours to celebrate 20 years of important work that impacts our citizens. This group truly brings hope to those in our county who face the fear of cancer. Many thanks to Emily Kile who stepped out to create the group here 20 years ago when it was relatively unheard of. Thanks to other leaders and committee members who have worked on Relay events over the years. Thanks to the teams who worked so hard last Saturday. Finally, thanks to my friend Sophia Conerly, who has taught me more about this hard working group of people. I have seen them…and they are warriors.

I’ll end this article with some of the sponsors of this event—it would be difficult without their partnership and support.

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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.

 

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!

 

Sevier County Hospitality Trade Show 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a Facebook announcement about the Sevier County Hospitality Trade Show and decided to check it out. It was free so I went after work and caught the last 45 minutes. While there, I saw some old friends and some of our favorite businesses in this area. If you ever go, this is what you may see. Follow along!

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This was the announcement that I saw on Facebook. Looked good!

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I had never visited the Sevierville Convention Center so it was fun to explore it for the first time.

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Beth Madison works the table for Relay For Life.

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If you need music then contact Stephen Goff. We enjoy seeing him perform in this area.

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I always enjoy talking with Linda Sink Hyder with the UT Extension office. Look for her at the Sevierville Farmer’s Market this summer too.

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These seminars looked good for all kinds of businesses and organizations.

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Our favorite bar-b-q place!

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My nieces and nephews really enjoy visiting Wilderness at the Smokies. It may be time for another visit.

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If you have not visited Anakeesta yet then you really need to go. Ride the open air chairlift to the top.

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This booklet is a great resource for visitors.

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I asked them to look ‘burly’ for the photo.

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Businesses that support the hospitality industry can be found at this event as well.

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Getting hungry yet?

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I have not visited this attraction yet, but it may be on my ‘summer list.’

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A great local insurance company. Consider them if you need it.

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A popular new business in town. Visit their location behind Staples and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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A ‘one-stop-spot’ for visitor information.

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Sean Pearson and Joe Luneke from First Tennessee Bank.

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After this terrible flu season, it is good to know the location of another Urgent Care facility.

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I liked this display. Can’t wait for summer and these kind of activities!

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I am sure that you are hungry now! Our favorite Pigeon Forge Restaurant.

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Next year, I want to try my luck at this wheel.

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Smoothies created by the convention center to replenish energy for the event.

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A nice amenity at the convention center.

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On the way out to my car, I spied our favorite Sevier County native and some of the best places to visit here.

I had little time at this event and had to hurry, but it was nice to get an overview of some of our best hospitality groups in Sevier County. Keep up the good work!

See you there while out and about in Sevierville. 

 

 

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!

 

#1

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.

 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Barbara Tenney on Saturday at KaTom

 

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My favorite cook in East Tennessee is Barbara Tenney. I am a ‘groupie’ and have followed her for years. The Saturday Christmas treat demos at KaTom Chef Supplies are not to be missed. This Saturday will be her last presentation for the holidays so drop by sometime between 11:00-1:00 p.m. to see, taste, and to learn about the last Christmas treat of 2017—almond cookies made with a press.

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I visited the day of the fruitcake cookies and can tell you that they were fabulous.

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These cookies are even more special because of the wonderful dried fruit that goes into the recipe. The cookie was not overly sweet either so that it allowed balance with the sweetness of the fruit.

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Here is a recipe card for the Fruitcake Cookies.

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Festive tables.

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I tried the Hot Toddy cookies last week and they were excellent. The shortbread cookie that served as a base for the recipe was wonderfully sweet with a subtle orange flavor that came from the zest of the fruit. There are not just for Ole Miss fans.   😉

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I asked about the pan to shape the cookies and Barbara showed me that you could use just a simple one like this one.

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This is a ‘cook’s point of view’ from behind the KaTom demonstration counter. You can see what a beautiful store it is! You don’t have to be a chef to shop here. All kinds of shoppers drop by to browse.

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Barbara took me into the back showroom and we got a latte. This is my dream machine!

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I had never noticed this sale corner and was amazed. I ended up finding several gifts here and some things for my own kitchen. There were a lot of things under $5 in this area. Barbara said that there are new things in this sale area every time that she visits so make sure you check it out.

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I always try to get a picture with the chef before I leave KaTom and this one is my favorite: Barbara Tenney. If you get a chance, drop by and see her for a few minutes this Saturday. It is one of my favorite December things to do while out and about in Sevierville. 

Save me a seat at the counter!