United Way of Sevier County Presents Night at the Derby 2019

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It was a perfect April evening as people walked the red carpet to enter the United Way’s fifth annual Night at the Derby event held at Walters State Community College. Excitement was in the air as we anticipated food, beverages, races, prizes, seeing friends, and fun. Even more, supporters showed up in their finery to support one of the hardest working organizations in Sevier County due to the fact that it supports 17 agencies in our area. Come along and see these supporters, fabulous derby fashions, food, and entertainment. Welcome to Night at the Derby 2019!

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I arrived a few minutes before 6:00 so I could take pictures before it got busy.

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You couldn’t ask for a better greeting!

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After checking in, the first stop was the Kapture booth with a custom photo made to commemorate the event. This is included in the ticket price and a really nice memento of the evening.

A regular photo booth is old news—this is new technology and the perfect event souvenir. Veronica Watson Walter utilizes a ‘green screen’ and you choose custom backdrop Veronica creates for the event. Just a lot of fun!

 

 

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Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County, Amy Harper, greets attendees with Maggie Atchley, a Derby event committee member and, according to Amy Harper,  “an asset to the team.”

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I slipped into the main room to see the beautiful tables. The centerpieces were created by Dustin Manning, owner of D. Garden in downtown Sevierville. Fabulous tulip arrangements!

IMG_4815 Bryan McCarter, Vice Mayor of Sevierville, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. He is pictured with his wife, Anna White McCarter. I have attended ballgames and other events in which Bryan has led the commentary. It is fast paced and humorous. He has generated many, many a chuckle from me and my friends so I knew that the night was in good hands.

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Ladies were dressed in their Derby finery! From left to right: Sonya Brackins, Paula King, Jodi Ramsey, Pam Ithli, and Amy Harper.

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Of course, Mint Juleps are always the the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

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Old Forge Distillery was set up and ready to serve attendees with refreshments. Do you notice what is on the far left side of the table? Those wonderful specialty chocolates!

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This decor is lovely! Run for the roses!

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Janet Barnes and Harriet Berrier were present and ready to support the United Way. Hats were from Sassafras, in the Old Mill complex in Pigeon Forge.

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Ready for service. Shaken, not stirred!

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United Way of Sevier County Derby volunteers, Delinda Summers and Jessica Popek, are with Senior Citizens Home Assistance.

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Brandy and Ashley Burnette were ready at the funny money payout table. They are veterans for the event and ready to go.

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Bob and Becky York, from the Sevierville Civic Center, were ready for a busy evening.

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Jane Howes, from the Civic Center, also volunteered for the event.

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Donna Huffaker and Bobby Vann support the United Way of Sevier County. Donna just competed in “Dancing With the Stars” to support the organization.

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It was wonderful seeing Melanie Webb and Kelly DeBord. I believe that Kelly is the ♥♥ of Sevierville.

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People in Derby attire continued to enter the event from the red carpet.

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Surely, Hunter and Jessica McIntosh must have been contenders for the best dressed couple.

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It was easy to find Derby fashions everywhere. United Way supporters pictured left to right were Hayley, Ashley, Reed, Dustin, Thomas, and Amber.

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Margit and Earl Worsham were enjoying the evening. They are always strong supporters of the United Way and it is truly a pleasure to talk with them.

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Allison Rosenberg, Grant Rosenberg, Kelly and Dana Headden attending the Night at the Derby. I love Dana’s cabi Primrose dress from the cabi Spring ’19 collection.

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Larry Waters, Mayor of Sevier County, enjoys a conversation with Dr. Bozeman.

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A table of Derby fashionistas enjoying the evening.

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There were so many beautiful hats and dresses at Night at the Derby!

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Emily Whaley is pictured left, with Amy Harper, Executive Director of the United Way of Sevier County. Emily Whaley is clearly a driving force that makes Night at the Derby so successful. Amy Harper said, “Emily has co-chaired this great event for five years with Allen Newton, both board members of the organization. They have given their time, talents, and leadership  in making Night at the Derby a huge success for the United Way! ( I admired Emily’s cabi Untamed Dress from the spring ’19 collection. )

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It was soon ‘off to the races!’ Things started to get busy at the tables.

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Mike Comer and Marcie Shrandt were ready for the ‘run for the roses.’ In addition, Mike was a contestant in the recent Dancing With the Stars fundraiser for the United Way.

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Jeremy LaDuke and Pinkie Mistry were dressed for Derby fun.

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Mark Ross, Chief Professional Officer of Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, chats with Michael Maddron, County Commisioner for the 5th District of Sevierville.

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John Matthews and Derby fashionistas supporting the United Way.

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Josh Chambers and Keener Shanton had a chat and enjoyed the evening.

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The special moonshine filled chocolates by Old Forge Distillery were shaped like jockey caps  this year. Loved them! They were probably my favorite thing.

When things slowed down, I went back to the Kapture photo area to talk to Veronica. I have known her for a while and was excited to hear more about this amazing, modern ‘photo booth’ that she has created to use at events.

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Veronica showed me how it works and I was amazed. What you see in the photo above works kind of like a giant IPad. She is a graphic artist so you have an unbelieveable choice of backgrounds for your special photo. And, yes, she used to be a model!

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It was so nice to run into Joel Brannon and Heather Freshko. I last saw Joel at a SCHS Turkey Chase 5K race. Heather owns the new Mountain Zen Yoga Studio on Bruce Street downtown. Soon, I will try to attend one of her classes on Tuesday or Thursday evening at 6:30. The ‘Rest and Restore’ class is just what I will need this spring.

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Carol and John Linsenbigler enjoyed the Derby event. She is a teacher and he is chief of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.

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United Way supporters from Seymour also included Elaina Delozier, Mark Dixon, Shannon Dixon, and Austin Dixon.

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I checked on the festivities and saw that Bryan McCarter was quite busy and doing a great job. I think that he should be the ‘Voice of the Vols’ some day. Don’t you?

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These United Way supporters from the Helen Ross McNabb Center are tres chic!

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You can eat healthily at these events. We are always glad to see Healthy Balance—it is always good!

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I was impressed with the offerings by Wilderness at the Smokies. Wonderful offerings!

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The Gatlinburg Convention Center was not to be outdone with desserts and roses for the ladies. Smoky Mountain Foodie chose the  Margarita Mousse was her favorite dessert. This booth was very special, from decorations, roses, desserts, to the award winning chili. They won the 2018 Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff.

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You would have liked the Hot Pimento Cheese and Crab Dip by Muligans at the Sevierville Golf Course. I wish that I had some right now.

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I was excited to see Brick and Spoon at the Derby event because I follow them on Facebook and love looking at their foodie pictures. They had macaroni mixed with shrimp,  three cheeses and a truffle sauce. The jar shows a drink that they have on hand for breakfast and brunches: infused vodka.

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Courthouse Donuts is always a local foodie favorite. Little did people know, but the table was manned by a member of the award winning wrestling team from Pigeon Forge that competed at the state level this year. A star athlete was in our midst.

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Without a doubt, there was a nice variety of food and beverages—more than I could try.

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It was time for me to go so I took one last look at the races and action—all in fun to benefit the United Way of Sevier County. This will help them support over 17 agencies in our area. They deserve all the support that we can provide them.

I really enjoyed the Night at the Derby event. It was a pleasure to see the fashions and friends. Food and beverages were outstanding. All in all, those things plus the entertainment and prizes were well worth the admission price. In my opinion, it is the best event of the year in Sevierville.

Hope to see you next year at the Derby finish line while out and about in Sevierville. 

Delight at the Derby Hat Social 2019

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One of our favorite events during the year is the Derby Hat Social, sponsored by the United Way of Sevier County. The Hat Social is a prelude to the Derby party next month and can help you get your style game ready for the races. Go and you are guaranteed to have fun! Here is what it was like this year…

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Buy a ticket in advance or at the door. I loved the hats all lined up as I entered Courthouse Donuts!

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This is the fifth year of the Derby Hat Social. I hope that there are many more. Here, United Way members and Executive Board members were already in the spirit of the event. Pictured from left to right: Paula King; Kathy Voncannon, Administrative Assistance; Emily Whaley; Amy Harper, Executive Director;  and Janice Bettis.

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The Derby hats come from the Sassafras store at the Old Mill complex in Pigeon Forge.

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I love the front windows facing the courthouse. The doughnuts are so good too.

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Jodi Ramsey, Assistant Vice President and Marketing Director for Citizens National Bank, enjoyed the event with her mother, Sandy Sandiford.

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There were more hats to choose from this year than ever before.

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Some hats are beautifully whimsical.

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Some hats are artful and sculptured. I think that Jackie Thurman looks good in every hat that she wears!

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Jodie Eberhart looks Derby ready!

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The big windows afford natural light for the buffet table. Nice!

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Citizens National Bank supported the Derby Hat Social with style. Pictured here are Jodi Ramsey, Carrie Strickland, and Melissa Moon.

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Come right after work and there will be ample refreshments to keep you going.

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Couples can also enjoy the event and have fun! Corinne and Steve Hartford look dashing as they support the United Way of Sevier County.

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My most important advice: arrive promptly at 5:00p.m. to have the best choice of hats! Set your purse on a table and go!

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I love a ‘fascinator’ type of hat, but cannot usually wear it well. This one is adorable!

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Another cute ‘fascinator’ style Derby hat. The advantage to this style is no messing up your hair. No flat hair.

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The refreshments are always good at the Derby Hat Social. Enjoy!

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It gets busy around the mirrors, but there is always someone to give you a second opinion on your hat or to take your picture. What fun!

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There are hats for all kinds of tastes and generations!

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This hat is lovely! It makes you wonder why hats have gone out of style.

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Donna Huffaker and Lindsay Shanton enjoyed the event. They regularly support the United Way of Sevier County; in fact, Donna recently performed at Dancing With the Stars for the organization.

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This was probably my favorite picture of the day! From left to right: Lindsay Shanton, Amber Atchely, Maggie Atchley, Mattox, Haley Davis, Jessie Blalock, and Jessica Will.

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You don’t necessarily have to buy a hat at this event. Just come and have fun with your friends! However, if you don’t already own a Derby hat then you will find the best selection in East Tennessee. The Derby Hat Social certainly makes it convenient for those who would like to buy a hat. I already own two Derby hats, but this one really tempted me.

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Part of the fun of a Derby Hat Social is taking pictures, sharing with friends or social media, or keeping a photo as a memory. I liked the drama of this entire outfit so I asked a young lady to help me take the picture. I applied an artistic filter with the Prisma app to give it an old world painting look.

Soon after, it was time for me to go.  I hated to leave so early and must stay longer next year!

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The Derby Hat Social is a prelude to the Night at the Derby party on April 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the Walters State Rel Maples Culinary Arts Building. There will be food, beverages, fun, and more! Emily Whaley told me that winners for each race will get to draw for prizes: a recliner, tickets to REO Speedwagon, a patio set, $$$, season tickets to Broadway shows at the Tennessee Theater, and more. There will be 15 food vendors there as well.

You can follow the event on Facebook at this link. https://www.facebook.com/events/2186103104977117/

‘Funny money’ auction items include bidding on a TV, overnight cabin rental with a catered dinner, zipline adventures, and more. It is sure to be one of the best events in April— so get ready. See you at the races!

 

 

 

Today Makes 200 Blog Stories!

I glanced at the analytics and noticed there are now 200 blog stories on this website—a milestone—so time out for a quick celebration!

This blog is mainly about a little town in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. I write about people, places, and events that are interesting to me, and maybe to locals and visitors too. My goal for the blog was to have a creative outlet while supporting the local art scene, charities, and small businesses. It has forced me to be more outgoing and less of an introvert. Consequently, I have met some remarkable people out and about in Sevierville and made some new friends. It has been quite a fun project.

Many of my stories have had a series: farmers markets, Sevierville Commons Arts Council Art Happenings, and KaTom cooking demonstrations. Other stories are special one-time things: Sims Barbershop, Frank Allen’s Market, the American Eagle Foundation.

Here are some statistics screenshots that are interesting.

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Can anyone guess which event prompted the all time best views on May 23, 2016? Who ever guesses correctly wins a free coffee! 

 

More people read stories in 2018 than the past two years so that is a growing readership, whether locals or tourists.

Look below for some of the top stories of the year. 

The story that I just published yesterday rocketed up to number 5 most read story this year! Crust and Crumb Opens Downtown!

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I am not sure why, but readers look up the story on Dumplin Creek Critter Care almost daily. If you go to her Facebook page then you get to see some delightful pet pictures each day. That story just keeps going! 

If I write about a business or event and they share the blog story then the story can go viral for about 48 hours. I watch the story analytics several times during the day so it is fun for me to watch the numbers increase. So share away! 

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Bloggers are busy with their own writings so I appreciate the support of 30 other WordPress writers. Also, 362 friends on Facebook from which I usually launch stories. Also, several readers opt to subscribe by email.

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This shows a break down of which search engines are used most for this blog. I have the blog linked to two Instagram accounts so I can tell that is working well to attract new readers.

 

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The screenshot above shows that people are clicking the links in the stories. It also shows that Reality Break Massage is quite a popular business since the links have been clicked over 68 times. That reminds me—I need to make my own appointment for next week!

 

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Over 55 countries have clicked on the Out and About in Sevierville blog. The screenshot above shows the top countries. I am not sure why someone from the Ivory Coast, Gibraltar, or American Samoa would be interested in reading it…but welcome to Sevierville!

Here’s to a good year in 2019. I may give it one more year and see how it goes. Cheers to our little town!

See you out and about in Sevierville. 

 

A Touch of Divinity: Cooking with Barbara Tenney at KaTom

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The only place that I have ever tried Divinity candy was in Gatlinburg. I recognized that it was a treat that it was hard to find. Yesterday, we had something closer to heaven during the cooking demo at KaTom with Barbara Tenney. Here are the most important tips on how to make an out -of-this-world treat. 

Melinda and Leisa are ready to go.
Festive front steps. 

We arrived just in time to grab a stool at the bar. The holiday candy bar! 

There is a saying that it is almost impossible to make candy on a rainy day so we crossed our fingers! 



The recipe is fairly simple. 

Sugar almost to the boiling point. Barbara says that you MUST have a good candy thermometer. You can find plenty at KaTom. 
The last part of the recipe requires shaping the individual candies and placing a black walnut on top while the dough is warm. 

Melinda volunteers to help with the candy layout. We were all envious!

Makes you want to lick the spoon, but someone was too shy to ask. 
A friend gave Barbara this apron as gift and I couldn’t help but admire it. It looks like a painting. 
Yes, they were fabulous and we got to take a few samples home. I gave mine to Gera after our lunch at Thai Basil so I could  spread a little Christmas cheer. 
I loved my Cappuccino from the wonderful coffee machine. 
A sign of the times. Get ready! 
This could be a new obsession!
Always get your picture with the cook. She is our culinary ‘rock star.’ 

It was a quick trip out to KaTom Chef Supplies, but we really enjoyed this one very much. But guess what is coming next week? It may be one of the best! 

Barbara Tenney said that she may make a couple kinds of Truffles next week. 

Save us a stool at the bar! It will be a great way to get out and about in Sevierville.

MasCUREade Party: 2018 American Cancer Society Night of Hope

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Cancer unites people. Last Thursday evening, a variety of Sevier County citizens came together for the 4th Annual Night of Hope at Harpoon Harry’s in Sevierville. This fund raising event raises money for research to find a cure and resources for families dealing with this disease. As it turned out, this evening was also a chance to share some great news. Here is what I saw at the MasCUREade.

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Sophia Conerly and Rebecca Cowan warmly greeted guests at the door. Rebecca was a Co-Chair for the event this year.

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The evening had a schedule of events so we knew what to expect during the evening.

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Tickets were available to buy for a special auction. You could buy as many as you liked and put them in the box for a desired prize. The drawing would entail only one ticket—and that person would be the winner. So, in other words, you could buy a lot of tickets and place them in one particular box. Statistically, you would have a better chance of winning with more tickets in the box—which adds to the fun.

 

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Tim Kellar and Craig Johnson provided the entertainment for the evening.

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I had never seen an auction tree like this until recently. You bid on the tree which is full of gift certificates. Everything you could like is on this tree. Great idea!

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Carlene Maples and her husband attending the Night of Hope event last Thursday. She just finished her own fund raiser the week before—a fashion show!

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I like silent auction items more and more. I took my time looking over the selections.

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Appetizers lined the bar. Everyone’s favorites were stuffed mushrooms and peel and eat shrimp. Sushi was very popular as well.

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Silent auction items line a table that looks into the dining area for the event.

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Kayla Shelby, from the American Cancer Society, greets the guests and kicks off the event.

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You will never find a better auctioneer than Dale Carr. After two other events this fall, I have learned that the auctioneer plays a large part in determining the success of a live auction. In addition, Dale Carr is always glad to stop the action to take a photo, creating a fun moment.

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At the end of the evening, an important announcement was made to the gathering. After twenty years of hard word, the Relay For Life of Sevier County teams have raised over $4 million dollars for research and resources to help families. This is an incredible amount of money for purely volunteer teams. This was a huge achievement.

I was not in a good position to take this photo so I tried to manage one anyway. At the end of the program, former Relay for Life Event Chairs and Committee members  were asked to step forward for recognition. Relay for Life is powered by volunteers.

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At the end of the evening, Danette Conner-Rolen, event Co-Chair for the Night of Hope, and Kayla Shelby, Senior Manager of Community Development, finalize auction items. It was a very enjoyable evening and a successful local event to help in the battle against cancer.

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Here is a list of sponsors, whose support was greatly appreciated.

 

 

A Visit to the Downtown Farmers Market Before the Storms Arrived on Friday night.

I was running late to meet friends for lunch so there was no time to waste on Friday at the downtown Sevierville farmers market. With only 40 minutes to see as much as possible, I made my way from the parking lot on Main Street to the gazebo area. Follow along and see what was there last Friday, July 20.

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I had never seen so many cars and traffic in downtown Sevierville this summer so it was good to see people out and about.

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If you park near the courthouse then you can pass through the arcade at the Victoria Mall and then exit near the Henderson’s produce tent. This is one of my favorite stops.

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The downtown Sevierville farmers market on Fridays offers a great place for family outings. This sweet family captures that idea in one photo.

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Kyle Grainger, reporter and weather anchor for WVLT-TV, shops at another vendor. Knowing that storms were on the way that evening, the vendor and I asked about the weather timeline. Kyle replied that it would be stormy and that the television station had recommended that he pack an overnight bag in order to cover the weather throughout the early morning hours. It did turn out to be quite a stormy night!

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I always enjoy visiting the UT Ag Extension tent because they are so friendly, offer samples, give you a free recipe, and sometimes a freebie! I felt good when one of the ladies knew of this blog and said that a relative in Ohio reads it sometimes. So cool!

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 Apple salsa with a little jalapeño kick. I will make this!

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This is the nicest lady! She also makes quilts from t-shirts. I got some specifics from her for a future project because I am ready to finally get rid of T-shirts, but don’t want to throw them away. Some are from Spain, London, Australia, and New Zealand so they are sentimental favorites. This will allow me to keep the memories, but also allow more closet space. Take a look at the craftwork under her arms in the photo above. Those are remnants from T-shirt projects in the past. Looks like we know what kind of shirts they come from!

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I bought the medium glazed cashews to take as a hostess gift on Saturday at a cabi Fall ’18 collection launch. The friends at the party found them to be a favorite treat at that gathering. I talked to the vendor and he is headed for California this week.

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Other customers agree that the glazed pecans are great.

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I need to avoid sugar, but still admired the cinnamon buns from this vendor.

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Foodie pastry heaven!

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Wildflour Bakehouse offers cakes made to order and cookies as well. Check out her book for ideas and prices. I liked the chocolate cakes pictured above.

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 I was so happy to see Snowbird Mountain Farm again and made another purchase. Great  gourmet coffee!

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You can buy lunch from Doug Shanks and keep shopping!

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There is always a crowd and beautiful things to see at Sevier Blumen.

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I had to leave for lunch before I had a chance to wander over to the gazebo to see a wood turning demonstration. Luckily, I caught a Facebook Live feed by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council while I was in the restaurant. From that, I caught a couple of screenshots of these Unicoi County crafters. Here is one screenshot of Bill Collison at work.

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Here is a screenshot of Tina Collison. Check the front page of the Sevierville Mountain Press Sunday edition to see a story on these two crafters.

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Taking a last look before heading to lunch with friends. The Sevier County Courthouse clock tower in the background is a nice photo reference.

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Healthy Balance is a great lunch stop after visiting the market. I met Janice, Anita, and Elaine for a leisurely lunch. The turkey avocado sandwich grilled is perfection. We highly recommend this lunch spot!

There is another farmers market downtown in just a few days. It is a great way for you, and your family, to get out and about in Sevierville. See you there!

 

Sevierville Commons Farmers Market and Movie Night Downtown: June 15th, 2018

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I rushed up Court Avenue and then to the gazebo area in order to connect with the farmers market last Friday.  On my way home from a HIIT class, there were only a few minutes to spend there, but fresh produce was calling my name. As it turned out, I would return downtown at dusk to see what was going on with the Sevierville Commons sponsored movie. It was a busy day in downtown Sevierville so follow along to see what was bringing people downtown from morning to evening.

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Tomatoes are in! Love the summertime for this reason. Hendersons always has good ones.

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Danish and bagels for the sweet tooth. She often sells out by noon so get there early.

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This cute little game on sale by one vendor was a bargain! I will get some next week —if there are any left.

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We were able to sample one of the small Cherokee Purple tomatoes from this vendor; consequently, I took several home. Lots of flavor in a small package.

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This is on my dining room table right now. Hard to pass up a bouquet from Sevier Blumen.

Around 8:30 p.m. it was almost dusk so I decided to go by and see the crowd for the outdoor movie. The selection for the evening was the “Lion King.”

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We have no drive-in movie theaters in the county, but this was  almost the next best thing. What a nice evening to sit outside to watch a movie with family and friends almost within the shadow of the courthouse.

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Snacks were available for sale from the Relay For Life of Sevier County group. They said that they had sold out of certain things by the time that I got there so get there early next time!

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There was a very good turnout for this movie. Thanks to Sevierville Commons for the opportunity to enjoy something free downtown with families.

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I found some precious, hand-made items for sale at this table sponsored the Orbit Village Project. The figures of zebras, giraffes, and other African animals fit perfectly into the “Lion King” theme. I bought a giraffe figure that will sit on my desk to collect mail.

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I have heard of the Orbit Village Project before and enjoyed looking at the information boards. What a wonderful work it is for everyone involved.

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Finally, darkness settled and it was time for the show. Everyone seemed to settle in.

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And then the magic began…

First Visit to Downtown Sevierville Farmers Market 2018 (and a sneak peek at Rocking the Commons)

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It was my first visit to the Farmers Market in downtown Sevierville this year.  I was running late so it was a quick tour around for me this time. Many of your favorite vendors were there. Follow me to take a quick tour here.

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The first reason I go to the market is for fresh produce so Henderson’s is hard to beat.

IMG_3378 2The lady who sells bread and fresh bagels is back. These are amazing!

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One of my favorite vendors is back with the handmade figurines. Remember last year when she designed some cat and dog figurines for me to give as gifts? She has a few new things for the holidays, so check them out next week.

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I am avoiding sugar right now, but imagine these products are wonderful on a morning biscuit. She also does the T-shirt quilts so ask her about them if you are interested.

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This lady is one of the friendliest vendors on Friday so go say “hello.” She had some ‘special helpers’ too. Everyone needs soaps and scrubs and hers are so reasonably priced.

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I asked about the charcoal ingredient and she replied that it was good for problem skin and complexions. It helps remove toxins too.

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These little cakes were so light. The sweet potato butter adds the moisture. Sounds so good!

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I got close to the end of the market time so I didn’t really run into a lot of people. Will try to be earlier next week. Next, I crossed the street to see a sneak peek of the Rocking the Commons event, sponsored by the Sevierville Arts Commons.

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These rockers are gorgeous! They will be auctioned off today at 4:00.

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Go Vols !

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Each rocker is one of a kind. Collector’s item!

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Some lucky people will have a one of a kind rocking chair to enjoy on the porch this summer. See you downtown and out and about in Sevierville. 

 

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.

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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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A Year in Review: Out and About Sevierville 2017

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

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

MY Favorite Stories

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

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

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

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

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This is the info for the blog photographer.

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As for other stories during the year…

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

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

My favorite new event: the United Way Progressive Dinner.

Most relaxing story: Oak Haven Spa.

Best sources of consistent blog stories 

1 Sevierville Commons Arts Council

2. Sevierville Commons Farmers Market

‘I am rooting for you’ award

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

Unique fun for ladies

Ladies Derby Hat Social

I would like to spend more time

at Charlotte’s Creative on Bruce Street

Celebrity Surprise

Running into Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund at the Dolly Statue

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

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

See you in 2018!