Sevierville Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival 2018


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.


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


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.”


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


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



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


These looked amazing. We had to just walk away.



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.


Roasted sweet corn was highly recommended by festival goers.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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

See you out and about in Sevierville.


History Tour Amid BBQ Festival

I made it out to the 10:00 a.m. walking history tour in downtown Sevierville. We met in front of the Sevier County Heritage Museum although I remember it as a post office when I first moved here.

Local historian, Carroll McMahan, and Laura Martin led our tour.

13275280_10204432502052401_1118635400_oWe saw so many things that I was glad that they gave us a brochure of the tour so I could just concentrate on taking pictures. Of course, there are many interesting things and so many stories. I couldn’t even begin to cover the floods, the fires, the fights, etc. But here are some interesting photos…


Cracks in the road because that is where the old railroad tracks went down Bruce Street.

13241601_10204432502332408_2075681409_oSims Barber Shop was open for business despite the crowds.

13275022_10204432503052426_1962701700_oIn 1856, there was a catastrophic fire downtown. Courthouse records were lost. These are salvaged bars from the jail which was also destroyed.


Remember when there was a bus station downtown? Two doors down from this alley. Well, buses used to drive down this narrow alley! Someone commented that they were especially good drivers back then?

Inside D Garden. You can see where it used to be a post office at one time. Beautiful store! I loved the stepping stones in the back aisleway floor.


I think that Andrew Temple was going to lead the 2:00 history tour.

Things that I didn’t realize were downtown until I walked by them.

Back to the museum.

Bill Yett’s baby crib with an interesting history.

13282566_10204432501972399_1125139894_oI loved this Jim Gray painting of the old court house.


There is a lot of history downtown and artifacts to see in the museum. I hope to take another look sometime soon.

Then it was time to walk around the Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. It turned out to be a good time to beat the crowds and rain showers.


Lots of food to choose from. Rib King from Spartanburg, South Carolina had the longest line when I was there.



These vendors come from Grainger County and only do festivals. Cobblers baked the old fashioned way. Divine!

13271822_10204432509412585_1300175317_o13241541_10204432509652591_1270631792_oI settled on a to-go box from this bbq vendor and took a brisket home for lunch before heading back to the Wilderness Wildlife Week.


Here is the best sauce dispenser.

13275489_10204432509932598_698110726_o.jpgMust do this next year for lunch while we are out and about!