Sevierville barbecue, bluegrass festival begins Friday

May. 16, 2014 @ 06:45 AM

The Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival starts today, meaning the Sevier County Courthouse will close early and several downtown roads will be closed until Sunday.

The courthouse closes at noon, and will reopen Monday on its normal schedule.

Some downtown streets closed Thursday night so vendors and cook-off participants could start preparing. By 1 p.m. today, portions of Bruce Street and Court Avenue around the courthouse will be closed, along with all of Commerce Street.

They will reopen by 1 p.m. Sunday.

While the streets are closed, downtown businesses can remain open.

The festival runs from 5 until 10 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday.

Parking is available in several lots downtown, as well as at First Baptist Church of Sevierville. Handicapped parking is available on Court Avenue.

The festival will host 50 competition barbecue cook teams from all across the United States, more than 60 judges certified by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, a variety of food vendors, 50 artists and crafters, bluegrass entertainment, a kids’ zone and the 10th annual Mountain Soul Vocal Competition.

The Steeldrivers will headline the bluegrass performances with a show on the main stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.