Editorial: Bloomin' Barbeque and Bluegrass a must-see annual attraction

May. 13, 2013 @ 11:11 PM

Sevier County is blessed with some wonderful, entertaining and classy festivals each year, but maybe none quite like Sevierville’s annual Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass. The event will be held Friday and Saturday this week and promises to be as fun as any of them.

What makes Bloomin’ such a treat is its variety. You can stroll the pedestrian-only streets downtown and enjoy some vendors selling crafts and artwork.  Make your way to the courthouse area for some tasty barbecue and even take in the barbecue contest held each year. The big tent next to the sheriff’s office is where you can hear people singing the songs of Dolly Parton in the Mountain Soul vocal competition. And behind the courthouse close to Forks of the River is the stage on which you can hear some great music, including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

And it’s all free. Except for the food and crafts you may want to buy, of course. Bloomin’ started just a few years ago as the brainchild of the folks at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce who saw the springtime as a great way to showcase the city, bring people downtown and put on a festival that will entertain locals and visitors alike. They have succeeded. Barbeque and Bluegrass succeeds because it offer something for everyone, young and old alike. Friday and Saturday activities extend until past 10 p.m. The music doesn’t disturb residents because few live nearby. Besides, they can come over and have fun as well.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer some terrific programs every year. In Gatlinburg you can enjoy two of the nation’s best parades, the Fourth of July and Christmas processions. They also have Tunes & Tales, the chili cookoff, the barbecue cookoff and more. Pigeon Forge offers Wilderness Wildlife Week, the Dolly Parade and the Fourth of July spectacular in the park. Sprinkled in between all three cities are some great one-day or weekend activities.

Bloomin’ Barbeque has earned its spot among those elite and popular festivals and fairs. Make your plans now to head over to Sevierville and be part of it this weekend. Friday night and all day Saturday are the times. Come hungry, bring a little cash for those special items and foods and plan to be entertained.