Foothills Fall Festival brings music and more to weekend

By Sherri Gardner Howell
Publisher, Blount Today

You may need your walking shoes to get around, but you can bet those toes will be tapping this weekend with the line-up of entertainment for the Foothills Fall Festival, which begins Friday at noon in downtown Maryville.

There are a number of street closures, listed below, but the festival areas are compact and easily accessible, especially with a free shuttle that runs from Foothills Mall to six locations in downtown Maryville.

While the major entertainment at Theater in the Park near the Blount County Courthouse is a ticketed event, the majority of the festival is free, including an added entertainment venue this year that has no admission charge.

The Foothills Fall Festival Arts & Crafts section, presented by First Tennessee, has added free music to its menu. The performers will be at the old Post Office steps on Broadway. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday with Missouri Small and Clem Small, Friday's entertainment also includes Donnie and Debbie Barbra at 3 p.m. and the popular Off Kilter, the Maryville
College Vocal Ensemble at 4:30 p.m., presenting jazz and popular music.

Saturday's free music begins at 11 a.m. with Jim Myers and continues throughout the day through Melinda Willick Sutton's 5 p.m. performance. On Sunday, the Rhythm Pickups (Brenda and Lowell Hamby) start the music at 1 p.m., followed by the Woodpickers at 2:30 and ending with Music Row Grass at 4 p.m.

In addition, the line-up of artists and craftsmen at the juried festival offers more than 80 booths with demonstrations and crafts and artwork to sell. Jewelry, woodwork, textile and fabric art, baskets, clay, soaps, photography, candles, pottery, watercolors and other artistic and craft items will all be represented. Hours for the Arts and Crafts festival are noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The booths are set up in the parking lot across from First Tennessee, the Palace Theater and Sullivan's and along Broadway.

The Children's Area, presented by American Fidelity Bank, will be headlined with the DragonLegend Acrobats performing three times each day at 12:30, 3 and 5 p.m. on Friday; noon, 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1, 3 and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Other children's entertainment includes Animal Adventure Land, Showtime Adventure Land, Tiny Tot Adventure Land and Discovery Adventure Land.

There is also no charge for the Children's Area, which stretches along McCammon Avenue along Pistol Creek.

The ticketed entertainment at Theater in the Park, featuring Buddy Guy on Friday, Clay Walker on Saturday and Randy Travis on Sunday, begins at 6 p.m. on Friday with Blues Review. Gates open at 5 p.m.

A pull-out section with all the crafters, artists, entertainers and children's events is in the center of Blount Today.

There will be a number of street closure for the festival, with the only downtown street completely open being Harper Avenue.

Closed will be:

  • Broadway Avenue, from Cates Street to Cusick Street, closes at 5 p.m. Thursday. Broadway Avenue, from Cusick Street to College Street, also closes at 5 p.m. Thursday. Cusick Street remains open Thursday.
  • At 8 a.m. Friday, Cusick Street, from Harper Avenue to Court Circle closes. Court Circle to West Lamar Alexander Parkway (U.S. 321) will also close Friday. The city lot next to the Blount County Courthouse and behind the Theater in the Park will also be closed Friday. Food vendors will set up in this area.
  • At 8 a.m. Friday, McCammon Avenue, from Cusick Street to McGhee Street. McCammon Avenue to East Harper Avenue is closed and the adjacent city lot at 307 E. Harper Ave., will also remain closed.
  • The top level of the parking garage at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Cusick Street closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday for vendor set up and remains closed during the festival. The lot is across from First Tennessee and Sullivan's on West Broadway.
  • North Church Avenue from Cates Street to Cusick Street will be closed to through-traffic. Motorists will be able to access McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home, 220 W. Broadway Ave., by Cates Street and Amburn's Produce, 222 W. Church Ave. by Gamble Lane.

A free shuttle will run from Foothills Mall to the festival beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. Trips are every 15 minutes. The shuttle runs continue until one hour after the last concert of the night.

For the first time this year, there will also be a trolley that runs the periphery of the festival, according to Pam Arnett, Maryville public information officer.

The trolley begins running at noon Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. The trolley stops running at 6 p.m. when the Arts and Crafts area closes.

© 2006 blounttoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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