Community Notes

Bessie Harvey Day celebration is Saturday

Bessie Harvey, a world-renown artist from Blount County, will be remembered this weekend with a celebration in honor of the late artist.

Harvey, mother of 11 children, obtained world-wide recognition for her art work. The Knoxville Museum of Art hosted a major show of Bessie Harvey art in 1996 called “Awakening The Spirits.” Prior to Harvey’s death, she received notice that she had won the Governors Award, the highest award in Tennessee arts. The ceremony was held at the Governor’s mansion in Nashville. Two of her daughters, Faye Dean and Brenda Harvey, attended the ceremony on her behalf to receive the award. Today, Harvey has work displayed in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Whitney and the Smithsonian.

In February, 1995, the Alcoa mayor and the board of commissioners renamed and dedicated a street in her name and honor. On Oct. 11, 1996, Harvey’s birthday, the mayor of Alcoa proclaimed Oct. 11 as Bessie Harvey Day. Each year, there is a celebration on or around Oct. 11 in honor of Harvey.

This year’s celebration on Saturday, Oct. 13, features food, displays and fellowship. Held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 209 East Franklin Street, the celebration is from 1 to 6 p.m., and features free dinners of chicken, hotdogs, pizza and drinks and a display of Bessie Harvey art for public viewing with a video of Harvey’s life.

The public is invited to attend the celebration.

Donating to the celebration this year are Todd Norris and CiCi’s Pizza, Jeffery Clark and Hannum Street Pizza Hut, Chris Coffee and Papa John’s Pizza, Rochelle and Domino’s Pizza, Sharon Fesmire and Lee’s Chicken, Wal-Mart, Save-A-Lot, Food City and Kroger.

Heritage Middle School to hold fall carnival

Heritage Middle School is planning a Community Carnival for Friday, Oct. 19, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., to be held on the school grounds.

“We would like to invite the whole community. This is a great opportunity for families to come out and enjoy lots of games and fun as well as foods of the season like funnel cakes and our ever popular cake walk. New for this year, there will be a Haunted Hallway that should provide lots of entertainment for our kids,” said Dr. Jesse Robinette, principal of Heritage Middle School.

There will be many games as well as concessions for traditional fall favorites. Popular booths in the past have included the teacher dunking booth, the football toss, and the car smash booth.

Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library to host fun night

The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library in Townsend is hosting a “Family Fun Night,” from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at the library. Admission is free, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. There will be crafts, face painting, a cake walk, storytime, and games (games are $.50 each). All proceeds will go toward operational expenses for the library. Please come and join us for some family fun and support your local library.

After-School Programs for October, November, and December are: Thursday, Oct. 18 - Story sharing, craft, and snacks; Thursday, Oct. 25 - Tommy Safety Cat, Red Cross presentation by Angie Kizer; Thursday, Nov. 8 - Special presentation on stars and planets by Tom Webler, Planetarium Director; Thursday, Nov. 15 - Special guest Sharon Mitchell, author of the children’s book “What Great Thing Can Patches Do?”

On Thursday, Dec. 6 - Snacks and Snores of the Black Bear, a presentation by Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Thursday, Dec. 13 - story sharing, craft, and snacks. Programs run from 3:15 to 4:15 PM. Call the library at 865-448-1441 for more information or to register.

The Mary Tippitt Library is located at 120 Tiger Drive in Townsend. Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from Noon to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a drop box by the front door for after-hours returns.

For more information, call 865-448-1441, fax 865-448-1875, visit the website at or email to

Live Music on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center’s Fall Concert Series presents the Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle Band on Friday, Oct. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater of the Heritage Center.

The acoustic music of the Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle Band is seasoned with the distinctive flavors of bluegrass, old time, classic country, and modern folk. Solid original compositions and soaring harmony vocals make up the heart and soul of this Americana band, led by the husband and wife duo of Jeff Barbra on guitar and Sarah Pirkle on fiddle. The couple makes their home in nearby Walland, Tennessee. In 2000, they won first prize in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in North Carolina. They have released two acclaimed CDs, “Dog Years” and “The Barb Hollow Sessions”, and they also hosted and produced the “Behind the Barn” live radio concert series on WDVX for five years.

For more information about Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle, visit

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is located on Highway 73, less than a mile before the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bringing a blanket, cushion, or folding chair is recommended for seating in the outdoor amphitheater.

Admission to the concert is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors 61 and older, and $3 for children 6-17. Children under 6 are free.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. The Fall Concert Series is presented by Invisible Fence Brand by PetSafe.

For further information, call the Heritage Center at 865-448 -0044 or visit

Alcoa Alumni homecoming will be Saturday, Oct. 13

An old Alcoa landmark will come alive with memories, sounds, and photos this weekend as Alcoa Alumni and friends celebrate Alcoa Alumni Homecoming 2007 at the Springbrook Recreation Center.

Many alumni attended the old Springbrook School (built in 1921 for $68,079.70) or had parents and grandparents who attended. As youngsters, many played basketball or cheered for their team on the old gym floor over fifty years ago. Unfortunately the school burned in 1968, but the gymnasium and added pavilion serve our community through the Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation Commission.

Friday night the Alcoa Tornadoes host Christian Academy School of Knoxville at Bill Bailey Football Field. For music enthusiasts, the alumni group “Ole Time Country” performs at “Music Row” (on right approx 1½ mile past Blount Memorial Hospital, Hwy 321, Maryville). Music begins at 7p.m., alumni tat 8:30 p.m.

Official activities begin at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, but several alumni are expected to show up for breakfast around 9a.m. at Shoney’s near the airport. Rumor has it a few alumni ‘Pickers and Singers’ may start jamming around 11am at the Springbrook Pavilion (same location as gym).

At 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Old Springbrook Gym, 1537 Dalton Street, Alcoa, will open for “Homecoming 2007.”

Old photos will be on display, and those attending are encouraged to bring their own nostalgic treasures.

Drinks, plates and ice will be furnished, bring your favorite dish or a finger food to share. The Gym will be open from 3:30 to 9 p.m.

Anyone who attended or taught at an Alcoa school is urged to attend. Over the years, dividing lines between schools and communities have merged and intermingled, anyone who graduated from one of those “other” schools and have AHS ties, are certainly welcome to join the festivities.

Body Farm creator coming to Heritage Center

Dr. Bill Bass, anthropologist, author, professor emeritus at UT, and creator of Knoxville’s famed “Body Farm,” will be at Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bass will present a history of forensic anthropology, complete with bones and skulls, and will discuss the books he has authored, including his latest non-fiction work “Beyond the Body Farm.”

Bass’ books will be available for sale on-site, and the author will be available to sign copies during a welcoming reception prior to his presentation, and after the program.

The event is free and is being hosted by the B.E.A.R. Facts Book Club, Friends of Mary Tippitt Library, and the Heritage Center, and is sponsored by Wal-Mart. Rain date is Monday, Oct. 22.

For more information, call 856-448-0044.

Grand Nationals coming to Blount County

The Mountain Raceway in Blount County has been chosen as the site for the FASTRAK Late Model Grand Nationals. More than 100 teams from 23 states have qualified to participate in the Grand Nationals. The Mountain Raceway will host the second leg of the event on Oct. 17 and 18.

National begins in Glenco, Alabama on Oct. 5 and 6 with Southern and Mid East Regional races. The first race to feature qualified teams from across the nation comes to Blount County on Night 2 with practice laps on Oct. 17 and the race on Oct. 18. Night 3 will be held on Oct. 19 and 20 at Bulls Gap.

Gates open at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, practice will begin at 6 p.m. On Thursday, Oct. 18, gates open at 3 p.m., racing begins at 6 p.m. For more information, visit

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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