Community Events for October 8, 2009

Friday, October 9

Blues ‘n’ Boogie at the Heritage Center

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center’s Fall Music Series concludes with a performance by Labron Lazenby & LA3 on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

Labron Lazenby & LA3 represented the Smoky Mountain Blues Society last February at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and made it to the semi-finals in the competition involving over 100 blues bands from all over the U. S. and beyond. An electrifying blues guitarist, Labron Lazenby (whose nickname is “LA”) is unique in that he is also a master of the difficult thumb and finger-picking style made famous by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. Lazenby is also a soulful, evocative singer and prolific songwriter, and he has long been recognized as one of Knoxville’s foremost blues entertainers.

Lazenby first gained fame as the host of the Sassy Ann’s Blues Jam in Knoxville at the height of its popularity and as the guitarist and vocalist for two of Knoxville’s legendary bands, The Boogeymen and Sara Jordan & The Leftovers. After the death of Jordan in 2001 and the breakup of The Boogeymen, Lazenby left town to tour in Texas and elsewhere for a while. When he returned to Knoxville, he rejoined forces with two former members of The Boogeymen and The Leftovers, bassist Andy Lewis and drummer Danny Ledford, to create a potent blues power trio. Bob Knapp, one of our area’s most talented and expressive saxophone players, sat in with the band several times and was soon invited to become a permanent member. The group has been recording a CD which is expected to be released sometime this fall. For more information, visit

The Fall Music Series is sponsored by PetSafe Village. Admission to each concert is $4 per person, with Heritage Center members admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Non-alcoholic beverages and popcorn are available for purchase on-site. No drinks, food or coolers may be brought in to the event. For more information, call the Center at 865-448-0044 or visit

Friday, October 9

Planetarium presents 1980s music laser show

Do you still wonder, “Where’s the beef?” Do you tear up when you hear, “Wow! Thanks Mean Joe!” Do you think Max Headroom is the greatest political commentator of all time?

If so, then the Heritage Planetarium has the perfect show for you. LaseRetro will make its premier on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale at 6 p.m. on the night of the show for $5 per person and parking is free.

Produced in cooperation with Audio-Visual Imagineering, LaseRetro features the latest in laser art and digital programming techniques, creating spectacular effects set to rock and pop songs from the 1980s. Some of the artists listed in the set are Tears for Fears, The Police, Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, INXS, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

LaseRetro and other laser shows are a great introduction to the planetarium for newcomers; primary goal of the facility is space and science education. Currently, the planetarium has five laser shows available. The next program, Laser Beatles, is expected to be released in February 2010.

Because of the audio and visual intensity of the show, it may be too much stimulation for young children. For more information call 865-984-8548 or visit The Heritage Planetarium is located at 3741 East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville.

Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 24

Musical performances set in Cades Cove Amphitheater

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced two one-hour long musical performances, featuring Paul Grace and the Boogertown Gap band, beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 24. The musicians will be performing in the Cades Cove Campground Amphitheater and the events are free to the public.

Oct. 9 – Paul Grace is a well known folk musician from Columbia, Mo., and has been performing for over 25 years, spending many years touring North America with his wife and daughters. Now a solo performer, he is a versatile vocalist and instrumentalist on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and harmonica. Grace has musical roots in the Ozarks and the Appalachians, as well as early influences of the Kingston Trio and other members of the Folk Revival. Grace will present a wide variety of songs and styles from fiddle tunes to lovely ballads.

Oct. 24 - Boogertown Gap band, composed of Ruth Barber and Keith Watson, specializes in traditional songs and tunes played on a variety of stringed instruments. The wife and husband duo, who currently resides in Pittman Center, Tenn, performs old-time and Celtic music throughout East Tennessee. They are known to share the music, folklore and stories of their ancestors and descendants of the Southern Appalachians who have shaped the timeless music of the mountains. Boogertown Gap attempts to stay “traditional” by performing music from the pre-recording industrial period, playing a lot of tunes from the minstrel antebellum period and the years during and after the Civil War.

Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11

Tournament to benefit area schools’ tennis programs

Pick up your racket for some fun on the court to benefit area schools during the weekend of Oct. 10-11. William Blount High School tennis coach Marty Durand has organized a tennis tournament for both youth and adult players, complete with prizes. A $25 entry fee gets up to three events for the players. Events include Challenger Doubles for middle school, high school, adult and senior players.

In a Challenger Double, eight players split to four on 2 courts to play three 6-game total sets, switching partners each time. After each court has finished, the two players with the most games won from each court will play each other in an eight game pro set to determine the winner.

Prizes include half-off yearly youth membership to Cedar Bluff Racquet Club, restaurant gift certificates and food prizes from the William Blount Culinary Arts class.

The tournament is sponsored by Jim Cogdill and the Cedar Bluff Racquet Club. Prizes are being provided by Aubreys, Foothills Milling Co., Ruby Tuesdays, Panera Bread Co., Marble Slab Creamery and Cedar Bluff Racquet Club.

A car wash -- $3 per car -- will also be going on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All events are at William Blount High School. For registration information, contact Coach Durand at 865-293-2421. Proceeds will benefit area schools’ tennis programs.

Saturday, October 10

Stargazing program offered in Cades Cove

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will offer a 2-hour stargazing program in Cades Cove on Oct. 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in cooperation with the Smoky Mountains Astronomical Society. Experienced astronomers and several telescopes will be on hand to provide a discovery of the autumn sky’s position of stars, galaxies, and constellations, including the Milky Way.

According to Park Ranger Mike Maslona, “Along with preserving wildlife and historic sites, Cades Cove also preserves a dark, clear night sky. Without the obstruction of artificial light as seen in developed areas outside the Park, visitors will have a better viewing opportunity to gaze at the stars than they would have at home.” In case inclement weather or obstructive cloud cover, the program will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Participants for the program should park near the exhibit shelter at the entrance to the Cades Cove Loop Road where a ranger will be to escort the group about one-fourth mile to a nearby field. Those planning to attend should dress warmly, and bring a flashlight and a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, if possible, to be used for stargazing. For more information, call 865-448-4104.

Saturday, October 10

Teen Mystery Night returns to Blount County Library

Teens are invited to a fun evening to help solve the mystery of John Wallace.

Did he suffer a hunting accident? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown enroute to Ireland? Or was he killed by a fellow Maryville resident seeking revenge?

“The Disappearance of John Wallace” will be the 2009 Teen Mystery Night at the Blount County Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. The fictionalized story is based on true events in Maryville’s history.

Open to area middle and high school students, this event is free, and food will be served.

To participate in this event, held after normal library hours, teens should go to the end of the library adjacent to Regal Towers and enter the Sharon Lawson Room.

To register, call the library’s reference desk at 982-0981, ext. 4, or 273-1436.

The story is set in 1805 when Maryville was a prosperous community of about 500 people. It had good inns and taverns for visiting travelers. The first stage lines in the state intersected in Maryville and passed through the town two or three times a week. Blount County’s population numbered almost 6,000 people.

One of those people was an immigrant from Ireland. For the next 30-some years, he lived in Maryville, married and had children, was a lawyer, served on the board of the Porter Academy, was a trustee of the first Maryville Bank, and was a member of New Providence Church when Isaac Anderson was the pastor. This much is true. Also true are a few mysteries about his life and death. He was declared missing and dead by the court in 1839.

The mission for area middle and high school students is to read the clues distributed by the Blount County Public Library staff, interview living history actors portraying people from that time, and ascertain what they think happened in “The Disappearance of ‘John Wallace.’”

The dramatization for the Teen Mystery Night event will be performed by local teen actors, and the story was written by library staff members and volunteers, Kathleen Christy and Danielle Trotter. The graphic design for the event was done by Mark Trotter.

The event is f ree. For further information, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at

Saturday, October 10

Amateur Radio Club to celebrate Park anniversary

The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club (SMARC) will come together at the Townsend Visitors Center on Oct. 10 to communicate with fellow amateur radio operators across the US to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the park. The SMARC is using the broadcast as an opportunity to publicize the park anniversary to the amateur radio community around the country.

The SMARC event, scheduled to begin broadcasting around 9 a.m., will feature club members operating voice and digital communications. The special event operation is similar to a simulated emergency, with the radio club using an emergency communications trailer to set up and operate radio. Using amateur frequencies, SMARC will make contact with other radio amateurs around the country and Canada. If the conditions are good, such as static and propagation, the club could also make contact with foreign amateur radio stations.

Once initial contact is established, the SMARC will inform the person contacted that the club is operating a special event station to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the park. SMARC also participated in the park’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 1984, operating from Newfound Gap on the North Carolina and Tennessee line.

The SMARC will have up to ten club member participating in the one day event. The event is open for the public to view the amateur during operation.

For more information about SMARC, please visit

Saturday, October 10

Annual Bessie Harvey Day celebration be held in Alcoa

The annual Bessie Harvey Day celebration will be held on October 10, 2009 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The celebration will began at 2 p.m. All of Blount County and the surrounding areas are invited to attend. There will be free food, music, fun and entertainment for the entire family. There will be never seen before footage of the life of Bessie Harvey, spoken in her own words. Alcoa High School step team will be performing and an exhibit of Harvey’s work will also be displayed.

Come celebrate the life and legacy of one of our own, Bessie Harvey, world renowned artist from Alcoa. The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is located at 209 E Franklin Street in Alcoa.

Monday, October 12

Heritage Center Guild to host golf tournament

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Guild will host its second golf tournament on Monday, Oct. 12, at Lambert Acres Golf Course to benefit the Center.

“Everyone had a great time last year during the first tournament,” Heritage Center Director Bob Patterson said recently. “We welcome all golfers to take part in what promises to be a fun event for a good cause.”

Tee off is an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start, and the format is Four Person Scramble with full field (event will be flighted). Cost to participate is $100 per golfer, or $400 per 4-person team. Participants may register by calling the Heritage Center, 865-448-0044, or sending their check to GSMHC, P O Box 268, Townsend, TN, 37882.

Lunch will be served when all golfers have completed the course. Tournament sponsorships are also available at the Gold Level ($500) or Silver Level ($250), and Hole Sponsorships for $100 each.

Lambert Acres Golf Course is located at 3402 Tuckaleechee Pike in Maryville. For more information, contact Sara Berry, 865-382-6813; Marsha Gaster, 865-458-8984 or Bob Patterson, 865-448-0044. Rain date for the event is Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Thursday, Oct. 15

Bruce Pearl is guest for United Way evening

Bruce Pearl, head coach of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is bringing his volunteer spirit to Blount County to help United Way. Pearl will speak at a fundraiser for United Way at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The evening, which is being hosted by Royal Oaks Event Center, will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and a chance to mingle with the coach and hear his presentation.

Tickets for the event are $35 each and are available at the the offices of United Way of Blount County, 1615 E. Broadway Ave. in Maryville. Only 300 general admission tickets will be available for purchase.

“United Way does so much good for Blount County,” Pearl said. “They focus on issues I really care about - health, education, self-sufficiency. What they do for Blount County is tremendous.”

For more information or to give to United Way, please visit or call 865-982-2251.

Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18

New events slated for MC’s Homecoming, Oct. 16-18

Maryville College welcomes alumni, parents and friends back to campus for Homecoming Oct. 16-18, where the theme for the weekend is “Home to Howee.”

Activities range from athletics to retirement recognitions, as well as a several new events. Unless indicated otherwise, all events are free and open to the public.

“Homecoming is one of the most meaningful and exciting times of the year. It gives the entire MC family - students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends of the College - a time to gather and celebrate this special community,” said Katherine Caputo, director of outreach and alumni affairs.

“One of the biggest changes in the weekend is revamping the Alumni Banquet to an Alumni Reception,” she continued. “The event will have a more festive feel to celebrate alumni being back on campus, but will keep in the tradition of recognizing the reunion classes and highlighting three outstanding alumni.”

The Alumni Reception & Awards Ceremony, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni Gym, will honor award recipients and highlight the 25th-, 40th- and 50th- year reunions. Elizabeth Welsh and Alvin Nance will be awarded the distinguished Alumni Citation. Yvette Prinsloo Franklin will be presented the Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $20 per person.

Join alumni for live bluegrass music and fellowship from 9 until 11 p.m. at the Alumni Gym. Jay Clark ‘96 will be performing. Admission is $5 at the door.

For more information on Homecoming events, visit the College’s web site at Tickets may be reserved by contacting the Office of Alumni Affairs at 865-981-8200.

Saturday, October 24

Shopping for Change will benefit Haven House

On Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 25-30 area vendors and artisans will be selling their wares to the people of Maryville to benefit the Haven House. In addition to Haven House, a small portion of the money raised will be given to the First Baptist Church of Maryville Mothers Of Preschoolers group.

“Shopping for Change” will be located in the gym at the First Baptist Church of Maryville. There will also be children’s activities, bake sale items, and a booth for kids of all ages to have pictures taken with Santa. These unique and interesting vendors will be a great opportunity to get a lot of Christmas shopping done.

Haven House of Maryville is in desperate need of funds, due primarily to recent fire damage. Shop for Change will benefit your pocketbook and be a way to give back to Haven House.

For more information on the event or on how to become a vendor, visit

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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