Fair gets blue ribbon

Heritage Center event draws 2,000 for their part of Townsend Days

William Webb reaches for “Sadie Wilkie,” the pig, as others give chase, including, from left, Nikki Inskip, Shyla Sheffield, Eli Wilkie and June Greene.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

William Webb reaches for “Sadie Wilkie,” the pig, as others give chase, including, from left, Nikki Inskip, Shyla Sheffield, Eli Wilkie and June Greene.

The folks judging the Best Pie in the Cove Contest at the Blue Ribbon Country Fair at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center must like apple pie.

“The Best Pie in Cove Contest was won by Terry Tipton from Blount County with an apple pie,” Heritage Center marketing director Nancy Williams said. “We’ve had the contest four years in a row, and all four years, an apple pie has won.”

Williams said response to the fair on Sept. 25 and 26 was good even though rain fell on the second day. “It went great. We probably had, over the two days, between 1,500 and 2,000 vistors. It was way over last year, because it poured down last year,” she said. “We started with good weather this year and ended with bad.”

One popular event was the Women’s Lodge Skillet Throw. “In the Women’s Lodge Skillet Throw, the response was even better than last year and nobody got hit,” Williams said. “These people have been practicing, it is clear they are serious. You have to watch them.”

There were two hog calling contests and a rooster crowing contest. The fair also hosted its first cattle show, a junior show with the cattle owners under age 19.

“We put an arena up in lot next door under a big top,” said Williams. “The show was very well received, and we’re already talking about doing it next year.”

Jason Wilson, a Country/Rockabilly performer, did a concert on Saturday night. “It went really well, and the weather was perfect. All weekend long we had historic demonstrations like weaving, spinning, open hearth cooking and blacksmith forging,” she said.

This is the second year for the student art competition, sponsored by Friends of the Smokies. “We had 40 entries last year, and 147 entries this year from student artists among elementary, intermediate and middle schools from Blount County, Alcoa and Maryville,” Williams said.

Williams praised the Heritage Center volunteers. “We have the best volunteers,” she said. “They make you feel welcome from the parking lot.”

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