Foothills Fall Festival planners had a hunch tickets would sell out fast this year, even before they told the public who the headliner was for Saturday night.
“I think this year we knew tickets would go fast before we made the announcement that Reba (McEntire) was coming,” said Jane Groff, event coordinator for the City of Maryville. “We had a feeling she would be a huge kickoff for us. For us to have sold out tickets in two and half weeks was pretty impressive and solidified what folks around here want to see,” she said.
Reserved seats for McEntire sold out in minutes. The only tickets left at press time this week were a few reserved seats for Friday night. Go to www.KnoxvilleTickets.com.
Country singer Sara Evans will headline on Friday, Oct. 7. Reba McEntire will be featured on Saturday, Oct. 8, and Chicago will perform on Sunday, Oct. 9.
“We’ve also had a lot of positive response about Chicago. They haven’t been in this area in more than 20 years and that has been exciting for people,” she said. “It is such an interesting and unique venue to see people, and it feels so intimate. We found folks really enjoy it and make it a tradition.”
Music will be a big part of the events that require no ticket and are free for the Festival as well. ArtWay on West Broadway Avenue has a music stage in addition to the arts and crafts vendors. Roy Garrett, longtime owner of the now closed Roy’s Record Shop, will be participating on the stage situated in front of his store. “Roy Garrett is going be opening the stage on Saturday and we are excited for him to be part of it,” she said. “We dedicated the stage last year to him.”
The event coordinator said she still gets calls from folks asking if they can come to festival even without tickets to the theater shows. “We want to make sure visitors are aware you don’t have to have a ticket for any of those activities,” she said. “There are 80-plus vendors in the ArtWay and lots of new things people will be interested in seeing and there will be plenty of demonstrations.”
Groff said the Foothills Antique Tractor Club will bring their tractors for folks to admire. “One entry is a hot rod tractor,” Groff said. “I’m curious to see that one.”
In the Adventure Land, a variety of activities for children of all ages will make their festival special. Twiggy, the water skiing squirrel, once again will entertain audiences. “Twiggy has become a mainstay. It is like funnel cakes; we have to have Twiggy,” Groff said.
The event coordinator said Adventure Land chair Patti Clevenger has some fun activities this year, including a video game that superimposes the participants head on a dancing elf. Community groups as well will be part of the Adventure Land, performing on the stage. “It is a great opportunity for local dance groups and different gymnastic groups to perform,” she said.
Groff said from the pace of folks signing up to volunteer, it was apparent this was going to be a popular year for the festival. “Our volunteer roster filled up a week before the tickets sold out, which was the fastest ever,” she said.
Groff is optimistic about the festival’s opportunity for growth in coming years. “The potential for growth of this event is endless as we use resources around the community,” she said. “There are ways to grow in the future, and it is matter of what works from a budget standpoint.”
ArtWay hours of operation are noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.
The demonstration schedule for ArtWay is as follows:
On Friday, Oct. 7, basket weaving and button wizzers will be shown by Becky and David Weaver; corn shuck doll making will be demonstrated by Vicki and Liza Law and a quilting demonstration will be done by Marilyn Ward of the Foothills Quilt Guild.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, basket weaving and button wizzers will be shown by Becky and David Weaver. There will be antique tractors as well as a tractor Parade of Steel put on by members of the Foothills Antique Tractor and Engine Club, including Jimmy Pierce and Roy Gamble. There also will be corn shelling with vintage hand tools by Howard Jones and Ernie Scarbrough; a straw weaving demonstration by LouAnn Robinson of Tuesday Weavers and a quilting demonstration by Marilyn Ward of Foothills Quilt Guild.
On Sunday, Oct. 10, there will be a quilting demonstration by Marilyn Ward of the Foothills Quilt Guild; antique tractors will be on display by Jimmy Pierce and Roy Gamble, members of the Foothills Antique Tractor and Engine Club; there will be corn shelling with vintage hand tools by Howard Jones and Ernie Scarbrough.
The Theater in the Bicentennial Greenbelt Park isn’t the only place to hear good music and see good entertainment during the Foothills Fall Festival. Edward Harper with Pistol Creek Catch of the Day has scheduled a wide variety of acts for the stage at Roy’s Record Shop on West Broadway Avenue.
On Friday, Oct. 7
• 12 p.m. -- Eric Spurgeon
• 1:30 p.m. -- The Dirty Dougs
• 3 p.m. -- Mountain Folk Reunion
• 4:15 p.m. -- Rural Route Blue Grass
On Saturday, Oct. 8
• 10 a.m. -- Roy Garrett
• 11 a.m. -- Gritte Fritter (John Dupree)
• 12:30 p.m. -- Donnie and Debbie Barbara
• 2 p.m. -- Pistol Creek Catch of the Day
• 3:30 p.m. -- Jim Meyer
• 5 p.m. -- The Madelines
On Sunday, Oct. 9
• 2 p.m. -- The Rhythm Pick-ups
• 1:30 p.m. -- Singer/Song Writer Sunday - East Tennessee Song Writers
• 3:15 p.m. -- Robert Anderson
• 4:30 -- The Mediocre Band
Adventure Land 2011 hours are: noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.
All Inflatables, rides and games will be open during operation hours, weather permitting.
Twiggy, the Water Skiing Squirrel, will perform all three days. Friday, Oct. 7, he will be in his pool in Adventure Land at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, he will perform at 11 a.m., and 1, 3, and 5 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 9, he will perform at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.
The Community Stage will be open on Saturday and Sunday in Adventure Land.
On Saturday, Oct. 8.
• 10:30 a.m. -- Danse Et Plus
• 12 p.m. -- Bethany Hankins School of Violin.
• 1 p.m. -- Carpenters Middle School Singers
• 2 p.m. -- Premier Dance Studio
• 2:30 p.m. -- Premier Dance Studio
• 3:30 p.m. -- Elizabeth Williams School of Dance
• 4 p.m. -- Elizabeth Williams School of Dance
• 4:30 p.m. -- Elizabeth Williams School of Dance
On Sunday, Oct. 9
• 12:30 p.m. -- William Blount Cadence Singers
• 1:30 p.m. -- Foothills Elementary Singers
• 2:30 p.m. -- Marble Hill Baptist Church
• 3:30 p.m. -- Artistic Dance Unlimited
• 4 p.m. -- Artistic Dance Unlimited
• 4:30 p.m. -- Artistic Dance Unlimited
Although tickets are needed for the Theater at the Greenway for the entertainment, the food court in front of the entertainment venue opens at noon each day and food vendors will be on hand all weekend.