What's New in Sevierville, Tennessee

This May 20 and 21, downtown Sevierville blooms for the 12th annual Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival.

With more than 40 cook teams battling it out for $17,500 in cash and prizes during the Bush’s Best Tennessee State Championship Cook Off, you know there’s going to be plenty of great BBQ. Buy a ticket and sample some yourself. For only $15 you can gain access to Saturday May 21st’s People Choice Tasting Event (2:30pm-3:30pm) presented by Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure. Sample competition pulled pork from more than 20 teams and vote for your favorite. But make sure and buy your tickets early by calling the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at (865) 453-6411. Didn’t score a ticket? No worries. Three of this year’s cook-off contestants are also vending BBQ, so everyone can enjoy chicken, ribs, pork and brisket prepared to perfection.

Not only do the world’s best BBQ cookers flock to Sevierville for Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass (big-deal cookers this year include 2013 Team of the Year Donny Bray of Warren County Pork Choppers and Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South), so do some of the biggest names in Bluegrass music. Catch rising stars like Nightflyer, The Bankesters, Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, The Church Sisters, and Mountain Faith Band – a phenomenal family band that rose to stardom on last season’s America’s Got Talent. Then tap your toes while legends perform. Hear the high, lonesome wail of Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press as they perform Rocky Top live on stage. Then catch Flashback Band, a Bluegrass super group featuring Don Rigsby, Phil Leadbetter, Richard Bennett and Curt Chapman. The Gibson Brothers (International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2013 Entertainers of the Year) will headline Saturday night. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the tunes. Admission is free and so are the concerts. Get the full entertainment line-up, including performance on the Hard Rock Café Community Stage and the Back Porch Stage here.

The Kids’ Zone and the Bluegrass Music Tent add fun and enrichment for the kids and families who attend Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass. Enjoy bounce houses, face painters and old-time toys in the Kids’ Zone while the Bluegrass Music Tent gives kids (and kids at heart) the chance to touch and play bluegrass instruments such as banjos, fiddles and more (don’t worry, instructors will be on site to help). Both of these attractions will be open until 9pm each day of the event.

A highlight of Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass is the 12th Annual Mountain Soul Vocal Competition Finals held on May 21. Finalists from around the nation will sing their hearts out for a chance to win cash and prizes. This competition, the only one of its kind that festival organizers know of, honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton. Competitors, male and female, must sing a song written by Dolly Parton (there are over 3,000) and do so in their own style (rock, rap, country, bluegrass, swing, soul, etc.).

Musicians can get in on the fun during Friday night’s Late Night Jam presented by Dixie Stampede. The jam, which takes place the night of Friday May 20 at Courthouse Donuts in downtown Sevierville, is a great way to keep the music going from 10pm until 2am!

Admission and concerts are free thanks to great sponsors, including the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce which encourages you to stay in Sevierville while visiting Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass. For great lodging deals and more information about Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass, call (888) 889-7415 or visit us online at www.BloominBBQ.com.