With summer just around the corner, it’s time to break out the BBQ and a few good tunes. Luckily, if you’re planning a visit to Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge in late May you have a chance to do just that at one of TWO amazing festivals. Read on to learn all about Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival and Dollywood’s BBQ and Bluegrass.
BLOOMIN’ BARBEQUE AND BLUEGRASS
In downtown Sevierville May 17th and 18th, 2019 you’ll find the Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival. An annual event, now in its 15th year, is family friendly and brings in teams from all over the US to compete. With more than $17,500 in cash and prizes, and the Tennessee State Champion title on the line, competition is sure to be fierce. The festival kicks off Friday night with plenty of up-and-coming bluegrass musicians including Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, Priscilla & Little RicKee featuring Louisa Branscomb, and Friday’s headliner – Balsam Range.
Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., local dance troupes kick off the festival at 10 a.m. and the live bluegrass begins at noon. Festival Headliner this year is The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and they play at 8 p.m. Work up your appetite by strolling through the local arts and crafts fair. There’s even a kid’s zone with a place to play.
The 15th Annual Mountain Soul Vocal Competition Finals are held on Saturday. This one-of-a-kind competition honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton. To compete, vocalists (male and female) must sing a song written by Dolly Parton and perform it in their own style. There are more than 3,000 songs to choose from, and all genres are encouraged! The final round begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18th.
Bloomin’ Barbeque And Bluegrass Festival estimates there will be more than 2800 pounds of meat cooked at the festival. Walk through the “Que Zone” and watch the teams cook all day long. The winners in a variety of categories will be announced at 4 p.m. There’s even a dessert contest!
If you want to find out more about this amazing festival in Sevierville, check out their website.
DOLLYWOOD’S BARBEQUE AND BLUEGRASS
If you can’t make the Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival that weekend, fear not! Dollywood has their very own Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival the following week! From May 24th to June 2nd, Dollywood is the place to be for tasty eats and toe-tappin’ music for 10 full days.
In years past, Dollywood has offered mouth-watering food at the Market Square part of the park. Cooking demonstrations by chefs, as well as tasty entrees from park restaurants will definitely work up your appetite. Each year, a few new culinary creations debut at the festival. In 2018, a twist on chicken and waffles in the form of chicken and waffles funnel cake made an appearance. Other delectable treats like a grilled watermelon salad and a bacon-wrapped hot dog on a pretzel roll were also spotted at the park.
It’s estimated that more than 50,000 pounds of meat will be cooked and consumed during the full 10 days of the festival, including pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs, and smoked sausages. Southern classic side dishes slated for serving up include potato salad, corn on the cob, and Bush’s baked beans. You may even find some barbequed chicken wings.
No Barbeque and Bluegrass festival would be complete without some music! Luckily, you’re never too far away from the sweet musical stylings of the bluegrass artists slated to appear at this festival. Featured performers for 2019 include Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver; Rhonda Vincent and The Rage; Flatt Lonesome; and Lonesome River Band. The featured performers can be found at Celebrity Theater and Showstreet Palace Theater.
You’ll also find roving bluegrass artists throughout the park. For more information, you can always check their daily entertainment schedule. Of course, all the music in included during your trip to Dollywood. These free concerts will have you singing along all day. Kick off your summer by having some tasty food and listening to some great tunes.
Find out more about the festival at Dollywood over on their website.
BONUS FESTIVAL – NIGHTS OF MANY COLORS
Shortly after these amazing BBQ festivals come to a close begin Dollywood’s Summer Celebration and the Nights of Many Colors. This colorful summertime celebration features a spectacular nightly fireworks display. The show includes music written by Dolly herself for the occasion, and it called Paint Your Dreams Across the Sky. You can catch this vibrant display nightly from June 22 until August 4.
Book Your Cabin!
When you’re ready to tempt your taste buds and and treat your ears, you’ll need a place to stay. Book yourself a cabin in Pigeon Forge so you’ll be close to both Sevierville and Dollywood for these great summer festivals. Some of our cabins close to Pigeon Forge even offer a view of the Dollywood Fireworks! All of our cabins come with fully equipped kitchens, and many of our cabins come equipped with gas or charcoal grills so you can recreate some of the tasty flavors you sampled during your trip. Get ready for a full-flavored Smokies Vacation you won’t forget!