[ Special Events & Festivals ]

Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival Cooks Up a Good Time

The Annual Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival combines delicious food and unique, down-home entertainment that is one of Sevierville’s signature events. The town, which borders Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, will host the event on May 19th and 20th, 2017.

Barbeque cook teams from all over the United States will compete for almost $18,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Tennessee State Champion in the Bush’s Best Tennessee State Championship Cook Off. Rounding out the event is toe-tapping bluegrass music, incredible arts and crafts, kids’ games and the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition honoring Sevierville’s favorite hometown girl, Dolly Parton.  Of course, arts, crafts, plenty of downhome bluegrass music and kids’ games will be available for attendees as well.

Bloomin' Barbeque & Bluegrass

On Friday, May 19, take time to stroll through the BBQ Zone. You’ll be able to visit with all of the barbeque cook teams, including teams from cable channels like Food Network. Afterwards, make your way towards the entertainment stage for some free bluegrass concerts. Bring a lawn chair and kick back and relax while you enjoy music from Hogslop String Band (5:00 pm), The Paul Williams & Victory Trio (6:00 pm), Church Sisters (7:00 pm), and Kicked Off the Train, the founding members of Pine Mountain Railroad (8:00 pm).

A full day of festivities is planned for Saturday, May 20th. The Main Stage Bluegrass Concert line-up features:

Image via Max Goldberg / flickr
  • 12:00 pm – Bill Mize – Grammy winner & Sevierville native
  • 1:00 pm – Mountain Ruckus presented by Dixie Stampede
  • 2:00 pm – Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
  • 3:00 pm – Kenny & Amanda Smith Ban
  • 4:00 pm – Joe Mullins & Radio Ramblers
  • 5:00 pm – Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
  • 6:00 pm – Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
  • 7:00 pm – Joe Mullins & Radio Ramblers
  • 8:00 pm – Ricky Skaggs

The last performance of the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass festival, by Ricky Skaggs, is not to be missed. Renowned bluegrass musician and Grammy award-winner, Ricky Skaggs, hit the country scene in the 70s. Ever since, he’s been a staple in the country and bluegrass industry. This is a must-see concert!

Barbecuing starts bright and early Saturday at 9:00 am. Watch as the championship cook teams prepare their competition meats and then stick around for the announcement of the BBQ champs. You’ll be able to sample a little bit of everything, as teams cook an estimated 2,382 pounds of meat during the event, including pulled pork, brisket, chicken and ribs. To say you’ll be stuffed after a day at the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass festival is an understatement. Teams will be vying for recognition in each meat category as well as “Anything Bush Beans,” “Anything Wampler’s Farm Sausage,” “Best Dessert” and “Best Sauce.”

The finals for the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition will take place on May 20th as well. The competition honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton, so performers – male and female – must perform a Dolly Parton original. If they win, they’ll receive prize money, a recording session in Nashville and also a guitar signed by Dolly Parton.

An expanded Kids’ Zone and Bluegrass Music Tent add to the activities available at Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass. The Kids’ Zone includes climbing walls, bounce houses and old-time toys, while the Bluegrass Tent gives attendees the chance to play bluegrass instruments. Instructors will also be on hand to help with the instruments.

Admission and concerts are all FREE at Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.