Despite its growth in all fields of arts, culture and entertainment, the misconception persists that in order to find something fun to do, residents of Blount County have to make the 20-minute commute to Knoxville. Nothing could be further from the truth. From theater companies to concert halls, from the state-of-the-art 12-screen cinema to the hamlet of Townsend on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blount County is a playground for all ages.
Here’s a guide to all things entertainment in Blount County:
APPALACHIAN BALLET COMPANY
Appalachian Ballet Company: The resident dance company of the Clayton Center for the Arts is East Tennessee’s premier classical performing company. Established in 1972, the ABC Dance Company presents an annual season of three programs, bringing the highest quality dance performances to the region. ABC offers a wide repertoire ranging from traditional classics to creative contemporary ballets and performs regularly with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Youth Symphony and the Knoxville Opera Company. The company also collaborates with performing arts groups in the region and is active in the field of education. The home of the business is the Van Meter School of Dance, located at 215 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville.
Capitol Theater, 127 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville: Once the largest movie theater in the city center, accommodating approximately 1,000 people, it is now used as a venue for shows, special or private events, and movies. The theater has a dinner theater setting, which includes a stage, movie screen, dance floor, and catering kitchen. Visit www.bookthecapitol.com or 865-980-1966.
CLAYTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Clayton Center for the Arts, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville: In conjunction with the Maryville College Division of Fine Arts, the Clayton Center serves as a gathering place for expression and appreciation of the arts. The center regularly hosts events ranging from art exhibitions featuring works by local artists, music festivals and a children’s performing arts camp. It has three resident arts organizations: Appalachian Ballet Company (ballet), Foothills Community Players (community theater) and Primary Players (children’s theater). Visit www.claytonartscenter.com or call 865-981-8590.
Brackins Blues Club: 112 E. Broadway Ave., Maryville
The Irish Pub & Sports Grill: 1720 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville
Smoky Mountain Brewery: 743 Watkins Road, Maryville
Station: 4206 Miser Station Road, Louisville
Two doors down: 118 E. Broadway Ave., Maryville
Vienna Café: 212 College St., Maryville
Waterfront Bar and Grill: 404 Greenbelt Drive, Maryville
DOWNTOWN OF MARYVILLE
Downtown Maryville: Home to various businesses such as the Palace Theater, Quality Financial Concepts, The Daily Times, Fine Arts Blount and the Maryville Farmers Market, it is also home to the Last Friday Art Walk. Held on the last Friday of each month from spring to fall, the Art Walk features artists from all artistic disciplines, including theater, writing, dance and music. Participating downtown businesses welcome an artist, and new arts and artists are showcased each month. In addition, the Downtown Maryville Association, in collaboration with the Maryville Arts Coalition and the City of Maryville, are joining forces to present “Summer on Broadway” on the last weekend of each June. Combining a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned barbecue, Last Friday’s Art Walk, Maryville Farmer’s Market, a Craft Beer Festival, and a number of other activities, the event is (for the most part) free and presents a number of downtown agencies. Visit www.downtownmaryville.com
GRAND SMOKY MOUNTAIN HERITAGE CENTER
123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend: the centre’s mission is to “preserve, protect and promote the unique history and rich culture of those who made their home in the Great Smoky Mountains”. In addition to serving as a museum and presenting live music programs and performances to the general public, the Heritage Center hosts local Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops and school trips. The centre’s facilities are also available for hire for private events. Visit www.gsmheritagecenter.org
SMOKY MOUNTAIN SCOTTISH FESTIVAL AND GAMES
Held in May, at Maryville College: Prior to 2011, the event was known as the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games and was held annually in Sevier County. When organizers of the nonprofit event began looking for another location, officials at Maryville College stepped in. The deal was signed and the festival was renamed Smoky Mountain Highland Games at Maryville College. Given the college’s ties to Scotland, the institution’s mascots to a number of revered traditions, this has created a natural partnership. In 2014 it was renamed Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival & Games, and it features Scottish sporting competitions, food, clan tents, live music and much more. Visit
Foothills 12: 134 Foothills Mall Drive, Maryville
Downtown West 8: 1640 Downtown West Blvd., Knoxville
East Towne 10: 5020 Millertown Pike, Knoxville
Pinnacle Stadium 18: 11240 Parkside Drive, Knoxville
Riviera Stadium 8: 510 Gay Street South, Knoxville
West Town Mall 9: 7600 Kingston Pike Suite 1520, Knoxville
Knoxville 16: 200 North Peters Road, Knoxville
Knoxville Center 10: 3051-B Mall Road North, Knoxville
Theaters 7: 3800 Neal Drive, Knoxville
Windsor Square 7: 175 N. Seven Oaks Drive, Knoxville
1820 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville: “The Shed” at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson features concerts of Americana, bluegrass, blues and rock every Saturday from April through September. Located next to Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, The Shed offers a $ 5 discount to bikers parking their motorcycles inside the gates. The Shed is an open-air venue and spectators are encouraged to bring a chair with them if they want a seat as there is none at the venue. No food or drink is allowed beyond the gate; however, food and drink are available for purchase at concerts. Visit www.smh-d.com or call 865-977-1669.
TOWNSEND IN THE SMOKIE FESTIVALS
held in Spring and Fall: Townsend’s Spring and Fall Festivals and Alumni Day are celebrations of bluegrass music, sabotage, crafts, barbecue, Appalachian skills and more . Events are held at locations all over Townsend. Visit SmokyMountains.org or call 865-448-6134.
Every Thursday: The Daily Times publishes its weekly weekend section, highlighting all the entertainment happening in Blount County. You can check out the interviews and more at www.thedailytimes.com/entertainment.