When visiting the south, the down-home flavor of juicy barbeque is a tradition. If your travel itinerary brings you to the Smoky Mountains, you’re in for a delicious treat at the 2017 Big BBQ Bash in Maryville. Scheduled for Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24, 2017, this free festival of food and fun takes place at historic Founder’s Square in the heart of downtown Maryville.
For Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge fans who may not know, Maryville is about 40 miles to the west – if you’ve been to Townsend on your way to Cades Cove, you were already halfway to Maryville. This historic town on the “quiet side of the Smoky Mountains” also loves a festival, and it keeps throwing parties to prove it!
The Bash is part of Maryville’s Summer on Broadway and has been part of the city’s annual events since 2007. The cook-off and fundraiser draws talented teams competing in a variety of categories. There will be plenty of smoking and grilling competitions going on creating mouthwatering barbecue.
On Friday, teams have a busy day with check in at 9:00 am, meetings at 4 p.m., and samples in three categories to turn in, which include Wampler’s Sausage, Bush Beans, and dessert.
On Saturday, at noon it’s all about chicken, followed by ribs at 12:30, pork at 1 pm, and brisket at 1:30 pm. Be sure to bring your appetite, on both days, to get an authentic taste of the south. At 3:30 pm, stick around for the awards ceremony.
Hops in the Hills
While the aroma is wafting through the air in downtown Maryville on Friday and Saturday, on the same Friday a 7-day festival also kicks off with Hops in the Hills. This anchor event of the Summer on Broadway festivities features a week-long celebration of the fermentation process.
Friday features the Craft Brew Crawl and Poker Run, and Saturday is the Brew Festival from 5 pm to 9 pm. Tickets are $15 per person for the Brew Crawl with all the tasty happenings running from 6 pm to 10 pm. Tickets for the Brew Festival are $50 for pre-sales and $60 on the day of the event. Ticket price includes ample samples of craft beer, food, a commemorative glass, and a t-shirt.
For beer crawl attendees, the fun starts when you meet up with other “crawlers” at The Casual Pint. You’ll be given your wristband and poker card to show that you are part of the group. From there, you’ll get on the bus and head out on your flavorful adventure.
Barley’s TapRoom is next on the stop followed by the Switchback Tavern, The Public House on High and ending at Brackins Blues Club. At each stop, you can stay as long as you like as the bus will be running continuously, every 15 minutes, throughout the evening.
At each stop, be sure to pick up another poker card. There will be a variety of prizes for those holding the best hands. There will also be plenty of music and entertaining games at each stop.
Along with these two palate-pleasing events, there will be a variety of additional activities. A few of the things to do on Friday and Saturday include the Farmers’ Market on Broadway Avenue, Kids Area at the Municipal Parking Deck with rides, racing, and bungee jumping, and the Music Stage located next to Barley’s TapRoom with live musical entertainment.
At 7:30 pm on Friday, the courthouse parking lot features the Napa Auto Fest Show, and at 9 pm, sit back and enjoy a movie at the Greenbelt Park Theater. On Saturday, there’s the tractor parade at 8:45 am, and award presentations for the Napa Classic Car Awards and the BBQ Bash awards.
Don’t miss this week of good food, great tasting craft beers, and tons of fun with a visit. Nestled in the scenic gateway to the Smokies, Maryville offers its best with the magnificent Smoky Mountains as a backdrop.