Changes to community dinner schedule

Due to a decrease in participation from area churches and organizations who help with the dinners, the Food Pantry of Tellico Plains has announced that its weekly community dinners will now only be held twice a month instead of being held every Thursday. Community dinners will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 24, from 5-6 p.m. at the Alumni Center at Tellico Plains High School. These are free meals to the public.

Volunteer drivers needed for Transportation Committee

Volunteer drivers are needed to serve on the Monroe County Transportation Committee. This is a project of the Monroe County Endangered Children’s Task Force and the Monroe County Prevention and Wellness Coalition. If you’re interested in learning about this volunteer opportunity, call 423-545-3015 for more information or submit a volunteer form on the website at

Night hike at Fort Loudoun

Meet Ranger Lauren Baghetti at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Friday, Oct. 11, from 7-8 p.m. for a 1.5-mile night hike on Ridgetop Trail. Along the way, participants will listen for animals that come out when all the park visitors have gone home for the day. Please bring a flashlight with a red light. Participants should meet at the visitor center. The cost to participate is $5 per person. For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Free spay/neuter vouchers

SNAP will issue free spay/neuter vouchers to low-income Monroe County residents on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10-11 a.m. at the Cora Veal Senior Center, located at 144 College St. in Madisonville.

Free spay/neuter vouchers can be used for dogs and cats by any Monroe County resident. Pet owners can receive multiple vouchers to “fix” all their pets. If you have kittens or puppies, it is much easier to find them a home if they are “fixed.” This also helps to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.

Spay/neuter vouchers are valid for 30 days. After receiving the voucher, call the designated vet to make an appointment. Please note: State law requires proof of rabies vaccination and the cost of the shot is not covered by the voucher. Participating vets are: PPAW Spay and Neuter Clinic in Greenback, the Monroe County Animal Hospital in Sweetwater, or the Sweetwater Veterinary Hospital in Sweetwater.

If a qualified pet owner is unable to attend due to illness, handicap, work schedule, transportation or other problems, a relative or friend can obtain a voucher for the pet owner. The relative or friend must provide all the required information about the pet and owner, including proof of residence.

For more information, contact SNAP President Mike Cleverdon at 423-884-6801.

Madisonville Ghost Tour

The Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) is proud to present the second annual Madisonville Ghost Tour this October. This walking, haunted history tour of downtown Madisonville will be held on Oct. 12, 19 and 26. Tours start at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Find out about a sinister spirit in an old dental office and about the mysterious woman in black. Limited spaces are available as tours are limited to only 25 people. Tickets are $15 a person. Children ages 5 and under can participate for free. Call 423-442-3210 to reserve your tickets.

Autumn Gold Festival

The 51st annual Autumn Gold Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 13, on the grounds of Coker Creek Elementary School and the nearby Ruritan Club. The two-day event is sponsored by the Coker Creek Ruritan Club.

Monroe STOPe dance

Monroe STOPe will host a Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son Dance on Sunday, Oct. 13, at Tsali Notch Vineyard in Madisonville. Fatherly figures and their little ladies will dance from 2-4 p.m. Motherly figures and their little boys will dance from 6-8 p.m.

There is a free event, however, a $10 deposit is required to register. Register online at Your deposit will reserve your spot and validate your commitment to attend. Only one deposit is necessary per registration, regardless of how many people are in your party. Deposits will be returned to guests at the door on the night of the event. Should you choose not to attend, your deposit will not be returned and instead will be used to cover the cost of food that will be purchased in anticipation of your attendance.

Professional photography will be offered by Julie Fitch Photography for $10 per couple. You can use your refunded deposit to pay for photos!

Any funds generated from this event will be used to cover the cost of the event and/or future domestic violence prevention, community education and awareness events.

For more information or if you are unable to make a deposit due to unfortunate circumstances, call Heather at 423-519-1232 or 423-545-3015 to request scholarship deposits.

Taste of Monroe

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will hold the 10th annual Taste of Monroe on Monday, Oct. 14, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in downtown Madisonville around the Courthouse. The cost for Chamber members is $8 per person. Adult tickets are $10 each, while children ages 4 to 12 will be admitted for $5. Children ages 3 and under will get in free. The event will feature food tastings, face painting, jump house(s), a car show and a motorcycle show. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office at 520 Cook St. A in Madisonville, or by calling 423-442-4588.

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery now has two locations in Monroe County! Meetings in Sweetwater are held on Mondays and meetings in Madisonville are held on Tuesdays.

The next meeting in Sweetwater will be on Monday, Oct. 14, at First Baptist Church in Sweetwater, located at 303 Wright St.

The next meeting in Madisonville will be on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Madisonville Church of God, located at 3895 New Highway 68.

Free refreshments and childcare will be provided. Refreshments begin at 6 p.m., followed by worship at 6:30 p.m. Small groups will start around 7:45 p.m. Small groups are divided into men's and women's groups and are safe places to give and receive positive support for individual needs.

Celebrate Recovery is a program based on Christian principles as applied to the 12 steps and the eight Beatitudes. The only requirement is a desire to come and listen. The groups are led by trained leaders who offer a safe, confidential, and positive place to participate with other people looking for healing. The meetings are led by and are for regular people looking for help with hurts, habits, or hang-ups. There is no financial or commitment obligation. Meetings will be held each Monday and Tuesday.

For more information, visit, call 423-545-3015 or email

Take Charge of Your Diabetes

Do you have concerns about how to better manage your diabetes? Take Charge of Your Diabetes is a free six-week class that can help. The class will be held at the Chota Conference Room, next to Chota in Madisonville, from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays starting on Oct. 15.

The class covers a variety of methods that will help you better manage diabetes including: meal planning, monitoring blood glucose levels, ways to cope with high or low blood glucose levels, talking to health care providers and much more. Each week, you will practice the skills learned during class and receive encouragement from others who suffer from diabetes. Past participants in this class report lower A1C’s, weight management, greater understanding of carbohydrates, how to manage their blood glucose levels and have a better understanding of the diabetes and its complications.

Pre-register for Take Charge of Your Diabetes by calling the UT Extension Office in Monroe County at 423-442-2433 or the Monroe County Health Department at 423-442-3993, ext. 1010, by Oct. 10. This will ensure that there are enough copies of the educational materials for everyone.

UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Girl Talk, Too

Parents are their child’s first teacher and have the greatest influence on their physical, emotional and sexual development. But, how do you grow a meaningful relationship with your teen?

The Monroe County Extension Service, Monroe County Health Department and Monroe County Coordinated School Health will sponsor Girl Talk, Too classes on Thursday nights from Oct. 17 to Nov. 21 from 6-8 p.m. each night at the Health Department.

During this multi-week program, teen girls ages 13-16 will join their mother, or other trusted female adult, to learn about their changing bodies, behaviors and beliefs. Fun and engaging activities will help grow relationships, setting a strong foundation for healthy and trusted communication.

Adults and youth should attend all sessions together.

The class is limited to 12 adult/youth pairs and pre-registration is required. To pre-register or for more information, call one of the following: UT Extension of Monroe County at 423-442-2433, Monroe County Health Department at 423-442-3993 ext. 1010 or Monroe County Coordinated School Health at 423-420-9678.

VPL Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Vonore Public Library is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Vonore Community Center, located at 611 Church St. The featured speaker is master storyteller Fay Wooden of Maryville. The public is invited to attend. A short business meeting will be conducted before the speaker. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Joan at 865-856-6532.

Eating Smart Throughout the Lifecycle

The UT Extension Office of Monroe County will be hosting a series of workshops beginning Friday, Oct. 18, at 10:15 a.m. and running each Friday through Nov. 22. The program is for pregnant women and parents of young infants. Learn tips for breastfeeding, how to choose healthy foods during pregnancy for you and your baby, stay active, feeding your baby, cooking meals at home and keeping food safe. A certificate of completion will be given to participants at the end of the workshops.

Emma’s Hike

The Monroe County Health Council will participate in Emma’s Hike on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at Indian Boundary in honor of Emma Gateway during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Participants should meet at 5:30 p.m. under the pavilion at the beach/swim area for the 3-mile loop around the lake. The walk will take approximately 1.5 hours. Water will be provided.

At the age of 67, after 30 years of being abused by her husband, “Grandma” Emma Gatewood hiked the Appalachian Trail covering 2,050 miles in 146 days. She became the first person to thru-hike the trail three times. When asked why she hiked the trail, she responded, “Because I wanted to.”

Following the hike, there will be a candlelight vigil in remembrance of victims of domestic violence who were never able to escape their offenders.

For more information, call 423-545-3015.

18th Century Trade Fair

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area will hold its annual 18th Century Trade Faire on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The largest event at Fort Loudoun gives visitors the opportunity to visit with re-enactors, shop for fine 18th century goods from numerous vendors and enjoy lively performances by The Traveling Caudells, Thunder & Spice, Magician Rodney the Younger, The Clockwork Clown, Commonstock Entertainment, Robert Mouland and the Sons of Liberty. Soldiers will demonstrate artillery and musketry drills throughout the day. Be sure to stay and watch the Great Battle between the English and French each day. Admission for adults is $10 each day. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted for free. Parking is available on site. For more information, call 423-420-2331.

Rocky Top Run

The annual Rocky Top Run will be held in downtown Sweetwater on Sunday, Oct. 20. The opening ceremony begins at 2 p.m. with the one-mile color rad walk/run immediately following. The one-mile walk/run is then followed by the 5K run/walk. The Sweetwater Kiwanis Club is the event sponsor with race proceeds benefiting the club’s support of children and education programs in the community.

Wear purple for domestic violence awareness

Monroe STOPe is asking all Monroe County residents to wear purple on Thursday, Oct. 24 for domestic violence awareness. Take a photo of you in your purple and use the hashtag #PurpleThursday to share it on social media. For more information, visit the Monroe STOPe Facebook page or the website at If you or someone you know is being abused, call Monroe STOPe at 423-519-1232 to speak with an advocate.

Monster Dash

The American Cancer Society’s fourth annual Monster Dash 5K and 1-Mile Walk and costume contest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Kahite Club House, located at 400 Kahite Trail in Vonore. The event is organized by JTEKT and will be held rain or shine. Registration will be from 8-9 a.m., followed by costume judging at 9 a.m. The run/walk will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Costumes are encouraged, but optional, for this event. Pre-registration before Oct. 19 is $25 per person. The cost of a day-of-race entry is $30. You can register online at by searching for Monster Dash. For more information, call Abbie Warren at 423-295-4281.

Cherohala Skyway Festival

The fourth annual Cherohala Skyway Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles Hall Museum and its grounds. Admission is free. There will be a $5 per vehicle preferred parking charge. This year’s event commemorates Monroe County’s Bicentennial and attendees are encouraged to dress in period clothing. The festival will feature a history zone, live music, a children’s area, horse-drawn wagon rides, a sawdust dig, a Smokey the Bear Birthday Bash, displays and demonstrations, a book sale, food, crafts, an art show and more.

Also part of the event is the Josh Graves Memorial Dobro Pickoff, which will be held at 3 p.m. The contest is limited to 10 entries. There is no fee to enter. First, second, third and fourth-place prizes will be awarded. To enter, call County Archives Director Jo Stakely at 423-519-0334.

For more information about the Cherohala Skyway Festival, visit or call 423-253-2111. Updates will also be available on the Facebook event page: 4th Annual Cherohala Skyway Festival.

Kayak tour of Fort Loudoun

Meet Ranger Justin Rexrode at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a kayak paddle around Fort Loudoun. This paddle is good for all skill levels. Be prepared for cool weather. The cost to participate is $10 without a kayak rental or $20 with a kayak rental. Space is limited to eight participants. Participants should meet at the boat dock/kayak launch located next to the main parking lot. For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Home canning gifts

Learn how to make gingered pear preserves and apple pie filling to give as gifts or for your family to enjoy. This class will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 5:30-9 p.m. at the UT Extension Office in Madisonville and you make and take samples home. The cost is $20 per person and must be paid by Oct. 23 at the UT Extension Office, located at 310 Tellico Street, South, Suite 3, in Madisonville. For more information, call 423-2433. Class is limited to the first 10 participants to pay.

Main Street Spooktacular

Join the City of Sweetwater on Halloween night from 3-10 p.m. in downtown for some spooky family fun. There will be selfie-stations with your favorite villains, free inflatables, candy, music, free popcorn and free apples from the Evil Queen. There will also be a flash mob by Salt & Light Studios. Local organizations are invited to reserve a free space for trunk or treat. Vendor spaces are available for $10. Sweetwater Public Library, residents of Mayes Avenue and other areas of town will have their normally scheduled activities.

Square Dance and Fish Fry

The City of Sweetwater and Peoples Bank of East Tennessee will host a Square Dance and Fish Fry at the Sweetwater Depot Visitors Center on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 6-10 p.m. The cost for the fish fry is $10. Dancing is free. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed contest partner and kid.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Brown Hill Church will host their annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 3. Turkey with all the trimmings will be served from noon until 2 p.m. in the church’s fellowship hall. Carryout orders are also available outside in the Weenie Wagon. The church is located at 1526 Mecca Pike in Tellico Plains.

MACA presents Shadows of the 60s

As part of its annual Performance Series, the Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) will present Shadows of the 60s: A Tribute to Motown on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Sweetwater Elementary School’s Auditorium.

Shadows of the 60s pays tribute to the legendary stars of Motown, such as The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations and Smokey Robison & The Miracles. In this highly-interactive and visually stunning show, Shadows of the 60s performs the hits that span the decades. Each singer and musician featured in Shadows of the 60s were chosen because they embody the spirit, style and excitement of the original artists in concert.

This performance is sponsored by JTEKT. Individual tickets to the show are $25. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 423-442-3210, or at the MACA Office, located inside the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce office at 520 Cook St., Suite A, in Madisonville.

Garrison Weekend

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore will host Garrison Weekend on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The daily lives of the men, women and children of Fort Loudoun will be recreated for the public. Park visitors will find living history re-enactors in 18th century costume with a variety of demonstrations.

Small Town Christmas

Sweetwater plays host to A Small Town Christmas every November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year’s event is Nov. 30, which is also Small Business Saturday where shoppers are urged to shop small, local stores. Horse and buggy rides, live performances at the gazebo, food vendors and more highlight the annual event.

New this year is a 5K race and kids’ run through the streets of the old downtown residential section—the Haiti Holiday Hustle. The fun and festive race will start at the Duck Park then be off to see the beautiful lights of Mayes Avenue, passing the carolers at Willow Creek and finishing back at the Duck Park for some sweet treats. To participate in the 5K, registration is $30 before Nov. 10 or $35 on the day of the race. The 1-mile kids’ run costs $15 if you register before Nov. 10 or $20 on the day of the event. The kids’ run starts at 8 p.m. followed by the 5K at 8:30 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m. at the Duck Park. Registration forms are available for pickup and drop off at Sweetwater City Hall. Online registration is at

To volunteer or for more information about Small Town Christmas, contact Kassie Kelley at 423-337-5976 or to become a vendor, call City Hall at 423-337-6979.

Sweetwater Christmas Parade

Sweetwater Kiwanis Club will once again jointly sponsor Sweetwater’s annual Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. The parade route will leave from Mayes Avenue, traveling through downtown Sweetwater, and end at the Plaza 68 Shopping Center on Highway 68. For more information, contact Harris Lovingood at 423-337-5088 or Charles Ridenour at 423-337-6123, or mail to P.O. Box 450, Sweetwater, TN, 37874, stating the type of entry, correct mailing address, telephone number and an email address for the sponsoring group and the person in charge of the float or group entry.

18th century Christmas at Fort Loudoun

An 18th Century Christmas at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore is a fun way to avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. This year’s event is on Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 10 a.m. Men, women and children re-enactors will be on hand as the fort is decorated in rustic style, with leaves and berries, as it might have been when Christmas was celebrated during the French and Indian War. Throughout the day, demonstrations will be taking place, such as cooking, laundering, blacksmithing and artillery drills. There is also a Christmas church service with Parson John and wassail tasting. Be sure to step into the infirmary, compare a soldier’s barrack to the commander’s quarters, and stop by the Cherokee encampment.

The night concludes with a candlelight tour of the fort at 6 p.m. and a rare night firing of the canon. The paved path from the visitor’s center to the fort, just more than 100 yards, is lit each year by luminaries. Once inside the fort, each building is beautifully lit by candles, fireplaces and brightly burning torches set up at each stop along the path.

For more information, call the museum at 423-420-2331.

Vonore Christmas Parade

Vonore will hold its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. Line up will begin at noon at Vonore Middle School. For more information, call 423-884-2480 or 423-884-6211.

Madisonville Christmas Parade

The City of Madisonville will holds its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Heavenly Christmas.” State Rep. Lowell Russell will be the grand marshal. The parade, sponsored by the Madisonville Kiwanis Club, will form on Anderson Street near the Co-op. Float judging will begin at 2 p.m. For more information, contact Don Edmands Jr. at 423-884-3806.

Candlelight Walk

The Cherokee Women’s Club continues to be the guiding force behind the annual Candlelight Walk in downtown Tellico Plains, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. This free event features family fun, caroling and open houses in the shops and restaurants in downtown. Luminaries will line the streets in town, leading the way to a variety of holiday activities, including horse-drawn carriage rides, a live Nativity scene, entertainment at the gazebo, food, vendors, a raffle, visits and photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch and Cindy Lou-Who, along with the popular cookie caper.

The tree lighting ceremony will be held around 5:30 p.m., signifying the official start to the holiday season.

For more information, call 423-519-2267.

Tellico Plains Christmas Parade

The Town of Tellico Plains will hold its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. The parade is sponsored by the Tellico Plains Kiwanis.

Entry forms (no entry fee) are available at Tellico Plains City Hall and on the Tellico Kiwanis’ Facebook page. Completed forms can be left at City Hall, emailed to, or mailed to Tellico Kiwanis at P.O. Box 104, Tellico Plains, TN 37385. Entries will be judged at 3:45 p.m. for the first-place prize of $300, second-place prize of $200, third-place prize of $100, and the Charles Hall Award for the best decorated horse, which also has a prize of $100.

Line up will begin at 3 p.m. as follows: floats will line up on Veterans Memorial closest to Highway 360; horses will line up on Main Street in the grass area; antique cars will take Harrison Street to Willowbrook; tractors, wreckers, etc. will line up on Main Street entering at Cherohala Skyway; fire engines/EMS will line up on Cherohala Skyway and should meet Jamie Sisson for instructions.

Cookies ‘n Claus Hospitality will have four stations this year—at Volunteer Federal’s parking lot, at the entrance to the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, at the Charles Hall Museum and on Town Square. Cookies ‘n Claus will begin at 4 p.m., serving cookies from Tellicafe and coffee or hot chocolate to warm everyone up.

At the Visitor Center, children will have an opportunity for a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

For more information, call Joyce McDaniel at 423-253-6530 or 615-347-0086. The rain date for the parade will be Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m.

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