Vendor call for Blooms, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival

Vendor applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Blooms, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, which is scheduled for May 7-8 in downtown Sweetwater. To learn more or to register as a vendor, visit

SPL offering e-Cards

Sweetwater Public Library is now offering e-Cards, a digital-only card option which is for patrons who just want access to digital collections on Tennessee READS—including e-books, audiobooks, magazines and even streaming videos. There are no late fees for e-Cards, and borrowed materials will automatically return to Tennessee READS when due.

Registering for an e-Card is free to anyone currently living in the State of Tennessee.

To register for an e-Card, visit

Already have a library card? You already have access to the digital collection! Call or message the library on Facebook for assistance with accessing your READS account.

Beyond the Battle program at Fort Loudoun

Join Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore to examine the life of a soldier from Fort Loudoun on Friday, Feb. 26 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

This program will cover the uniforms and equipment used by troops in the 1750s, the circumstances that led many of the soldiers to North America, the wives and children who accompanied some of them, and the reasons why Fort Loudoun was built. A brief tour of the fort and reconstructed Cherokee houses will culminate with the loading and firing of a flintlock musket.

The cost of this presentation is $5 per person. Registration is required. Space is limited. Participants should meet at the gates of Fort Loudoun.

To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331.

Trade and Cultural Ties at Fort Loudoun

Join Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for a glimpse into the days of colonial trade. From South Carolina traders who led strings of packhorses across the mountains, to the Cherokee who harvested game for the fur trade, acquiring trade goods in return, participants will explore the ways trade impacted both cultures. Along the way, you will discover Abraham, a powerful, heroic black man who would not be held back by the bonds of enslavement. During this program, you will observe trade items, discuss trading laws and how they were often ignored, and trace the dangerous steps of Abraham as he risked his life to save others.

The cost of this presentation is $5 per person. Registration is required. Space is limited.

To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331.

SHS Prom ticket flash sale

There will be a one-day flash sale for Sweetwater High School prom tickets on March 1. For that day only, tickets will be $50 each. Tickets will increase the following day. SHS’s Prom is tentatively scheduled for April 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Showroom at Five Points.

Walk Across Tennessee

Once again, it is time to enter the Walk Across Tennessee competition. By being a part of a team, Walk Across Tennessee motivates you to exercise. Teams start walking on Sunday, March 7 and will end on May 1. Get a team of six people together, choose a team captain and team name, and you are ready to walk for the next eight weeks!

There will be prizes for each member of the team that walks the farthest. The individual who walks the farthest will also receive a prize.

You may walk anywhere, even on your treadmill. Conversions for other physical activities are available.

Walk Across Tennessee results will be available at the Extension Office and on the website at or

Team captains can pick up registration packets at the Extension Office, located at 310 Tellico Street South, Suite 3, in Madisonville. Registration packets are also online at Registration forms should be returned to the Extension Office no later than March 12.

For more information, contact Rebecca Layman at 423-442-2433.

UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Free spay/neuter vouchers

Monroe County Friends of Animals (MCFA) Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) will issue free spay and neuter vouchers to low-income Monroe County residents on Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to noon.

This will be a call-in voucher session. There will be no physical presence required. Those that wish to request a voucher should call one of the following phone numbers: 423-836-2041 or 423-404-4206. If the line is busy, try the next phone number. Keep trying until someone answers. Do not leave a message, as messages will not be monitored.

Free spay and neuter vouchers can be used for dogs and cats by Monroe County residents who meet SNAP criteria. Pet owners can receive multiple vouchers to “fix” all their pets. Please do not call vet hospitals as they do not have access to vouchers.

For more information, visit

Chamber Business Awards Banquet & Auction

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Annual Business Awards Banquet & Auction will be held virtually on Thursday, April 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the virtual event are $20 for members and $30 for future members. Tickets can be purchased at

Auction and door prize donations are also needed. For more information about donating, call the Chamber of Commerce office at 423-442-4588.

CASA Monroe seeks advocates

For the first time in years, there are children waiting for an advocate in Monroe County. If you are up to the task of joining CASA Monroe as a child advocate, call 423-442-2750 for more information or visit Training will be provided.

Ramp Festival cancelled

Ballplay Ruritan Club has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Ramp Festival due to the coronavirus. Organizers posted the following announcements on its Facebook page: With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing suffering in our area and around the world, for the health and safety of our members and our guests, it is not possible for us to have the Ramp Festival in 2021. This saddens us all, particularly since it is our primary fundraiser for this volunteer organization. Please like this page for the latest news. We hope and pray you are safe and well. Thanks for your support!”

Volunteers in Monroe needed for American Red Cross

The American Red Cross of Tennessee needs Monroe County volunteers to be ready for an emergency when the time comes. This is an opportunity where you can learn about your local Red Cross chapter and an overview of the five lines of service of the American Red Cross. More than 90% of Red Cross service is provided by passionate volunteers in every county. There are many ways you can be involved through volunteering, both virtually and in person.

The Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross is hosting virtual volunteer fairs so interested volunteers can learn more about how to get involved. These volunteer fairs will be held every second Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., every third Saturday at 8:30 a.m., and every fourth Thursday at 4:30 p.m. To obtain the Zoom link for the virtual volunteer fair, email Celeste Green at or call 423-682-0943.

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