Volunteer Work Day at Fort Loudoun

Looking for volunteer hours or just want to give back? Fort Loudoun State Historic Area is having a volunteer work day on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. until noon. In the last year and a half, the park has seen a tremendous increase in visitation, both with people and their furry canine friends. There has also, unfortunately, been an increase in people not picking up dog waste. In response, the Fort Loudoun Association applied and received a grant to purchase and install dog waste stations. Each station has a post, sign and box to hold disposable bags.

The fort is looking for five volunteers to help install the dog waste stations. Volunteers should bring work gloves and water. All tools will be provided.

If interested or more information, contact Ranger Savannah Couser at savannah.couser@tn.gov

Chili Cookoff

The Tellico Plains Merchants Association will hold a chili cookoff on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 4-7 p.m. in historic downtown Tellico Plains. Come sample the many different chilis, as well as pumpkin pies baked by local church members, stroll around town, do some early Christmas shopping, play some games and listen to music.

Benchmark Physical Therapy will host a kids corner with games and face painting, and will raffle off a quilt. Picnic tables will be provided by Mecca Camp Resort for attendees to sit and enjoy their meal. Many other goods and services will be donated by local business owners.

Perry and Diana Brake will play life music, and half of the proceeds will go to JAM, a nonprofit run by the Brakes to teach children traditional Appalachian music at no cost.

Bowls are $5 each for an unlimited sampling—as long as the chili lasts!

Evolution of Colonial Firearms

Meet Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. for a presentation on Evolution of Colonial Firearms. During this presentation, Ranger Kinton will discuss and demonstrate the earliest black powder weapons.

The cost to participate is $10 per person. No refunds or cancellations. No dogs allowed. Seating is unavailable; please bring your own lawn/folding chair.

Participants should meet at the fort.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Night Hike at Fort Loudoun

Join Park Ranger Lauren Baghetti at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 6:45 p.m. for a rare night hike at the park. Lit by a bright moon, the park has different sights and sounds at night. Enjoy the mountains’ and water’s reflection and identify nocturnal animals by sound.

This hike is 1.5 miles and rated easy to moderate. Wear closed toe shoes and be prepared for cold weather. Bring water and a flashlight, preferably one equipped with a red light.

Space is limited to 10 participants. Please register in advance to reserve your spot. The cost to participate is $5 per person.

Participants will meet at the boat dock.

For more information or to register for the hike, call 423-420-2331.

Paint the Town Purple campaign

Throughout the month of October, Monroe STOPe participates in the National Domestic Violence Awareness campaign for the purpose of community awareness and education. There are many ways that survivors are honored, supported and informed throughout the process of these awareness activities. "It is our belief that through individualized care, encouragement and resource accessibility, we can see an overall reduction in the number of Monroe County citizens who are affected by domestic violence," wrote Monroe STOPe in a release. "Monroe STOPe is here to serve those who've been affected by domestic violence either directly or indirectly."

The Paint the Town Purple awareness campaign is led to ensure Monroe County citizens are knowledgeable of their rights and resources regarding domestic violence and to let survivors know they are not alone. For more information, visit www.monroehealth.org/paint-the-town-purple.

Purple Thursday

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each year in October, one specific day is chosen as Wear Purple Day to honor survivors of domestic violence across the nation.

Join Monroe STOPe as they honor domestic violence survivors by wearing purple to your office or workplace on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Post your a group photo on social media with hashtags #PurpleThursday and #MonroeSTOPe. You can also send your photos to Monroe STOPe by text 423-519-1232 or email at advocatemonroe@gmail.com

Every group that participates in Monroe County's Purple Thursday will have a chance to win a free pastry breakfast!

Friends of VPL annual meeting, magic show

The annual meeting of the Friends of the Vonore Public Library will be held on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Vonore Community Center, located at 611 Church Street.

This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Al Hazari, a retired University of Tennessee professor who will be presenting his science show, “The Magic of Chemistry.” Dr. Hazari’s “magic” has been enjoyed by children and adults for over 30 years. His passion is helping children of all ages understand and appreciate the wonders of science. Dr. Hazari’s last show in Vonore was a hit and “standing room only.” Adults and children alike were enthralled.

The public is invited to attend this free event. A short business meeting will be conducted before Dr. Hazari’s magic show.

For more information, call Winnie at 423-884-6691.

Cherohala Skyway Festival

The fifth annual Cherohala Skyway Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles Hall Museum & Heritage Center and its grounds. Admission is free. There will be a $5 per vehicle preferred parking charge. This year’s event commemorates the 25th anniversary of the completion of the Cherohala Skyway.

The festival will feature a variety of vendors, activities for all ages, a kids zone, arts and crafts, live entertainment, food, living history and more!

The Josh Graves Memorial Dobro Pickoff, sponsored by Monroe County Tourism, 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 www.skywayfestival.com or call 423-253-8000. Updates are also be available on the Facebook event page: 5th Annual Cherohala Skyway Festival.

Trail of Terror

Christianburg Volunteer Fire Department will hold its Trail of Terror on two weekends, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30, this year from 8-11 p.m. each night. The cost is $10 per person and proceeds help the fire department. For more information, call Virginia Ming at 423-836-3728 or call the station at 423-337-2506.

Center’s Haunted House

Center Presbyterian Church in Tellico Plains will hold its annual Haunted House on the weekends of Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30 from 7-11 p.m. each night. The cost is $3 per person. All proceeds go towards the church's Christmas basket fund for the needy. Address: 6265 Highway 360 in Tellico Plains.

Rocky Top Run

Sweetwater Kiwanis Club will host the eighth annual Rocky Top Run on Saturday, Oct. 24, in downtown Sweetwater. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. with the 1-mile Color Rad Run/Walk, followed by the 5K Run/Walk. For more information or to register, visit: runsignup.com/Race/TN/Sweetwater/rockytoprunkiwanis

Proceeds will be used to help children in the community with several ongoing projects, including the backpack for kids feeding program, Terrific Kids program, a childhood literacy program, Kiwanis Closet (school supplies for the teachers to use in their classrooms), and scholarships for Sweetwater High School graduates, as well as other worthy causes.

Operation Military Masterpiece

The deadline for the Operation Military Masterpiece project has been extended to Oct. 25 due to an overwhelming response in submissions.

Vet to Vet Tennessee has partnered with the Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) and the Monroe County Veterans Service Office for this very special art opportunity. Operation Military Masterpiece is a national art contest for students and adults with cash prizes and opportunities to have your artwork displayed for all to see. Winners will be announced during the Veterans Day Celebration in Madisonville on Nov. 11.

For more information, visit www.ommcontest.us to see the rules and regulation forms for the contests.

Food preservation classes

Home canned foods make great holiday gifts. Learn recommended food preservation skills while making pineapple jam and/or homemade chili with UT Extension of Monroe County. Pre-register by paying at the Extension Office, located at 310 Tellico Street South, Suite 3, Madisonville, by Oct. 21.

All supplies will be provided and participants will be able to take home the completed product. Each topic is repeated twice and the class size is limited to six people per session.

Classes on chili will be taught on Oct. 26 at 1:15 p.m. or Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per class.

Classes on pineapple jam will be taught on Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. or Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. The cost $20 per class.

For more information, call 423-442-2433. UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Island Paddle at Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 12:30 p.m. for a kayak paddle. Each year nature displays a spectacular array of fall colors. This island paddle will allow you to view the beautiful display of nature’s artistry from a different perspective. The trip will be narrated with tree identification and park history.

The tour will depart from and end at the boat dock/kayak launch located next to the main parking lot. This paddle is rated advanced.

Kayaks and kayak equipment are available for those who do not have their own. Anyone with their own kayak and equipment is welcome to bring it. The cost to participate is $20 without a kayak rental or $30 with a park kayak and equipment rental. Please bring a life jacket if you have one, and bottled water. Dress for the weather and be prepared for boat traffic, waves and wind.

Space is limited to 10 participants, so register as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331.

Fall Family Freedom Festival

Monroe County VFW Post 5156 and Auxiliary will hold a Fall Family Freedom Festival on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 1-5 p.m. at the post, located at 137 Veterans Road in Sweetwater. The public is welcome to attend. There will be music, bounce houses, children's activities, face painting, food and a costume contest with cash prizes (three age groups up to 18 years old). Food and personal hygiene items will be collected for Fresh Start Ministry.

Halloween in the City, Mayhem at the Memorial Park

Madisonville will hold its Halloween in the City event on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 4-7 p.m. There will be trick or treating and family activities. In coordination with this event, the Downtown Madisonville Alliance will host Mayhem at the Memorial Park during the same hours. Memorial Park will be full of food trucks and fun! There will be a costume contest for children from 4-5 p.m., followed by a dance party from 5:30-7 p.m.

Hand-dipped candle making at Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Savannah Jackson at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 1-2 p.m. or 2:30-3:30 p.m. to learn how to hand dip your own candle. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $15 per person. Participants should meet at the fort. To pre-register, call the fort at 423-420-2331.

Leadership Monroe

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Leadership Monroe. Leadership Monroe seeks to identify qualified candidates who wish to assume significant roles in leadership in the community, and better prepare those persons to lead from an informed and effective position. The program, one day per month, over an nine-month period, will focus on areas such as government, legal and justice systems, economic development, health care, tourism, education, community, and leadership. Members will receive a graduation plaque at the end of the course, if completed. The class will begin with an orientation day in February and the total cost of the course is $250. Class size is limited each year and fills up quickly. Register by visiting: https://forms.gle/4eUn4NY1P1TGR32b9. The link is also available on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Sweetwater Heritage Museum touring

The Sweetwater Heritage Museum is now open for touring until Oct. 31. The museum is open from 2-4 p.m on Saturdays and Sundays and is located at the corner of North and High Street in Sweetwater, just up the hill from Kyker Funeral Homes.

Many people are not aware of all the rare Sweetwater memorabilia on display in the museum and it is absolutely free to visit. The museum contains war memorabilia, school exhibits, early farm equipment and much more. The museum has been refurbished, but many local residents may have not visited it recently or ever before.

School groups and all groups are welcome to tour. Group tours during the week can be arranged by calling Heritage Board member Joyce Newman at 423-337-7222.

Christmas Festival on the Square

The Downtown Madisonville Alliance is planning Madisonville’s Christmas Festival on the Square spanning over three weekends beginning Friday, Nov. 26. There will be Christmas lights galore, activities for the whole family, holiday eats and treats and shopping opportunities. More details coming soon.

Performers are needed for the festival. If you are a church, school, band, cheer squad, dance team, twirler, musician, comedian, juggler, magician, or any other type of performer and would like information on performing Nov. 27, Dec. 4 or Dec. 11, visit the Downtown Madisonville Alliance Facebook page and comment on the performer post.

Venders registration is open for the festival. Choose one day or select to be a vender each day of this magical Christmas event. The application to be a vender can also be found on the Facebook page.

Volunteers are needed for the festival! To register as a volunteer, visit the Facebook page and look for the "All Elves on Deck" post.

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