TN Promise deadline extended

TnAchieves has announced the TN Promise application deadline for the Class of 2021 has been extended from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1. Students must apply by Dec. 1 to be eligible for the scholarship. The application is available online at

Colonial Trade at Fort Loudoun

Join Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 2-3:15 p.m. in the Cherokee House to explore the powerful bonds once formed between the Cherokee and Colonial South Carolina, bonds that were cemented through trade.

Participants will gaze upon various trade items and discover the impact trade had on both cultures. This program will offer insight into the over-harvesting of fur-bearing animals, the growing dependence upon outside cultures for necessities, and even the heroic efforts of Abraham, a black slave brought into the Cherokee country by one of the traders.

The cost of this presentation is $5 for ages 13 and older. Ages 12 and under can participate for free. Registration is required. Space is limited to 25 participants.

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

Book-A-Librarian genealogy session at SPL

There are an estimated 35 million descendants from the Mayflower pilgrims. Are you one of them?

For a limited time, Sweetwater Public Library will have available (by appointment only) the silver books for William Brewster, William White, and Francis Cooke. In addition, the library will have available the pink “Mayflower Families in Progress” booklets for George Soule.

If you think you might have Mayflower ancestors, you can check for your ancestors’ names in the indexes of these books. Call the library at 423-337-5274 to schedule a book-a-librarian appointment to have access to these books and other Mayflower genealogy resources.

Hike Fort Loudoun the Day after Thanksgiving

Join Park Ranger Savannah Jackson at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 27) from 9 a.m. to approximately 11:30 a.m. to participate in a free, moderate 2.5-mile hike along Tellico Lake. Participants will explore what nature has to offer as the seasons are changing. Meet at Meadow Loop Trail Head (to the left just as you enter the park).

Registration is required. To register for this hike, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331.

Small Town Christmas

Sweetwater plays host to A Small Town Christmas every November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year’s event is Nov. 28, which is also Small Business Saturday where shoppers are urged to shop small, local stores. From 5-8 p.m., attendees can enjoy carriage rides, letter writing to Santa, vendors at the depot, downtown shops and eateries, photos with Santa and “Frozen” characters, inflatables for children, entertainment by Salt & Light Studios, music by pianists Danette McCrary and Mary Kough, a kid’s gift shop and more.

The 2020 Christmas Critter Pageant will be held during the event. Dress up your pet in his/her best Christmas attire and sign them up. The top three critters will win prizes. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Duck Park and the pageant will begin at 6 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Sweetwater Main Street.

For more information about Small Town Christmas or the Christmas Critter Pageant, or to become a vendor, call City Hall at 423-337-6979.

Candlelight tour of Fort Loudoun

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti for a candlelight tour of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Monday, Nov. 30, from 6:30-8 p.m. After a day of military drill, raiding with the Cherokee, and fort repairs, what did the soldiers do? Join Ranger Baghetti for a glimpse of night life at the fort. Lanterns will be provided.

The cost to participate is $10. This program is limited to 15 participants. Pre-registration is required. Participants will meet at the Visitor Center.

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

First Fridays—Christmas Market

The final First Friday of 2020 will feature a Christmas Market at the Main Street Marketplace in downtown Sweetwater. In addition to the downtown shops and eateries being open late, vendor spaces will be set up for guest to shop local for the holidays. This is also the night of the Sweetwater Christmas Parade! To sign up to be a vender at the event, register at

Sweetwater Christmas Parade

Sweetwater Kiwanis Club will once again jointly sponsor Sweetwater’s annual Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 4, 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.

Vonore Christmas Parade

The Town of Vonore will hold its Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. Line up will begin at noon. Judging will start at 12:30 p.m. Line up will start at Vonore Middle School. Floats, fire trucks, wreckers, and horses will line up on the road in front of the school, while all other participants should line up in the parking lot. The parade route will proceed from the school down Hall Street to Church Street, ending at Vonore Baptist Church.

Madisonville Christmas Parade

“The Healing Power of Christmas” will be the theme of this year’s Madisonville Kiwanis Christmas Parade, scheduled to be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. The parade will form on Anderson Drive by the Monroe Farmers Co-op, travel north on College Street past the Courthouse, and then follow the route from last year.

Judged floats will be parked by the Co-op, and non-judged floats will be parked on Anderson Drive. Floats competing for prizes should be in place for judging by 2 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second, third-place and Judges’ Choice. An application to be judged must be submitted to City Hall by noon on the Friday before the parade (Dec. 4). There are no fees to participate.

Four-wheel vehicles are not allowed and parade participants are asked not to distribute candy because of COVID-19.

In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be held on Dec. 12.

For information, contact Parade Chairman Don Edmands Jr. at 423-884-3806.

Candlelight Walk

The Town of Tellico Plains and the merchants of the historic downtown square will host the annual Candlelight Walk on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 4-8 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 a live Nativity scene, visits and photographs with Santa and the Grinch, the popular cookie caper and more. There will be a special collectible ornament available for purchase, as well.

More details to be announced.

Tellico Christmas Parade & Cookies ‘n Claus

Along with the Town of Tellico Plains, the Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club is proud to once again sponsor the annual Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m. and will feature Smokey the Bear as the grand marshal and a veterans’ float. All veterans are invited to participate and are asked to meet at the gazebo in downtown by 2 p.m.

The parade route will start on Veterans Memorial Drive (near the gazebo) and travel through Town Square, taking a right on Babcock Street then a left on Cherohala Skyway, before taking a right onto Bank Street and ending at the Community Center.

Prizes for float entries will be as follows: first place $300, second place $200, and third place $100. The Charles Hall Award for best decorated horse also comes with a $100 prize. An entry form must be filled out to compete in judging, which will begin at 1:45 p.m. prior to the parade. Entry forms are available at Tellico Plains City Hall and on the Tellico Plains Kiwanis Facebook page. Completed forms can be dropped off at City Hall, emailed to, or mailed to Tellico Plains Kiwanis at P.O. Box 104, Tellico Plains, TN 37385. Forms need to be received by Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

Festivities will kick off prior to the parade with Cookies ‘n Claus at 2 p.m. Parade attendees can enjoy free cookies from Tellicafe, along with coffee or hot chocolate, at five hospitality stations: the parking lot of Volunteer Federal Savings Bank, the parking entrance to the Cherohala Skyway Visitor’s Center, the Charles Hall Museum Gift Shop, Cherohala Skyway at Bank Street, and Town Square.

During Cookies ‘n Claus, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor’s Center. To maintain social distancing recommendations, this year’s photo opportunity with Santa will feature a three-dimensional photo prop, but will still provide a great holiday experience with the jolly man himself.

For more information about this year’s festivities, contact Joyce McDaniel by phone at 423-253-6530 or 615-347-0086, or by email at

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