After 15 years, the city of Maryville has announced that the Foothills Fall Festival – taking place Oct. 17-19 – will take its final bow.
Tim McGraw, Chris Young and Dustin Lynch will perform for thousands of fans at Maryville’s Theater in the Park, along with a full range of other musical performances to be announced soon. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will kick off the festival on Friday night, followed by Chris Young as Saturday’s headliner and Tim McGraw will close out the festival on Sunday.
“We are excited about this year’s lineup, and, while bittersweet for us as the city’s last annual Foothills Fall Festival, this year’s event will be another outstanding offering of the best festival and concert entertainment as well as a celebration of all the past events and those folks who have made it possible,” said City Manager Greg McClain. “We are looking for lots of interaction this year as we open up social media opportunities for city residents and long-time attendees, sponsors, vendors, artisans, volunteers, local businesses and city of Maryville employees to share their memories.”
According to Mr. McClain, the decision of administrative staff to sunset the Festival was a difficult one – “one that we didn’t take lightly in any respect,” he said.
“The full context of putting together an event at the level of the Foothills Fall Festival has become out of step with our financial and personnel resource base as a municipality – particularly in very recent years due to the changing entertainment and live music landscape, market pressures and worldwide competition for acts,” said Mr. McClain.
“Our top priority has always been to serve as excellent stewards of local taxpayer dollars and ensure top value back to our citizens with every decision made and dollar spent,” said Mr. McClain. “Our goal for the festival began simply as a way to offer our community an affordable, world-class entertainment experience. It has never been a profit-driven event, but the industry is profit-driven and highly competitive. Due to market pressures, the festival’s original goal has been complicated by what is now necessary to meet it. To sustain this event, we have had to make decisions that have begun to work against our original goal. After a thoughtful, business-based analysis, it became abundantly clear that continuing the Festival in alignment with our original goals was unsustainable.”
“I am confident that the city of Maryville administrative staff have been – and will continue to be – good stewards of our local resources, and I understand their decision,” said Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor. “City Council and I look forward to celebrating what the Festival has meant to the community and continue to support exploring new ways to provide high-quality, affordable family entertainment that our community has come to expect.”
“We are seeking to explore more ways to utilize our resource base for events and opportunities that can occur throughout the course of the year, with a more consistent, sustainable impact for both citizens and local businesses to benefit,” said Mr. McClain.
City of Maryville Community Relations Manager Jane Groff expressed the city’s thanks to everyone who has made the Foothills Fall Festival an award-winning event over the years.
“We can’t offer enough thanks to the sponsors, staff and dedicated community volunteers who have made each Festival possible,” said Ms. Groff. “The Festival also owes its success to the hard work of city of Maryville employees, our partners, organizations and business supporters and, of course, the performers, vendors and artisans who have created the whole Festival experience. With those folks in mind, we are working to create a memorable finale to celebrate the legacy of the Foothills Fall Festival.”
As with each year, a juried arts and craft show with free music, activities and demonstrations will fill Broadway in the heart of Downtown Maryville. Sixteen acres of adventures for the family will take place in the Greenbelt Park near Blount County's library, all free of charge.
Tickets for the 15th and final Foothills Fall Festival will go on sale Saturday July 19. Three-day festival passes are available for $60 (until Sept. 8) and $70 after Sept. 8. Some reserved seating is available. Also, children eight and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at the Maryville Municipal Center and at all Blount County First Tennessee Bank locations. For more information, visit www.foothillsfallfestival.com, call 865.273-3445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Foothills Fall Festival is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFoothillsFallFestival and Twitter @FoothillsFest.