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Arts & Entertainment

Four-H in association with Catch the Spirit of Appalachia will again produce a Youth Talent Contest at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Railfesst set for Saturday, Sept. 17. The contest will run from 10:45 a.m. until 12 noon, and will give area youth up to age 18 the opportunity to share their talents. Participants in this contest must exhibit a talent that will reflect heritage and old Appalachian ways of our region and adhere to the contest Qualifications and Rules. This competition will be held on the main stage and will be part of the “heritage” entertainment provided during the festival.

Categories of the contest include:

— Poetry/Storytelling (writings about heritage, items of historical significance, old timey ways)


The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will host “An Evening of Great Bluegrass,” featuring The Boxcars and Balsam Range, on Friday, August 26, at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15 each.

The Boxcars have a unique style of contemporary bluegrass that pleases audiences, both young and old. Their unique sound combines old bluegrass with the cutting edge sounds of bluegrass today. Members have performed with bluegrass legends such as The Isaacs and Allison Krauss and Union Station. This quintet includes the musical styling of Adam Steffey on mandolin, Ron Stewart on banjo and fiddle, John R. Bowman on banjo, fiddle, and guitar, Keith Garrett on guitar, and Harold Nixon on bass.


The Smoky Mountain center for the Performing Arts will host a high-energy children’s show featuring the family band, Laughing Pizza, on Saturday, August 27, at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $10 each.

Laughing Pizza is a real family who writes and performs original pop music. Dad, Billy, and Mom, Lisa, are awardwinning songwriters and classically trained musicians and teachers. Their daughter, Emily, is a 15-year-old multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, drums, guitar, piano, and flute. She is also a songwriter. Together, the bad has appeared on many world-wide broadcasts, including The Today Show and numerous PBS programs. They have also performed at the White House multiple times alongside artists such as Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers.

Having been featured in publications such as The New York Times and Money Magazine, Laughing Pizza is recognized from coast to coast. They are the proud recipient of six Parents’ Choice Awards, and have released two DVDs and four CDs on their own personal label, Little Bean Entertainment.


The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate Labor Day weekend with a Gospel music festival. Concerts will begin at 7:00 PM on both Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4. Saturday’s concert will feature The Inspirations and The Primitive Quartet, and Sunday’s concert will feature The Inspirations and The McKameys. Ticket prices start at $10.

The Inspirations have sold over one million records, chartered more than 60 hit songs, and have been awarded numerous Singing News Fan Awards. Based out of Bryson City, this awardwinning Southern Gospel group includes: Mike Holcomb, Jon Epley, David Ragan, Jodi Hosterman, Martin Cook, Myron Cook, and Luke Vaught.


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