Blount Partnership prepares for busy April


The second annual Townsend Founders Festival and the Pigs & Politics Legislative day are two important community-oriented events for the Blount County Partnership. The upcoming events give visitors the chance to experience the excitement of collegiate timbersports one week and to rub shoulders with federal, state and Blount County elected officials as well as mid-term candidates the next. 

The Blount Partnership is a 501c6 non-profit organization with the goal of boosting the local economy and improving the quality of life for county residents. Members help provide opportunities for small business, corporate locations, manufacturing, technology commercialization, leisure travel, and corporate retreats. 

The Founders Festival was created in 2017 by the Townsend Walland Business Alliance desiring to have an event that would be unique to Townsend and fun for all people of all ages and backgrounds. The town of Townsend was founded by Colonel W.B. Townsend from PA. Townsend came to town to start a logging and then a railroad operation at the invitation of the Fishers who operated the tannery in the neighboring community of Walland. 

Celebrating the founding of Townsend with a logging competition, the UT Forestry Club took care of the invitations and the scheduling and equipping of the events. University of Tennessee is hosting “Stud” the Southeastern College and University Lumber Jack Competition. The UT Forestry Club named their event “Stud” after the Johnny Cash song ‘Tennessee Stud’.  

Folks can watch their favorite ‘jack’ or ‘jill’ participating to win the various and challenging lumberjack events throughout the day. Food Trucks will be on site providing excellent and tasty southern cuisine for everyone.  

The Townsend Founders Festival will be April 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free with a small fee charged for on-site parking. 

In addition to the lumber jack competition, during the Founders Festival, all day weekend, the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum officials will be presenting the history of the mill and logging operations in the Smoky Mountains.

On April 24, 2018 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., visitors can enjoy barbecue and live music while interacting with federal, state and Blount County elected officials as well as mid-term candidates at “Pigs and Politics.”

With the county primary and Rockford City election slated for May 1 and early voting beginning April 11, the event provides an enormous opportunity for the public to visit with candidates and elected officials personally as they mingle in a casual setting. No speeches or agenda is set.  
The positions of Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, All County Commission Seats for District 1 -10, Highway Superintendent, Mayor, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, & Trustee are being voted on in the county primary, while two commissioner seats are up for Rockford City. 
Other happenings at the event include a barbershop quartet, an Uncle Sam stilt walker, a photo booth as well as a slide show honoring long-serving elected officials with both the cities and county. 

Pigs and Politics will be April 24 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets will be $25, $10 for students with children age five and under getting in free. 

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