For Blount County residents and the surrounding counties, the Foothills Fall Festival is as linked to the autumn season as the falling of the leaves.
The streets of downtown Maryville, Tenn., were filled with residents and visitors of all ages, taking in all that the three-day festival had to offer last weekend. For many, this included visiting stores and booths that were placed in the Artway section of the festival.
David Teeters, a 2009 UT graduate in mechanical engineering, had a booth that displayed his own work with homemade glass jewelry.
"I had a job in (mechanical engineering) for five years," Teeters said. "I hated it and decided to do something creative and that I loved, so I started my own business called 'Glassidazical' and thought this would be great exposure for my work."
During the day, there was an area of the festival called Adventure Land that had many things for children to do — face painting, rock climbing, jumping on inflatable bouncers or even watching a water-skiing squirrel named Twiggy.
The festival overflowed with kids all afternoon who were attempting to enjoy each of the free rides.
For a small town like Maryville, it takes thousands of volunteers and months of coordinating to prepare for the thousands of visitors from all over the South.
Not only does it highlight Maryville's Southern culture, but it boosts the local economy.
Sarah Carver, a sophomore in biology and employee at Dandy Lions, a nearby boutique, discussed how the festival affected the business' workload.
"Work is very busy but fun at the same time," Carver said. "I saw many new faces who were excited about the concerts.
"I could hear the music playing all the way up at the store."
The concert portion of the event occurred every night in the area surrounding the amphitheater as live music – featuring well-known artists, such as Rascal Flatts, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blues Traveler – filled the evening air.
When asked what made them decide to come to the Foothills Fall Festival, many visitors answered that they loved the artists on the docket to perform and just could not miss it.
Andrea and Claudia Parker, two sisters who are sophomores at UT, came to the festival with their family members Sue Etta and Larry Crane. The Parkers are from Bristol, Tenn., and come to the Fall Festival every year.
The two described the diversity of the festival as one of the main attractors to the event.
"It is an amazing festival and is so well put together," Parker said. "There are different things you can do all day, which is great because we have never been bored."
Filled with many activities, delicious smells and music that seemed to reverberate throughout every venue, this years' Foothills Fall Festival continued the legacy the event has created during its 13-year history.