Summer has ended, and cool weather is settling into East Tennessee. The leaves are changing colors and beginning to fall, and Halloween decorations are starting to make an appearance again. For almost everyone this means two things: it’s time to start bringing out the warm clothes again, and it’s time to find some more season-appropriate activities.
Swimming, sunbathing and fishing are all well and good summer fun, but now it’s getting to the point where it’s too cold to do any of those. Without any activities to do, life can get boring, which is why I’m here to tell you about a few options for entertainment to get you through the fall.
One of the most popular options for many people is to pay a visit to Cade’s Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While this is also a popular place to visit during the summer months, the experience is different in the fall. The changing colors of the leaves makes it an entirely different experience, and the cooler air makes it more enjoyable to spend longer amounts of time on the hiking trails. There’s also the added benefit of the fiery foliage backdrop to photos.
Another favorite fall pastime is visiting a corn maze. Oakes Farm, found at 8240 Corryton Road in Corryton, Tenn, is one place to visit. But they have more to offer than just a corn maze; Oakes farm has something for everyone from hayrides to a pumpkin patch and loads of fun games for people of all ages. A more detailed list of attractions, directions and so much more can be found on their website, oakesfarm.com, and their Facebook page, facebook.com/OakesFarm.
I can’t mention fall in East Tennessee without talking about fall festivals. There’s always at least one or two somewhere in this end of the state. Most fall festivals are like themed craft shows. Venders set up to sell all sorts of handmade crafts, from scarfs and afghans to jewelry and wood carvings. Some of them offer live music or other attractions. Times and locations tend to vary, so, for this, you’ll need to keep an eye on local news outlets and social media pages.
There are also some on campus events, for anyone interested. Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the theatre honor society, will be hosting their annual Ghost Tour through the Maryville College woods at 10 p.m. on Oct. 20. The tour starts in the McArthur Pavilion and goes through the campus woods. Anyone who attends will get to hear stories about different ghosts on campus and experience jump scares performed by costumed actors.
Another event, a live shadow cast of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” hosted by APO and LGBTQ+ Alliance, will be held Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. in the Alumni Gym. The annual “Rocky Horror” showing is accompanied by a shadow cast, which means that actors familiar with the film will be performing it as it’s happening on screen.
“We encourage everyone to come as they are or put on their best gender bending or sexuality expressing outfits,” said Allison Parton, LGBTQ+ Alliance Co-Moderator.
Audience participation is encouraged, and goody bags full of items to be used during the show will be provided. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to come as they are or dress for the show.
MC students have their own personal favorite ways to celebrate fall too. Elizabeth Lane, a junior at Maryville College, said she enjoys bike rides in the downtown area and spending afternoons on the Blount County Public Library grounds, if it’s not too cold. Lane also said she enjoys visiting Cade’s Cove.
“I recommend taking a trip up to Cade’s Cove with a group of friends,” Lane said. “ It’s a great place to spot bears and feed horses, if you’re into that kind of thing.”
Rhiannon Williams, a senior English Literature major, said she likes walking in the campus woods.
“There is something so calming about taking an evening walk in the woods,” she said. “It’s a fantastic break from hectic school work.”
Williams also said had a few recommendations for fellow students.
“I would recommend someone to take an afternoon drive through the mountains to see the colorful leaves and enjoy the cool weather,” Williams said. “Hiking in the Smokies is best this time of year as well.”