One mission of the Cosby FCE (Family, Community, Education) Club is to provide a better quality of life for residents of our community by enriching their lives using cultural and arts projects to raise awareness of times gone by. We strive to improve the experiences of the traveling public by exposing them to something meaningful while entertaining them.
The Cosby FCE Club hope to show the communities and the traveling public a little bit of our heritage by the Arts & Crafts displayed and demonstrated in our upcoming 12th festival. Our drama presented Friday and Saturday evenings depicts the way of life in the early days in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The “On Cosby” Festival and drama will reach people from each community, from surrounding towns and thousands of the touring public.
Our festival and drama are promoted through the media in newspapers, magazine, touring publications, radio, TV, signs, flyers, and the internet. Information is made available also at Welcome Centers, hotels and motels in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, restaurants and other public buildings. The Newport/Cocke County Tourism Department and Chamber of Commerce assist in promotion.
We have professional and non-professional artists. We represent the full spectrum of Southern Appalachian artists and art forms while influencing modern art forms including sculpture, folk art, woodworking, performing arts, weaving, quilting, graphics and media, painting, and all forms of abstract art. More than 100 vendors will participate in our 2008 festival.
Our authentic “Moonshine Still Museum” is open year round and it is used for the background to many photos during the festival. Our trails are also used year round. A section in the Visitors Center has merchandise pertaining to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
During the three day festival we have the highest quality hand made products and very limited commercial vendors, entertainment on two stages, food, demonstrations, antique engines and tractors, and children’s rides. Friday is Children’s Day with 500-600+ children served refreshments sponsored by the National Bank of Tennessee and enjoying a day filled with educational booths/displays/demonstrations such as: Cocke County Deputies Danny Ray Reese and Bryan Murr – fingerprinting for K - 2; Newport Police Deputies – Workshop on Meth; “Farmer for a Day”; Keep Cocke County Beautiful coloring Muriel; organized games such as a three-legged race and others, FCCLA apple butter demonstration, etc., safety demonstrations, ETSU Medical Center body organs, germ booth, poetry and pumpkin contests, and in the past a Park Ranger has participated. Friday evening the Harvest Dinner is enjoyed by all participating vendors, invited guests, and our Club. Saturday events include but are not limited to the moonshine run, open car show, beauty pageant, talent show and dulcimer musicians playing softly under the trees. Sunday events include but are not limited to an early devotion service, talent show, dog show, dulcimer musicians etc. Friday and Saturday evenings at dusk (around 7:00 p.m.) our “On Cosby” Drama is presented.
The Smoky Mountain Visitors Center “On Cosby” host special exhibits during the festival such as Indian Artifacts, Civil War Artifacts, Newport/Cocke County Museum Exhibit, etc. with the Navy Junior ROTC providing security for exhibits all three days.
The purpose of our festival is to provide a better quality of life for the residents and our community. We hope by working together we can bring all the communities together for a richer and more successful life. We introduce our youth to “days gone by” through cultural demonstrations, participation in the drama, karaoke Friday, and our “Moonshine Still” Museum.
Composition of the Cosby FCE Club, Inc., all volunteer board and members are business professionals and community leaders.
More than 20,000 individuals from the local community, all surrounding communities, all economic incomes, all age groups, and tourists visit our festival. Our parking areas are filled with out-of-state vehicles visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. Our festival site is perfectly located on Scenic Highway 321 for luring the thousands of visitors coming to East Tennessee to enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves, visit our Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Cosby entrance, and Tennessee football.
This visitor center is two miles from the Cosby entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Center sits on Highway 321, which was named as the third most scenic drive in the nation by MSNBC. In an effort to promote the culture and heritage of the Appalachian region and its residents, a small moonshine museum has been erected.
Within the next year or year and half the Cosby FCE Club would like to expand on the cultural aspects of the region to include an outdoor moonshine still. In an effort to bring light to the residents and their history, plans are to include a “Shine Cinema”, which would show movies that depict the culture, i.e. “Thunder Road”. Plans are to exhibit old photographs of the area to include area artists works and to provide an outlet for books about the region. If enough funds are garnered, a “Moonshine Scavenger Hunt’ would be constructed. Visitors would look for clues at various points, where information would be captured to advance to the next point. The Cosby FCE Club hopes to enlighten the visitor to the heritage of the residents and also to offer those residents a venue in which to sell their wares.