Beat the winter blues with Bingo night

Jan. 4—Bingo night at the Smoky Mountain Event Center has become so popular that a second bingo night has been added to the monthly line-up for 2023, offering a fun and lively escape from the winter doldrums.

Monthly bingo returned to the fairgrounds last spring following a Covid hiatus. It proved so successful — drawing a regular crowd of more than 200 — that the Smoky Mountain Event Center upped the ante for the new year with the addition of a second monthly bingo night.

"Bingo night is a great way for the community to come out and have some fun, socialize with friends, eat a bite of dinner and exercise their brains," said Anessa Jaynes, board member with the Smoky Mountain Event Center.

Bingo nights are now held the second Tuesday of the month and the fourth Monday of the month, which falls on Jan. 10 and Jan. 23 this month. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the games start at 6 p.m. in the Apple Orchard building.

The cost is $20 for 20 bingo games. Cash prizes are awarded each round. Winnings are based on the total pot for the night — the more players, the bigger the winnings. There is a guaranteed $500 prize for the cover-all game.

Players are also eligible for 10 door prize drawings over the course of the night with a $300 value, in the form of gift certificates for local shops and restaurants. Shops often throw in some added merchants for the door prize giveaways.

"We like to give players a little something extra to look forward to each bingo night," Jaynes said.

To keep the night interesting, half the rounds are played as the traditional five-in-a-row game, while the other half involve more complexity and thought, such as speed rounds for the first who fills their board.

Full concessions are available onsite, including hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ, nachos and nightly specials, which can range from lasagna to jambalaya.

A portion of proceeds from bingo night helps support the Smoky Mountain Event Center. Proceeds from bingo night allowed the event center to make a $4,000 contribution each to the Tuscola JROTC and Pisgah FFA as a thank-you for volunteering with the county fair in October.

Located at 758 Crabtree Road, Waynesville.