4th of July 2017

  That time of the year is coming up – everyone’s favorite part of the Summer is more than celebrated here in the Smokies and we want to give you 2017’s information on the 4th of July Festivities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg: Gatlinburg’s tradition with the 3-event 4th of July festivities remains on point beginning at the stroke of midnight for the 4th of July (that’s 5 minutes after 11:55PM on July 3rd, mind you) where the “First Independence Day Parade in the Nation” begins in downtown Gatlinburg. This is the biggest parade of the year and it lasts anywhere from 70 to as much as 85 minutes and features everything you want in a 4th of July parade. The morning after is the River Raft Regatta which, as their website describes, is a “an unmanned floatables race beginning at Christ in the Smokies Bridge on River Road and ending at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Bridge”. This is a surprisingly popular event during the Independence Day festivities and many people sign up to race (and yes, there are prizes). At 8:30PM later that evening at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg there will be a free concert by the 100th Army Band. Then at 10:00PM, the fireworks will start overheard for all those in downtown Gatlinburg where they usually start. The fireworks are expected to last for 20 minutes and it will be a great show for all. See more on the Gatlinburg 4th of July at www.gatlinburg.com. Pigeon Forge: Things are also running traditional in Pigeon Forge for the 4th of July as the 27th Annual Patriot Fest taking place at Patriot Park downtown. Patriot Park is famous for being a large, wide open space that has been perfect for huge public gatherings like this and much that this is entertaining for families will be featured: * Good old-fashioned picnic/festival type environment. * Huge stage erected on the left side of the field for all-day entertainment. * Food vendors and those selling 4th of July merchandise like glow sticks for later in the evening. * Free kids’ carnival. * Old Mill stores, restaurants and river within extremely short walking distances. From 1:30PM to 9:30PM, there will be free music performances on...

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Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales 2017

It’s already going on here in Gatlinburg and those who come and explore the main downtown area at 6:00 in the afternoon will find some additions to the atmosphere in the form of Gatlinburg fan-favorite event “Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales”. Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is in its 12th year (!) of providing both solstice seasons in the Smokies with a touch of the old days as professional actors, storytellers and singers entertain folks with ancient Appalachia. The past comes alive as you hear stories, old mountain songs, watch clog dancers and other traditional dancers perform that which became our heritage right in front of you! From Gatlinburg.com: “This popular seven-week event truly highlights one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets in the walkability of the city and provides guests with an interactive, educational and entertaining experience the whole family can enjoy. The collection of personalities and performers arrive nightly at 6 p.m. in the center of town. Visitors witness a magical transformation of sidewalk to stage as the characters disperse along the downtown Parkway for an evening of entertainment and storytelling.” This more on this event at...

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The August Eclipse

Here’s some news to look out for once it gets to be late August. It seems the Knoxville area of East Tennessee (and presumably those of us in Sevier County) will get to experience a Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017. Although this will be a partial solar eclipse instead of a total solar eclipse, you should definitely save the date and get ready for a visual treat!Here’s all the current information we have on that: Viewing Time: 1:04PM – 3:58PM Max Viewing Time: 2:34PM The Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service will also be holding a viewing event at three places within the Western side of the National Park: * Clingman’s Dome * Cades Cove * Oconaluftee See more information on the viewing and tickets for it at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm. You can also build a simple card projector using these instructions from timeanddate.com: “DIY: Simple Card Projector The simplest and quickest way to safely project the Sun is with a projector made from only 2 pieces of card or paper. You Need: * 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 paper plates alternatively, 2 sheets of plain white paper * a thumbtack, a sharp pin or a needle. What to Do: Diagram of a DIY pinhole projector. The concept of a pinhole projector ©timeanddate.com To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth. With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper. The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole. To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole. A box projector works on the same principles, it requires a little more time and a few extra items to construct, but it is more sturdy. Keep Safe! Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from...

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Celebrate New Years in Gatlinburg!

We look forward to the new year and the new year’s celebrations at the Space Needle in downtown Gatlinburg. In Gatlinburg, the New Years party for that city runs traditional as it has for decades begins. Throughout the day, the knowledge of the impending countdown sits overhead and excitement builds. At 10:00PM, there will be entertainment near Stoplight #8 (Bubba Gump Shrimp) which will build more excitement for the evening and then, yes, as it nears midnight, a ball will begin to drop from the Space Needle at the center of downtown Gatlinburg and once it transitions from 2016 to 2017, fireworks again explode into the night sky for almost 20 minutes straight. It’s an awesome spectacle and you can see more information on it at...

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Winterfest Kickoff Events For 2016

It’s that wonderful time of year again when we welcome the Winterfest holiday season with not one, not two, but THREE Winterfest kickoff events that you can enjoy within less than an hour’s drive from one another should you choose to want to do all three – since each one takes place on a different day in a different city. Let’s take a look at what’s going on this year: Sevierville: The city of Sevierville has the first Winterfest kickoff on November 7th at the Sevierville Civic Center/City Hall/Community Center on Dolly Parton Parkway. This event goes on from 3:00PM to 8:00PM and has a huge stage erected on site for a variety of local entertainment acts to perform. Offstage there is free food, play areas for kids and even fireworks. At 7:45PM the lighting ceremony will begin and the Winterfest lights for Sevierville will be turned on. See more on Sevierville’s Winterfest Kickoff at https://www.facebook.com/SeviervilleWinterfest/. Pigeon Forge: Things are a little bit different with the Pigeon Forge Winterfest kickoff this year. There won’t be a parade to start the event, but it will begin all the same at 4:00PM at Patriot Park on November 8th. There will be a kids’ play area, presentations from the Mayor and City Manager of Pigeon Forge, fireworks, a stage with music entertainment and, of course, the big switch for the Winterfest lights coming on followed by FREE trolley tours of the Winterfest lights. See more on Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest Kickoff at http://www.mypigeonforge.com/events/winterfest/ Gatlinburg: And now the big party to signal the full transition into Smoky Mountain Winterfest season – the Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff/Winterfest Kickoff on November 9th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. This event is so big that the city of Gatlinburg shuts down a whole section of the downtown parkway just to hold it. The first part of the event is the chili cookoff where dozens of tables featuring dozens of local restaurants (as well as those from abroad) set up to serve all-you-can-eat chili. The purchase of an admission “spoon” is you all need to enjoy the best chili in the Smoky Mountains. Then later the switch will go on and BOOM, Gatlinburg will finish putting on the last of the Winterfest lights with their own...

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Scenes of the Nativity in Gatlinburg

We received a request to post this on behalf of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Gatlinburg, TN. “Our Savior Lutheran Church invites you to celebrate the season at its Scenes of the Nativity Open House held at the church on Historic Nature Trail road in Gatlinburg. Scenes of the Nativity will be open on Saturday, November 26th from 10:00AM to 2:00PM and on Sunday, November 27th from noon to 2:00PM. Member and friends of the congregation will display their own Nativities. There will be one-of-a-kind Nativity sets from around the world, pieces, and collectibles like the Hummel and Willow Tree, hand-carved, humorous, new and old, papier-mâché and more. “Many of these displays are family treasures,” says Robin Whiting, event organizer. “These Nativities have been in our homes passed down through the family or gifts from special friends for ages. This open house is our gift to the community and to our Gatlinburg visitors. We hope that the thirty or so minutes you spend here viewing these artistic  expressions of the Christmas story will renew a spirit of Christmas and christian tradition for you.” In addition to the Nativities, there will be cookies and hot apple cider, and childrens’ activities centering on the Christmon Tree and the Season of Advent. A Nativity scene will be given away each day. Parking is free at the church. There is no admission charge but donations will be accepted for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Smokies. We encourage everyone to also attend the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees at  Mills Auditorium, which also benefits the Boys and Girls Club. Please visit our website at www.gatlinburglutherans.com for additional information or contact Robin Whiting at whitingr@bellsouth.net. Our Savior Lutheran Church is located at 423 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 and their phone number is...

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