Festival of Christmas Past

Visit the National Parks Traveler SiteCheck out this great article form National Parks Traveler:

“Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be offering its annual Festival of Christmas Past on December 8.

Co-sponsored by the park and Great Smoky Mountains Association, this will be the 37th edition of the festival that takes place each year on the second Saturday of December. The event will be held at the Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the Gatlinburg park entrance. This is also the location for park headquarters.

Headed up by Ranger Brad Free, a 13-year veteran of the Smokies, the festival will include storytelling, music, and guided walks. Hands-on demonstrations typically include blacksmithing, music, fabric spinning, quilting, weaving, doll making, apple cider pressing, and apple butter making. The festival offers an opportunity to learn about winter life in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center includes a museum, exhibits, a large gift shop, and an excellent 20-minute film. According to a park official, adequate parking should be available at the visitor center. For questions call the visitor center at (865) 436-1291. Additional information will soon be published on the park website.”


Don’t miss the Civil War Reenactment in Pigeon Forge!

The hills surrounding Pigeon Forge will rumble with the concussion of artillery fire Saturday, August, 25 and Sunday, August, 26   when Civil War re-enactors will fire a canon from the era for “Thunder in the Forge” at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center located at 4010 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

America’s most famous Confederate, H.K. Edgarton, poses with Mary Todd Lincoln at the 2011 Relics Show.

The two-day event is an opportunity for Civil War enthusiasts to meet re-enactors, visit a Civil war camp site and experience living history at an encampment. Visitors can meet members of Our Reflections of Yesterday who will portray persona from the era including Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, General Stonewall Jackson and many others.

  Thousands of relics from theCivil War era will be on display for purchase including guns, knives, bullets, and other artifacts. Collectors are encouraged to bring any historical artifacts they may have to sell or trade.

  Noted author Col. Tom McKenny, author of “Jack Hinson: One Man War, Civil War Sniper” will be on hand to sell and sign copies of his book.   

    McKenny’s book is the true account of a Knoxville famer whose sons were murdered by invading Union soldiers despite the fact the two young men were civilians and not involved in the conflict. Hinson sought retribution with a one man campaign to exact revenge on the men who killed his sons. He began a series of well executed and expertly coordinated sniper attacks on the Union forces killing several.

    McKenny will tell the story. Hinson’s guns, which are the property of Judge Ben McFarlin, will be on display.

This Confederate battle flag was on display at the 2011 Relics show and valued at $300,000.

The artillery exhibition will be presented by the 63rd Tennessee Infantry.

   The event begins Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Doors will reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and the show ends at 3 p.m.

   Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult.

   For further information contact Lynn Hammond at southerncross1861 @gmail.com.

Stringtime in the Smokies

Make plans now to attend “StringTime in the Smokies.” StringTime is August 4, 2012 and takes place in the area surrounding Pigeon Forge’s Old Mill and Patriot Park. The 1-day event features some of the area’s finest Appalachian musicians, pickers, crafters, and artisans who demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge with Pigeon Forge visitors.

Enjoy the Smoky Mountain Cornhole Tournament (aka beanbag toss) at 11:00 a.m. presented by The Old Mill and Co-Sponsored by WDVX. First prize for the tournament is $1000 so be sure to sign up! Download the Cornhole Tournament Flyer. The evening bluegrass performances will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Mountain Music fills the air from performers on stage to breakout jam sessions where everyone gets into the act. A variety of old-fashioned games can be enjoyed by all ages, and antique farm equipment brings another taste of nostalgia to the event.

Don’t forget the stick-to-your-ribs great food that can be enjoyed at outdoor picnic tables making Stringtime in the Smokies is a celebration of American music. It is the perfect way to spend a day in Pigeon Forge at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Admission is free, and food and beverage vendors will be on site.

You are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Also, bring your own instrument and make some music!

Community Radio Station WDVX will be live in front of Pottery House Cafe & Grill.  WDVX is a not-for-profit community radio station that is supported by donations from listeners.

The cornhole tournament is in Memory of Sergeant Brett Benton and is co-sponsored by WDVX and The Old Mill.  Evening bluegrass performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Sit back and enjoy the authentic music of the Smoky Mountains…good ole bluegrass!

Gatlinburg 4th of July parade & festivities 2012

Subscribe to A Day In The Smokies!People love to come to the Smokies to celebrate Independence Day! Parades, concerts, fireworks, cookouts, hiking, water activities, and more compel people to return for the excitement year after year! Take your pick, or do your best to join in every celebration!

Midnight Parade4th of July Midnight Parade- Gatlinburg

The first Independence Day parade in the nation marks its 37th year with a happy birthday wish for the United States of America on July 4, 2012, in the foothills of the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

For the 37th consecutive year, Gatlinburg kicks off America’s celebration with the nation’s first parade, which leads off in the opening moment of the holiday at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, to the cheers of close to 100,000 spectators. Members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard, plus vintage military vehicles, local area public safety agencies, and lots more will appear in the parade.

Check out the parade route early to choose your best observation spot as some of the tens of thousands of spectators will start placing their folding chairs along the route as early as 7 a.m. on July 3.

“This will be one of the most patriotic and colorful midnight parades that the City of Gatlinburg has ever produced,” said Special Events Manager George Hawkins, who organized the first Gatlinburg 4th of July parade in 1976 in celebration of America’s Bicentennial. “We are very excited about the entire weekend of events, which will include a two-day festival highlighting our armed services.”

All this and much more will be featured in the parade! For more information about the 37th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade, please call 800-56-VISIT (568-4748).

4th of July River Raft Regatta- Gatlinburg
If you don’t stay up too late for the parade, or perhaps if you just stay up all night, you can take your kids (or the young at heart) to join in the festivities at the river raft regatta. Kids may register to enter anything floatable in the regatta thats registration will begin at 10 am at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road beneath the chair lift. Actual Regatta is expected to start at noon, with registration beginning at ten a.m . “There will be prizes for the top three places in these divisions: Hand-made Decorated, Floatable Object (no creativity), Small Entry (pill bottle sized), Oldest Entry, Youngest Entry, Judges Choice (or most unique), Ripley’s Believe It or Not Entry. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.” During registration there will also be tons of games available on the lawn. Come on down!

“Stand Here” Fireworks Finale- Gatlinburg
You’ll probably need a nap in the afternoon, but make sure you wake up in time to see the fireworks finale which takes place at ten p.m. This has been designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society! The best way, in my opinion, to enjoy the parade is from the comfort of your own cabin. Granted, there is something to be said for the excitement of being down on the street. However, I prefer the more comfortable, laid back atmosphere of a cabin with a view of downtown. Share drinks and h’ordeuvres (snacks!) with that special someone or maybe a small group of friends as you relax and enjoy the fireworks from the decks of your own Smoky Mountain cabin! ERA in the Smokies  has cabin rentals available with a perfect view of the fireworks. Call and reserve soon before they’re gone!

John AndersonPatriot Festival- Pigeon Forge
Celebrate America’s independence during the annual Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge on July 4th at Patriot Park! Festivities will begin at noon and end at 10:00 pm. Come enjoy a day filled with food, games, entertainment, fireworks and plenty of fun for the entire family.

This day of entertainment will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks display, set against a beautiful Smoky Mountain backdrop. Parking will be at the Municipal Parking lot on Teaster Lane, where Pigeon Forge Trolleys will shuttle visitors to and from Patriot Park

This year’s featured entertainers include country artist John Anderson, whose hits include “Swingin’” and “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal,” and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members The Lovin’ Spoonful, famous for tunes like “Summer In The City” and “Nashville Cats.” The Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival lineup also includes country newcomer Chris Janson!

Parking, trolleys and admission to Patriot Festival are all free! So grab your blankets, lawn chairs and sunscreen and join the celebration. No umbrellas, please. For more information about Patriot Festival, call the Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events at (865) 429-7350.

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales 2012

Subscribe to A Day in the Smokies!Gatlinburg’s seventh annual Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales begins in downtown Gatlinburg on June 15 and will run through August 11, 2012.

Tunes & Tales is a street performance event featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans portraying characters from time periods as far back as 1800.

This event highlights one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets – the walkability of the community.

The collection of personalities and performers arrive daily at 6 p.m. in the center of town. Characters disperse along the Parkway for entertainment and storytelling until 11 p.m. As many as 12 nightly acts perform throughout the evening.

The mountain style of music is featured all season.

Visitors will also be able to learn how instruments are made by local craftsmen like Denton Bragg and Mark Edelman and they will also see the Back Porch Cloggers demonstrating old time clogging.

Characters including Miss Nan the School Marm and Quiltin’ Annie teach old time ways. Zeno, the official ambassador of Gatlinburg, is a daily feature, and visitors will be entertained with songs and stories by other personalities.

“Our intent is to take what we feel is one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets – the walkability of the community – and provide something that is fun and somewhat different from what most places are doing,” Special Events Manager George Hawkins said.

For more information, visit www.eventsgatlinburg.com .

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Gatlinburg Farmers Market 2012 – Opening Day May 19, 2012

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The Gatlinburg Farmers Market will be opening for the 2012 season on Saturday May 19th. The Market will be open every Saturday thru October 15 from 8:30 until 11:30 am. You can find the Market at the Alamo Steakhouse parking lot (705 East Parkway).

Fresh ProduceThe Gatlinburg Farmers Market is a great place to shop for local produce, including: tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, garlic, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, carrots, berries, peaches, and more. The selection changes with the seasons, so you never know what you might find! In addition to produce, you can find all sorts of other things: breads and baked goods, granola, honey, soap, plants, tea, and onionsmore! There are also weekly crafter demonstrations by local artists from Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts community. During special events there is live music and childrens’ crafts, as well as cooking and gardening demonstrations!

This will be the third year for the Gatlinburg Farmers Market and it has been a great success and help to the local community! We are hoping to see the Market grow even more this year!

Opening Day

We are really looking forward to Opening Day! Don’t forget to stop by on Saturday, May 19th, from 8:30 to 11:30 am for a special presentation by Sevier Couunty Area Master Gardeners Association called, How to Start a Garden. Saturday, there will also be a featured craft demonstration, Basket Making by Theresa Tyler.  

VendorsWildflower Bake Shop

A number of vendors will be at the market each week. 

The Gatlinburg Farmers Market is a dream and a vision to provide our residents and visitors with fresh, local produce for fair pricing while supporting and stimulating the local economy.

New vendors are being added every day, so there is sure to be a great assortment of locally grown and prepared foods to choose from!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Mother’s Day 2012

Subscribe to A Day in the SmokiesMother’s Day is Sunday, May 13, 2012, and with that date, less than two weeks away, it is time to get those Mother’s Day plans ready! Have you missed the last couple of Mother’s Days, and you need to make it up to your mom? Or is your mother just so wonderful that she needs an extra special celebration this year? When a card or a phone call simply isn’t enough, try some of these ideas!

Treat Your Mother to a Cozy Cabin!Weekend Getaway!
Surprise your mother this year with a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg! What could delight your mother more than a weekend of pampering, surrounded by the beauty of the Smoky Mountains?! Reserve a cozy cabin for her, where she can relax in the hot tub, enjoy views of the mountains, and then let someone else clean up when she leaves! While you’re at it, make it a long weekend! ERA in the Smokies is offering the 3rd night half price in any of our cabins, chalets, and condos!

Best Italian- One of Our Favorite Restaurants!The Perfect Meal
Or two or three! If you send her for a weekend getaway in a cabin in Gatlinburg, she’ll have tons of delicious restaurant choices at her fingertips… finally no dishes! Or if she really likes to cook, each cabin and chalet has a kitchen fully stocked with dishes, pots, and pans! And if you’re going to be with her on mother’s day, why don’t YOU cook her the perfect meal AND do the dishes afterward!

Order a Gift Basket for your Mom from our friends at Klassy Snacks!Baskets and Bouquets!
Or course there’s the old stand by… various kinds of gift baskets- fruit baskets, cheese and meat baskets, gourmet coffee baskets, s’mores kit baskets, pet lover baskets, outdoors baskets, etc. And then there’s about as many bouquets to choose from… besides all the different kinds of flowers, you also have cookie bouquets, candy bouquets, and who knows what else! For a nice touch have one waiting in her cabin for her!

Treat your Mom to an in-room massage from our friends at Beneficial to Life Massage.Pamper Your Mother!
What would a Mother’s Day Weekend be without some pampering for the one who took care of you all those years (and still is!)? Pay for a day at a spa, have a massage therapist come to her cabin to give her a massage. You can even choose a cabin with an indoor sauna! Most cabins also have an outdoor hot tub, and some even have an indoor jacuzzi, where she can relax in the privacy of her bedroom, or perhaps by the fireplace!

Take your Mom on a shopping spree to the Tanger Outlets in Pigeon Forge!Shopping
In my experience, most mothers love to shop! So take your mother on a shopping spree! And what better place than Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg is packed with quaint shops of all shapes and sizes, and let’s not forget the outlet malls of Pigeon Forge! It’s more than enough to keep any shopaholic happy for days!

Give your mom a roaring good time at the Comedy Barn!Shows and Other Attractions!
Laughter is the best medicine! If your mother has been stressed or burdened with something lately, take her to one of Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge’s exceptional shows- there are musical performances, comedies, cultural experiences, and more! If your mother, like mine, craves adventure, take her white water rafting, or on a Hummer tour, or let her try the zipline, or the Zorb! If your mother enjoys nature, take her for a day in the National Park– hike out to a waterfall, have a picnic by the stream, drive through the Loop in Cades Cove and view all the wildlife!

Here’s your chance to be the perfect child, and give your mom the perfect Mother’s Day!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.