Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair- Summer 2013


Gatlinburg’s 38th annual Craftsmen’s Fair is currently being held in the Gatlinburg Convention Center and will continue until Sunday July 28, 2013. The fair is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sundays. Admission for adults is $6.00 and children 12 and under are free. The Gatlinburg Convention Center is located at traffic light #8 on the parkway in downtown Gatlinburg.

william britten booth

“Rarely does an event come along that features the wonderful variety of juried artists as the Gatlinburg’s Craftsmen’sFair. It is a show that should not be missed!”- Southeast Tourism Society

tim watson

There will also be Country and Bluegrass Music Shows daily at the Craftsmen’s Fair. The shows will be held at 12, 2 and 4 pm daily and at 12 and 2 pm on Sundays. The Summer Fair will feature Tim Watson The “Fiddle Man” and Dennis Lee and Band.

With over 200 booths of talented artisans, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is one of the only places that artisans from around the country can gather to demonstrate their talent and beautifully display their one of a kind crafts in the same place. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is a truly magical event where such talent can be seen.

craftsmens fair booths

Some participants in this year’s Summer fair include: Larry Burton, an award winning artist from Townsend, TN who uses watercolors on canvas; Sandy Hensley, a jewelry designer from Shelbyville, KY who is inspired by the spirituality of nature for her designs; and Charles Adams, a stained glass artist from Troy, Ala who has been participating in the Craftsmen’s Fair for nearly 30 years and is always a favorite.

There will be a new feature this Summer at the fair:

“We’re partnering with Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries to present our new children’s area. It’s free and available for children ages 2 and up. There will be lots of art projects for them, everything from making necklaces to painting birdhouses. It;s going to be adorable.” -Tracey Large

Ten Cheap or FREE things to do in Gatlinburg-2013

mountains banner

1. Driving Trails- Enjoy nature and view wildlife on these driving trails: Trail of the Dragon, Balsam Mountain Road, Cades Cove Loop Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Upper Tremont Road, Newfound Gap Road and the Cataloochee Valley.


2. 8 mile driving loop around the Arts and Crafts Community- With more than 120 working artisans this loop is the nations largest organization of independent artisans.

arts and crafts

3. Historic Structures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park– There are over 90 structures preserved or rehabilitated in the park. You can see them in Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Oconaluftee and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

4. Free Wine Tasting- Try locally made wines at these wineries: Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugar-lands Cellars, Ole Smoky Winery and Moonshine Distillery

5. Sugar-lands Visitor Center- Pick up maps and see exhibits of Mountain life and culture as well as all of the different species of animals that can be found here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

6. Outdoor Activities- Bicycling, Camping, Fishing, Hiking and Picnicking. There are many places in the park to enjoy multiple activities such as the Chimmeys Picnic area, the Greenbrier Picnic area, the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area and Cades Cove.biking

Seasonal Events:

7. Winterfest– This event brings the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, share ideas and compete against other posts and crews and have fun.

8.Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival– Beginning in September, the people of Gatlinburg celebrate the Autumn colors by decorating and entertaining guests and start out with the Fall Craftsman’s Fair.

9. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop– Celebrate the New Year at Gatlinburg’s 26th annual Ball Drop and Fireworks Show around the intersection of the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg and the Historic Nature Trail at the Base of the Space Needle late Tuesday night, December 31, 2013.

10. Gatlinburg Festival of Lights Christmas Parade- Celebrate the Christmas season at Gatlinburg’s 38th annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade at 7:30 p.m. on Friday December 7, 2013. There will be over 100 parade entries, helium balloons and marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. gatlinburgchristmasparade

CANDY! Local candy stores in the Smokies

Everyone LOVES…..


Candy has been around since the cave man, who would eat honey off the honey comb. Over 3000 years ago, chocolate became known when the cacao trees reached the tropical lowlands of southern Mexico. It was then that cacao began to be used for culinary purposes. Candy as Americans know it has been around since the 1800s. The first packaged box of Whitman’s Chocolate hit the scene in 1854.  Gatlinburg, TN is known for their numerous local candy stores. Candy Stores have been in Gatlinburg since the 1930s. Downtown Gatlinburg is the right place to be for a delicious homemade sweet treat. There are many myths about candy, but none as infamous as the myth that there is no such thing as healthy candy. The truth is, many treats such as lollipops, candy canes and gummies have no cholesterol or fat, making them a healthier treat than many people realize. Gum drops, most licorice products and many hard candy varieties are fat-free and have little to no cholesterol, plus, they are low-calorie. For example, a cup of candy corn contains fewer calories than the same amount of raisins.

Salt Water Taffy is a big candy item here in the Smokies. The first recorded documents of Salt Water Taffy are dated from the latetaffy making 1800s. Salt Water Taffy got its name in 1890 in Atlantic City, New Jersey when an ocean wave came ashore one night filling Mr. Bradley’s candy store on the Boardwalk full of ocean water. The next day, a small girl came into the store asking Mr. Bradley if he had any taffy. He replied, “Yes, I have salt water taffy.” Mr. Bradley’s mother overheard his remark and thought the name fit perfectly. In the early 1900s, this new candy was seen at County Fairs and soon many stores were opening. Salt Water Taffy came to the Great Smoky Mountains in the early 1950s and has since been a big attraction for travelers. Is it real “salt water taffy?” You decide.

Below is a list of local candy stores in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.

  • Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen-774 Parkway, Gatlinburg,TN 37738ole-smoky-candy-kitchen
  • Glades Homemade Candies- 1402 E Parkway #9, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Kilwin’s Chocolates- 645 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Mountaineer Kandy Kitchen- 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Peaches Sweets and More- 849 Glades Rd., Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Aunt Mahalia’s Candies- 611 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Unbearably Sweet- 651 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Log Cabin Candy Kitchen- 329 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Old Mill Candy Kitchen-177 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863kilwins
  • The Funnel Cake Co.- 631 Baskins Creek Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Country Candy Kitchen- 3341 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Smoky Mountain Candy Makers- 2880 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • The Lollipop Shop of the Smokies- 3609 Outdoor Sportsman Pl, Kodak, TN 37764


aunt mahaliasold mill candy kitchen

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies events!

ripleys aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers exclusive events year round. This summer join them in exploring various wonders of the deep and of our very own Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a great place for families to learn about nature and make memories to last a lifetime!

Upcoming events:

family aquarium

Family Night Out- Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and participate in a variety of family fun scienceexperiments and activities. The staff of Ripley’s Aquarium will teach you and your family fun facts about animals of the sea and are even known to bring live animals out in past demonstrations! This is a great opportunity to be educated while on vacation and take home knowledge to share and awesome family memories. After a night of family fun, you will set up camp in Ripley’s Aquarium Penguin Playhouse and sleep among the arctic birds. This family camp (ages 3 and up) includes Aquarium admission, activities, a late night snack, breakfast and a certificate of participation. The dates this summer for this camp are June 23, 2013, July 14, 2013, and July 28, 2013, lasting from 8:00pm to 9:00 am the next morning. The cost of this camp is $45 plus tax per person, but the cost of the experience gained is priceless.

national_park_service_logoEcoVenture Camp- Explore and learn about environmental issues while inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for an ecoventure! A member of the Ripley’s Aquarium staff will lead you through the park and discuss various environmental issues facing us today. Team up with other campers and calculate your carbon footprint, investigate nature and discover how you can help change the world! This is a one of a kind, life changing experience offered by the Aquarium is one you don’t want to miss! This camp includes admission to the Aquarium, activities, four meals, an ecoventure notebook, a guided youth hike into the Smoky Mountains and a token of participation. The ages for this camp are 11-17. The dates are July 18, 2013, July 25, 2013 and August 1,2013 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The cost of this adventure is $120 plus tax/ person and $110 plus tas for annual pass holders.


Dinosaurs!- As junior Paleontologists, dig for fossils and follow the path of a Paleontologist. Guests also will get to make their very own fossil to take home! After a day of digging, snooze next to creatures at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! This camp includes admission to the Aquarium, activities, three meals, a field trip the the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, TN and a token of participation. The dates for this camp are July 16, 2013, July

23, 2013 and July 30,2013 from 10:00 am to 9:00am the following day. Ages for this camp are 6-14 and the cost is $99 plus tax/ person and $89 plus tax/ annual pass holder.


Mermaids Swimming Daily!- For a limited time only, Mermaids will be featured in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! In the months of June and July mermaids can be seen at 12:00 noon,2:00 and 4:00 daily. Meet the mermaids and have your photo taken with them at 11:00am, 1:00 and 3:00.

Ripley’s Aquarium is also featuring “Ripley’s Kid’s Fin-tastic Summer” Monday- Friday from June 21,2013 to July 26, 2013 11:00am-3:00pm. There will be free activities, arts and crafts, games and special performances and appearances on the plaza. Every Friday at 9:00pm there will be free movies under the stars on the plaza (weather-permitting- subject to change). For a calendar of events:

Stay with ERA In The Smokies and walk downtown to the Smokies Aquarium plaza and join in on all the summer fun!

Family Summer Camp


Reserve your cabin with ERA In The Smokies now and join the Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville, TN every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from June 8,2013 to July 14,2013 Noon to 5 P.M.. There are numerous activities for the whole family and the best part is they are all FREE! Bring the family together to learn about nature and make lasting memories in the Smokies.

“This is our way of helping families enjoy affordable, fun activities together and create lifelong memories. Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children out away their laptops, video games and cellphones this summer and head outdoors.” -President Jim Hagale

Activities being featured this summer are:active-pic-cast

  • BB Shooting Range- New in 2013
  • Carousel- Let the kids enjoy a ride while dad shops for new gear!
  • Casting Challenge- Test your skills using a fishing rod and reel at the target casting area.
  • Homemade Ice Cream- Saturdays only 5-6 P.M. while supplies last.

Free Workshops:

  • Archery- Learn about bowhunting, equipment and safety tips and more about bowfishing.
  • Birdwatching- Learn about the function of different types of feathers.
  • Backyard Adventure- Learn about insets and animals that could be in your backyard and what they eat and if they help of hurt your backyard.
  • Fishing- Saltwater vs. freshwater
  • Camping- Learn about the animals you might see while
  • Wildlife Exploration- Learn about mammals, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods.
  • Exploring, shooting and hunting- Learn about the history of hunting and conservation benefits and safety tips.
  • Water Safety- Learn about safety while swimming and boating.
  • Outdoor Discovery and Conservation- Get tips on how to enjoy the outdoors and hiking, discuss comfort, safety and ways to conserve the beauty of the outdoors.

Free Crafts

  • Make dad a bobber key chain-June 18, 20
  • Color your own slap bracelet- June 22, 23, 25, 27
  • Design a lizard door hanger-June 29, 30, July 2, 4lizard door hanger
  • Create a popsicle stick fish- July 6, 7, 9, 11
  • Paint a deer track- July 13 & 14


While you’re here take the family fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains area! Click the picture above for a link to more information.

Titanic’s 3rd Annual Ice Carving Competition

Enjoy Beautiful Ice Sculptures!Watch in amazement as professionals and amateurs alike carve beautiful, sparkling sculptures out of ice! This Saturday, January 19, from 9am to 3pm, Titanic Pigeon Forge will host its third annual Ice Carving Competition! This lovely event will be held in Titanic’s outdoor entertainment center and it’s free to drop by and enjoy the beauty!

Last year’s event drew a crowd of about 5,000 spectators. Those planning to visit this year are encouraged to come early to secure a good view. “Professionals and amateur artists are competing for prize monies ranging from $500 to $2,000 in the competition. The official National Ice Carving Association judging panel will announce the competition winners and award prizes at 3 p.m.”

To get you excited about coming to enjoy this free event, we found a You Tube video of a previous Ice Carving Competition at the Titanic location in Branson, MO.

You Tube Video of Ice Sculpture Contest at Titanic Branson


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.

37th Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

Subscribe to A Day in the SmokiesThe Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is a gathering of spectacular artists and craftsmen from East Tennessee and beyond. For only $6 admission per person, you can enjoy hand crafted art of a wide variety, as well as ongoing live bluegrass music throughout the course of the craft show. It will be held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, and will run October 11 – 28.

Dennis LeePerformers include Dennis Lee and band, performing October 20 – 28, and Tim Watson the “Fiddle Man”, performing October 11 – 19. “Dennis Lee is one of today’s most dynamic entertainers. Over the last ten years, Dennis has performed in front of over 1 million people at countless events and functions including the Montana State Fair where he and his band opened for pop superstar, Sheryl Crow andcountry music artist, Chris LeDoux; the National Retail Grocer’s Association Convention where Dennis opened for Lee Greenwood, and the Brevard County Fair where he opened for the legendary Beach Boys.” Tim Watson The "Fiddle Man"“The high energy music of Tim Watson has been heard from stages around the world. His musical career has grown from performances in clubs near his home in Black Creek, Alabama to the Grand Ole Opry and venues in Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and Holland. Tim has opened shows for many superstars like George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Lonestar, Keith Urban, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, The Judds, and K.T. Oslin just to name a few. In addition to live performances Tim has been seen on TV. shows like the “Ralph Emery Show”, “Crook & Chase”, “Hee Haw”, “Nashville Now”, “CBS this Morning”, ” Video P.M.”, “Good Morning America”, “Today”, “Prime Time Country” as well as Canadian TV’s “Tommy Hunter Show” and TV across the European Continent.”

Come stay at one of our cabins when you come to the Fair!The fair stated in their press release: “This event is indeed a favorite among the nation’s best crafts people. Fair promoters take great pride in the quality level of the show which is assured by each exhibitor being juried for quality and unusual skill.”

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.