A Smoky Mountain Winter

 

Winterfest is in full effect here in the winterfest lights.jpgGreat Smoky Mountains. Everywhere you turn you are filled with the joy of the holidays, lights throughout the city and holiday decor on every corner will definitely put you in the mood!

Take the Trolley Ride of Lights to sit back, relax and enjoy all the lights in the comfort of a Gatlinburg Trolley. The journey takes you all around town to view the one of a kind displays put out by the city. The new LED lighting provides a bright blast of new and old scenes that portray what Winter means to us, showing off native wildlife to the Great Smoky Mountains as well as holiday themed scenes and some classics from the last 23 years.

 

dollywood-chapelDollywood has all the classic shows going on through their own celebration, Smoky Mountain Christmas. Featuring shows including It’s A Wonderful Life, O’ Holy Night, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and more, you’re sure to get in the spirit of Christmas! Stop by Santa Land with the kids for crafts, huge toys and of course a visit with Santa and meet Rudolph and his Friends too! The Parade Of Many Colors closes the night with a spectacular show of lights, floats, characters and more.
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Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is a Christmas light show unlike one you’ve ever seen before. It is the largest drive-through, fully computerized, LED light and music show of its kind! You just pull up and tune your radio station to the one provided and start your drive through a magical wonderland of moving lights that are synced to the music. After your tour, stop by Santa’s Workshop for several attractions including a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, crafts, Christmas movies and of course pictures with Santa! They are located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium.

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For over thirty years The Christmas Place has give us the opportunity to enjoy Christmas all year long and is now the South’s largest Christmas shopping village. With over 60 themed Christmas Trees, there is definitely something for everyone! They have everything you may need for Christmas, including decorations, presents, collection items and many others! You can even personalize an ornament for each member of the family. Now that would be a Christmas tradition you wouldn’t forget!

 

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This 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Let it Snow!

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We are happy to say that Ober Gatlinburg is up and running! Ride the famous Aerial Tram from Downtown Gatlinburg up 2.1 miles to the Ski Resort and Amusement Park as a great way to kick off your day. The views are astonishing! Once at the top, there are a variety of activities for all members of the family. They feature an indoor ice skating rink, arcade, carousel and wildlife encounters that are perfect for anyone not wanting to brave the elements.

They have a outdoor Alpine Slide and a Ski Mountain Coaster for family friendly outdoor activities. Ober has also opened up Snow tubing, which has been a huge hit for anyone ages 3 and older. It’s just like sledding but you don’t have to walk back up,  Ober has a “magic carpet” that takes care of that! If you have little ones, they also offer a Cubbies Snow Zone for the kids to play. Entry is free with an area/lift ticket.

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The slopes will resume regular operating hours following the start of the 2016/2017 season. Ticket prices vary on amount of days and equipment rental. The resort starting blowing snow last week and already has a base of over 15″ on most of their runs. Of course, you’ll have to check the forecast daily. And with 10 different trails and 7 different lifts, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.

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This 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving

 

The Great Smoky Mountains are a place for families to come together and remember what life is all about. There are many things for us to be thankful for this season, and with Thanksgiving nearing we thought we could share what we are most thankful for!

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1. We are thankful for the Great Smoky Mountains! Being surrounded by these majestic mountains day in and day out is such a blessing. If you’re walking through or driving, you’re sure not to miss just how beautiful they are. We are SO glad we get to enjoy them year round! US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg.png

2. We are thankful for the National Park Service! This year, the NPS turned 100 years old! Without their aid and effort, the Smokies might not have made the Number One spot on the Most Visited National Park List. They strive to preserve our natural beauty and work hard to ensure that it stays that way and we are so very grateful.

 

3. We are thankful for the Seasons! We can not believe how much our surroundings change throughout the year. We were fortunate enough this Spring to walk through the wildflowers and spot a few salamanders! Summer was a hot one, but it made for lazy lake days and pleasant walks through the shade trees. Fall is still here and the colors are bountiful!

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4. We are thankful for all of the Attractions! There is no shortage of things to do in the Smokies. The area has everything you can think of! Tanger Outlet is the perfect spot to catch a bargain. Dollywood offers a family fun approach with shows and high flying coasters. We have go-karts, ferris wheels, mini golf, and more!

5. We are thankful for all of our visitors! Without all of our wonderful guests, the area would not be what it is today. It makes us SO happy that SO many people share our love of the Great Smokies! With over 10 million visitors to our Mountains, there’s no surprise in the amount of joy that is shared each year.

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6. We are thankful for our firefighters! With the drought we have had recently, the area is full of wildfires. Our firefighters have been working so hard to put out these natural and man made fires to their best ability, to help make sure that our land (and air quality!) is preserved.

 

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This 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.

 

The More the Merrier!

Gatlinburg is dazzling its guests with magical events to make the season a memorable one. The Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights has already begun. While you sit in the comfortable atmosphere of a trolley, you can take in the stunning light displays that are placed throughout the city. These visual displays have been specially designed to represent the critters you would find in the Smoky Mountain area. Also taking place throughout the city is our Winter Magic Tunes & Tales, as you stroll through the various plazas you can take in a performance by these musical talents:

• Hammer & Strings (Dulcimer players), who will be performing at the Reagan Terrace Mall
• Jon Hogue and Maria Moss  – Their presentation will be “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
• The Christmas Thyme Quartet – Acapella carolers; in early 1900’s Appalachian costuming
• Double Take –a 4 piece band performing bluegrass/country Christmas music
• ‘Father Christmas’ – Carey Jones – storyteller/singer
• EmiSunshine and her Dad – Emi is 9 years old; she sings, plays the banjo and writes many of the lyrics performed; early 1900’s attire
• 3-4 Elves and Frosty/On some nights, Rudolph or Ms. Claus may make an appearance at the “Yule Log Finale”.

ParadeGatlinburg’s 38th annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade will travel through downtown Gatlinburg on Friday, December 6 starting at 7:30 PM. The parade includes more than 100 parade entries, over a dozen marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama, and giant helium balloons taking to the streets.

Sevierville’s 51st Annual Christmas Parade will take place December 7th. It is a traditional hometown parade with baton twirlers, pageant winners, marching bands and floats leading up to the appearance of Santa Claus! The parade begins at 11:00 AM and can be seen at the Forks of the River Parkway and Court Ave. in historic downtown Sevierville, TN.

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The Smokies Stadium will be hosting Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. This year’s themed light show will be Santa’s Beach Party. The presentation will be open during the holidays, regardless of weather conditions. The show will begin each night at 6:00 PM and will continue till 10:00 PM. Admission to the light show will be $20.00 for cars or family vans. All tickets can be purchased on site, and you won’t even have to leave your vehicle.

Santa’s Village will also return this year with several exciting new additions, along with some of last year’s favorites. This year’s village will include:

  • Pictures with Santa Claus
  • Camel and pony rides
  • A Kids Zone with ultiple inflatables
  • An Orbitron
  • Train rides for kids to see the lights inside the park
  • Hot chocolate and snacks

For more information on this event – http://shadrackchristmas.com/sevierville/.

Ice_skatersYou can celebrate Christmas on Ice at Ober Gatlinburg’s Indoor Ice Arena. Enjoy the spirit of the season as local skaters display their talents on ice to the sounds of holiday music during a two-day performance. The annual Christmas on Ice Show at the Ober Gatlinburg Ice Skating Arena features local amateur skaters performing ice skating routines to traditional Christmas music, choreographed by rink instructor Devon Harman. This event will take place from December 7th – December 8th 2013.

While your here, enjoy the multitude of artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the area all in one central location for the Great Smoky Christmas Arts & Crafts Show from December 2nd – 8th. It will be held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, which is located off of downtown Parkway. As always, admission is free! It is a great opportunity to meet the members of the nationally renowned Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community as they produce one-of-a-kind works of art available for purchase.

If you are inspired to do some winter crafts yourself after viewing the Arts & Crafts in the area, then you can attend Arrowmont Holiday Festival on December 7th- 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Enjoy creative time with family and friends as you make your own useful art for yourself. Each workshop focuses on a specific media and will result in a finished product. All classes are intended for adults and children working independently or together! There is a $30 class fee per person (includes all materials and lunch) Call for more information and registration call (865) 436-5860.

Looking for that little incentive to keep the kids off the naughty list? How about spending a little quality time with Santa! You and your young ones can make reservations to have breakfast & brunch with Santa at the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge on December 7th (reservations are required).

This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals

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The natural allure of the Smokies is portrayed by those artists & artisans that live within its reach. Their artistic interpretations can be seen throughout the month of October as Gatlinburg welcomes the 2013 Fine Arts Festival and the Fall Arts & Crafts Fair.

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The 38th Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair – scheduled from October 10 – 27, 2013 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.  A unique characteristic of the Fair is that the artisians make their art available for viewing and sale, and demonstrate their talents and skills during this show. You can find almost 200 booths some of the finest work. Tentative hours are 10:00 AM – 6: 00 PM daily  and 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Sundays 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00 PM daily. Live Country and Bluegrass music is scheduled at 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00 PM daily and 12:00 & 2:00 on Sundays.

Still want to see more… Visit the Gatlinburg’s Historical Arts & Crafts Community. This historical 8-mile loop has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Established in 1937, these artisans whittle, paint, sew, cast, weave and carve to create original

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candles, ceramics, baskets,  scrimshaw, quilts, silver smithing, brooms, leater, pottery, stained glass, oils, jewelry, watercolors, dolls, wearable fashions, photography

The National Basketry Organization conference – Basket makers from across the country are showing both traditional and sculptural basketry this week at the Arrowmont School of Art’s & Crafts in Gatlinburg for the National Basketry Organization Conference.VLUU L110  / Samsung L110

Basket makers from across the country are showing both traditional and sculptural basketry this week at the Arrowmont School of Art’s & Crafts in Gatlinburg for the National Basketry Organization Conference.

The Taste of Autumn – Gatlinburg’s Taste of Autumn will be held on Tuesday, October 29 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Attendees can enjoy unlimited sampling from each of the participating groups featuring some of the best foods and drinks to be found in the Smoky Mountains! Live music will be provided for listening enjoyment from 5 to 8 p.m. 

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Attendees can sample unlimited offerings from some of the area’s finest restaurants and attractions. Last year’s participants included: Calhoun’s, Calhoun’s Catering, Charles Richard Resources, Cherokee Grill, Coca-Cola, Climbworks Canopy, Dick’s Last Resort, The Fox and Parrot Tavern, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Hard Rock Café, Mellow Mushroom, Ober Gatlinburg, Park Grill Steakhouse, The Park Vista Doubletree Hotel, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Smoky Mountain Ice Cream & Fudge Co., Smoky Mountain Winery and Sugarland Cellars. Tickets are $25 (children under 7 are free).

 

Tax-FREE Weekend in Tennessee!

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Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 2, 2013 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2013, Tennessee will allow a tax-free holiday for going back to school. However, any one can make a purchase tax-free; you do not have to prove you are a student or buying for a student. The only items that will be tax-free are clothing, school supplies and computers.

Clothing ($100 or less per item) examples of tax-free clothing items include:

  • Belts
  • Capsclothes
  • Coats
  • Dresses
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Jacketssneakers
  • Jeans
  • Neckties
  • Pants
  • Scarves
  • School Uniforms
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Socksschool-uniform
  • Sneakers
  • Underwear

Tax exempt clothing items do NOT include accessories such as jewelry, bags or sports or recreational equipment like baseball gloves. When customers put clothing items on layaway during the tax-free holiday period, they will also be tax exempt when final payment and delivery is made after the exemption period.

School Supplies ($100 or less per item) examples:

  • Bindersbackpack
  • Bookbags/backpacks
  • Calculators
  • Chalk
  • Crayons
  • Eraserscalculator
  • Folders
  • Glue
  • Lunch boxes
  • Notebooks
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Pencilspaintbrushes
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Clay and Glazes
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Watercolors

Specifically excluded items include instructional material, including reference books and school computer supplies (compact discs, printers and printer ink).

Computers ($1,500 or less)

Computers with a purchase price of $1,500 or less, not for use of trade or business, are exempt from tax. Additionally, there is no requirement that purchases be made only for students.computer

The following items are NOT exempt from tax:

  • Computer parts, such as monitors, keyboards, speakers and scanners when not sold in conjunction with a computer set
  • Individually purchased software or other software not part of a preloaded software package on the initial purchase of a computer
  • Storage media, such as compact discs and USB flash drives
  • Handheld electronic devices
  • Personal digital assistants (PDAs) and electronic readers (i.e. Kindle, Nook, etc.)
  • Video game consoles
  • Computer printers and supplies for printers, such as paper and ink

Places to shop during the tax-free weekend in Gatlinburg include the Mountain Mall, the Village shops and the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). The great things about shopping in Gatlinburg is that all the shops are within walking distance from one another or you can catch the Gatlinburg Free Parkway trolley.noc

Great places to shop in Pigeon Forge include the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, the Pigeon Forge Belz Outlet Mall, the Tanger Outlet Mall and the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlets- The Red Roof Mall.

Some places to shop during the tax-exempt weekend in Sevierville are the Five Oaks Mall with well known clothing stores, TJ Maxx, Belk, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Lee and Levi stores.tanger-five-oaks

There are multiple places to shop for back to school in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas near luxury cabin rentals, such as ERA In The Smokies cabin rentals, so make a last minute vacation and save on back-to-school items!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair- Summer 2013

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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.

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“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

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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.

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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