15th Annual ERA for MDA Golf Classic

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ERA In The Smokies is sponsoring their 15th annual ERA for MDA Golf Classic on September 11, 2013. The golf Classic and Live Auction will occur Wednesday, September 11 at Bent Creek Golf Resort on Highway 321 in Gatlinburg, TN. Lunch will be served at 11:00 am, and players will tee off at noon. Teams will be made up of four golfers and players may bring a pre-made team or come alone and be placed in a team. The fee to play in the fund-raising tournament is $100 per player and includes lunch, green fees, cart fees, an embroidered golf shirt, goody bag, dinner and entrance to the live auction held after the tournament. Players will also have the opportunity to win a new car from Taylor Ford in Waynesville, NC during the Hole-In-One Competition.

ERA In The Smokies sponsors the MDA Golf Benefit to raise money to send local children living with Muscular Dystrophy to MDA Camp Discovery in Gainesboro, TN. 100% of the profits of the Benefit and Live Auction go to send local children to camp- no administration fees.


What is MDA?

MDA is a non-profit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases, specifically muscular dystrophy, by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. Muscular Dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage. These damaged muscles become progressively weaker. Most people who have muscular dystrophy will eventually need to use a wheelchair. Symptoms of the most common variety of muscular dystrophy begin in childhood, primarily in boys. People who have muscular dystrophy may have trouble breathing or swallowing. Their limbs may also be drawn inward and become fixed in that position- a problem called contracture. The heart and other organs may also be affected in some varieties of the disease. There is not cure for muscular dystrophy, but medications and therapy can help slow the progression of the disease.

“MDA campers dream about summer camp all year and often say it’s better than Christmas; some even say it’s changed their lives. Almost all campers agree that it’s “the best week of the year””

MDA camp offers a fun and safe outdoor experience, along with opportunities to engage in a variety of activities such as horseback riding, swimming, adaptive sports, arts and crafts, camp dances and much more. However, if you talk to some of the campers about their experience, they will tell you that the real benefits are the lifelong friendships, the increased self-esteem and confidence and the chance to spend at least one week of the year in a place where physical disabilities are the norm rather than the exception. MDA staff and volunteers assume all camper care, including physical and emotional support, allowing parents much-needed time to attend to their own need and, in some cases, spend some special time with the camper’s siblings.

Businesses or individuals may sponsor a golf hole for $100; signage for the Hole Sponsors will be present at the Hole sponsored on the day of the event. Items and/or services of value are needed for the Live Auction. All sponsors are recognized in the participant program  available on the day of the event. To become a sponsor or player, please call (865)430-3366.


Black Bears Like Candy Too!

Ole Smoky Candy KitchenAs some of you may have heard, one of our black bears just couldn’t resist the overwhelming scent of candy coming from the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. The bear actually broke through the glass at the front of the store to enter and get his chance to enjoy the really sweet stuff!

That morning, the first employees to arrive came in the back, as always, so weren’t immediately alerted to the bear’s presence. They could tell someone had been in there creating a mess before they suddenly came upon the bear, still gorging himself. They ran back out the way they came and hid in their cars, calling the owner who arrived shortly. The three of them cautiously entered through the back again, thinking the bear had been startled and left earlier, but it was still in there! They called the police, who came and, leaving the back door open, startled it into leaving. It rambled across the parking area and into the woods.

The bear not only broke the glass, but relieved itself in the store and destroyed $4-500 worth of the store’s sweet merchandise! It enjoyed rock candy, nuts, pecan logs, caramel apples, chocolate covered pretzels, and more.

For the full story, read the article from our local paper, the Mountain Press.

13th Annual ERA for MDA Golf Benefit

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Plan your Smoky Mtn. Golf Vacation!It’s time again for the ERA for MDA Golf Benefit. We had tons of fun last year, and we can’t wait for this year’s event, just over 2 weeks away! This golf event falls on the second Wednesday in September…I think it is a great idea for a great cause. ERA for MDA!On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, ERA In The Smokies Realty & Rentals will be sponsoring the 13th Annual ERA for MDA Golf Classic for Jerry’s Kids.

In the past twelve years of the fundraising tournament, it has been a great time. Our staff, and all our friends who are involved never fail to have a great time…If you love golf, don’t miss this event. Here’s the schedule for the day:

Play Golf in the Smokies!11. a.m. We’ll have a great catered lunch.

Noon. We’ll have a shotgun start.

5 p.m. After the tournament, we’ll also have dinner provided …and drinks!

6 p.m. (ish) There is a great auction of donated items–everything from vacation packages & $2000 pickles (I’m not kidding) to oil changes and teddy bears. The auction is hosted by Marty Loveday & Associates who keeps everyone in stitches.

Win a new Ford Fusion!There are great prizes again this year! The hole-in-one prize sponsored by Taylor Motor Company Ford of Waynesville, NC is a new Ford Fusion!

The entry fee is $100 per player & includes: Lunch, Green fees, Cart, an embroidered Golf Shirt, a Goody Bag, Dinner & all the Refreshments you can handle!

Bent Creek Golf CourseSo put together a team or come alone, and they will pair you with other single players. If you are not able to come and play, your participation (by sponsoring a hole for only $100) is still greatly appreciated. Sponsoring a hole can give your business some GREAT ADVERTISING while doing something very worthwhile for the kids who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy.

Spend the night at Golf Vista!100% of the money is earmarked to send local MDA kids to summer camp—no administrative fees—so please be generous! Last year ERA donated over $10,000 to MDA Camp Discovery in Gainesboro, TN.

If you need a place to stay for the event, call 1-800-309-0277 and tell them you want to come to Gatlinburg for the tournament–the folks at ERA In The Smokies will find the perfect place for you. See you there!

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.

Dollywood’s BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesOn August 19, Dollywood kicks off their 2 week  Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival! Over the course of those 14 days, Dollywood will offer 300 concerts at no additional cost (after park admission). Included in the lineup will be Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, as well as Riders in the Sky, Rhonda Vincent and more for a total of 50 different Bluegrass artists!

Dollywood's Barbeque and Bluegrass FestivalJust think! For one day’s admission of $57.25, you could enjoy 7 shows (if you time it just right)! Download the show schedule from the Dollywood website to plan ahead and make sure you get in as much as possible! That’s only $8.18 a show! If you stay with ERA In the Smokies, you can buy tickets from our office to go to Dollywood 2 full days for the price of 1. That’s 14 shows at $57.25, for only $4.09 a show! If you stay with ERA In The Smokies, you can also get 3 days admission (with access to both parks) for $88.70. It works out to about the same price per day as the 2 days for $57.25, but with the 3 day pass you get access to both Dollywood and Splash Country!

Mountain Cove Bluegrass BandMake sure you come in the next two weeks to enjoy BBQ and Bluegrass! And make sure you stay with ERA In The Smokies to get great deals on Dollywood Tickets and a fabulous time in a cabin all to yourself! Black Bear Cove cabin is located just 1.1 miles from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, where you can hop on the trolley to Dollywood for just $1 per person each way. Walk to the trolley stop to save even more on gas and parking. If you have 3 people or less (per vehicle) in your group, your trolley fare will amount to less than what it would cost to park at Dollywood.

ERA In The Smokies 1-800-309-0277This 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.

Memorial Day: The Art of the Picnic

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Photographed by Jeff Crutchett at one of our cabins!A guest, Jeff Crutchett, sent us a picture last year of a bear that he spied outside his cabin (pictured left), and a co-worker dubbed him “Mission Impossible Bear.” Are you humming the theme song too? In response the photographer said, “Really? I always think of Yogi Bear saying ‘What pic-a-nic basket?'” Just one thought of Ranger Smith grilling Yogi about stealing from Jellystone campers, and today’s post was born–the Art of the Picnic.Picnic out in the Spring beauty!

And what better time to have a picnic than Memorial Day, coming soon! Summer in Gatlinburg and the Smokies is a mild, beautiful season of warmth and green; and as temperatures rise, I find myself searching for ways to spend more time outdoors. What better way to enjoy the spring and summer season than a picnic? Whether homemade or store-bought, picnics offer time with the whole family or maybe just a relaxing romantic day at the Park. Here are some of our favorite spots to both find the food and savor the day:

The National Park offers ample Picnic space!1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Those of you that read this regularly know how much I adore the National Park. Picnic space is no exception. Most sites offer a table and an elevated park grill; park picnic areas are located at Big Creek, Chimney Tops, Cades Cove (approx. 27 miles from Gatlinburg), Collins Creek, Cosby (approx. 23 miles from Gatlinburg), Deep Creek (approx. 47 miles from Gatlinburg), Greenbrier (approx. 6 miles from Gatlinburg), Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks. Download a park map to view the location of picnic areas. Some areas remain open year-round. Please remember that feeding bears and other wildlife is illegal. Clean your picnic area thoroughly after your meal.

Pick your favorites for a custom picnic experience!2. Pack Your Lunch. Gatlinburg’s only grocery store, Food City, offers a variety of freshly made and refrigerator-case products perfect for packing your own picnic lunch. From rotisserie chickens to potato salad, banana pudding and more, Food City offers something for everyone. My favorite treat is the fresh antipasto bar located in the deli which includes cured meats, olives, roasted garlic, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and various cheeses. Call (865) 430-3116 to order ahead.

City Parks are great for family reunions!3. Gatlinburg City Parks. The City of Gatlinburg maintains 3 parks for the use of residents & visitors alike. Amenities like grills, covered pavilions, horseshoe pits, fishing streams, disc golf, walking trails and more make City Parks a great alternative for large family groups and reunions. Pavillion prices are $25 – $35 for up to 4 hours & $35 – $45 for 4+ hours. For information, Click Here.

Picnics aren't just about sandwiches anymore!4. Desserts & More. Located in The Village(near traffic light #6 in downtown Gatlinburg), this cafe offers homemade desserts and sandwiches, quiche and more. Freshly squeezed lemonade, a sandwich on freshly baked bread and Chocolate Tiramisu is my favorite picnic for a trip to the Park! In winter, try potato soup with bacon, cheddar & green onion. See the menu & call (865) 277-7285 to order.

Don't forget the plasticware!5. Bypass the Crowds. Looking for a spot for the two of you but want to stay close? Try the Gatlinburg By-Pass. Only a few blocks from the busy streets of Gatlinburg, the 6 mile, one-way road offers a quiet getaway. Lush, old growth forests & private corners along the way offer opportunities for a romantic picnic beside a babbling brook. To locate the Gatlinburg By-Pass, Click Here for a downtown Gatlinburg map.

Enjoy a boxed lunch from Wild Plum Tea Room6. Wild Plum Tea Room. Named for the wild plum trees surrounding the restaurant, the Wild Plum’s menu includes sandwiches and house salads. Choices change daily. Desserts are a must, & our favorite is Amaretto Bread Pudding. Specialty chicken salad & iced wild plum tea make the perfect picnic lunch. The Wild Plum Tea Room is open from March to mid-December. Read a review & call to (865)436-3808 to order.

Chipmunk Haven is also off the Spur!7. The Spur. If you’re looking for a convenient spot just to pull over and eat the sack lunch you just picked up in the drive-thru. Try the “Spur.” This is a local nickname given to the 5 miles of divided highway (441) that stretches between Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge. The road is divided by the Little Pigeon River. There are pull-offs scattered along the way, and you can climb down to the River and enjoy your burger on a rock next to the water.

Send a Gourmet Gift Basket to the Newlyweds!8. Gourmet Goodies. Every year, untold numbers of couples in love choose Gatlinburg for their wedding and honeymoon. How do you let the happy couple know you’re thinking of them if you can’t attend their wedding? Try a Gourmet Picnic Basket. The Gourmet, Healthy Gourmet, and Grande Gourmet Picnic Baskets are hand-arranged & delivered to the newlyweds’ cabin by a local florist. Prices range from $69 to $109 and include fresh fruits, cheeses, nuts, sausage, olives and crackers in a bow-tied wicker basket. Order yours online today.

Have a picnic every night outside your own cabin!9. Your own Back Yard. Rent a cabin in Gatlinburg and chances are that your cabin will come with fully equipped kitchens including cookware, flatware, glassware. In addition, your home away from home will likely come with a grill and a space for outdoor dining on the deck or a picnic table that takes advantage of a view. Fully Equipped Cabin Kitchen!For years, my husband and I have spent our anniversary having gourmet picnics on the livingroom floor while watching one of our favorite classic movies for the 10th time. Rent a cabin and treat yourself to a feast of your own making. The best part? Once you’re stuffed, the couch isn’t far away..

Have a park bench picnic!10. Mountain Edge Grill. Enjoy great salads, soups and sandwiches. House specialties include white chicken chili soup and the buffalo burger platter. Box lunches are available. Mountain Edge Grill is located in Baskins Square (near traffic light #6) across from The Village. Don’t forget to look up–they’re on the 2nd floor. If you don’t have time for a destination picnic, pick up a boxed lunch from Mountain Edge Grill and enjoy a little people watching from a downtown Parkway bench. Call (865)436-0013 to order in advance.ERA In The Smokies

This 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.

Gatlinburg Farmers Market

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The Gatlinburg Farmers Market will be opening for the 2011 season on Saturday May 21st.  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.  onionsThe 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 more!  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!

Last year was the Gatlinburg Farmers Market first year and it was a great success!  We are hoping to see the Market grow a little more each year!

Opening Day

We are really looking forward to Opening Day!   Don’t forget to stop by on Saturday, May 21st, from 8:30 to 11:30 am.  Local musicians, Boogertown Gap we be joining us for the morning to help kick off the 2011 season.

Boogertown Gap  Talking Turkey Studio, from Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts Community  will also be joining the festivities by providing stained glass demonstrations.

VendorsWildflower Bake Shop

A number of vendors will be at the market each week.  Catskill Farms is returning from last year with an assortment of produce, including garlic and walnuts.  Ely’s Mill will be at the market again most Saturdays selling honey.  Another returning vendor is Wildflower Bake Shop, with delicious breads and baked goods, and my favorite: chocolate chess bars!  A newcomer to the market this year is Gourmet Creations.  I am looking forward to checking out their sauces, pie and soup mixes!  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.

Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesBloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass is a family oriented event celebrating the beauty of spring, championship barbecue and world class bluegrass music.  This year the festivities take place on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21 in historic downtown Sevierville.

The most amazing part of this festival is that it is FREE

Come to Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass!“Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass is shaking things up! We’re adding in more food vendors, more crafters and more fun! Make your way around the courthouse square enjoying live performances, craft demonstrations and lots of delicious foods. Meet fun characters from Titanic Museum Attraction, Smokies Baseball and more and see amazing performances from Cirque de Chine, Lumberjack Feud and other great shows.

The Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union Kids’ Burger Cook-Off is also new this year and gives kids ages 6-16 the opportunity to grill up a gourmet burger.

As always, Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass will bring the best in food, music and family entertainment to downtown Sevierville. Visit with cook teams participating in the Bush’s Best Tennessee State Championship Cook-Off and hear great bluegrass music (can we link back to the Bluegrass Bands page) from bands like Blue Moon Rising, Jimbo Whaley, Junior Sisk and even Sam Bush.”


I attended this event last year and had a great time!  Last year’s headliner was Dan Tyminsky, best known for playing with Allison Krauss and Union Station.  This year Sam Bush will be performing at 8 pm on Saturday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jerry Butler And The Blu-J's5:00 pm: Jerry Butler & The Blu-J’s
“Jerry Butler & The Blu-J’s are bluegrass festival favorites. Their repertoire consists of original and traditional bluegrass songs, familiar classic country songs and heartfelt gospel. Fans will enjoy the energy, fresh sound and entertaining show this group brings to the stage. “We just want the folks in attendance to have a good time with us, laugh, cry, sing along, whatever they’re feeling at the time. When we’re done we want them to be able to say ‘now that was fun’.””

Bue Moon Rising6:00 pm: Blue Moon Rising
“Blue Moon Rising is a national touring band based out of East Tennessee comprised of Chris West (lead vocals and guitar); Tony Mowell (bass and vocals); Brandon Bostic (mandolin, guitar, vocals); and Owen Piatt (banjo.) In 2010, the band will celebrate the release of their fifth career album on L.A. based Rural Rhythm Records.”

Jimbo Whaley and Greenbriar7:00 pm: Jimbo Whaley & Greenbriar
“Singer and songwriter, Jimbo Whaley grew up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains with music always being a part of his life. Whaley has pulled so many memories reflecting that upbringing and written numerous songs including: The Foundation, M.R.s Rolling Store, The Legend of Jack Huff, and the fan favorite, The Kings of Orebank. Jimbo currently performs with the bluegrass band Greenbrier…”

Russell Moore and IIIrd Thyme Out8:00 pm: Russell Moore and IIIrd Thyme Out
“Success for ‘Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out’ was nearly an overnight occurrence for this group after its forming in 1991. Led by the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) 2-time “Male Vocalist Of The Year”, Russell Moore, IIIrd Tyme Out, consisting of Moore (guitar), Steve Dilling (banjo), Justen Haynes (fiddle), Wayne Benson (mandolin), and Edgar Loudermilk (bass), has walked away with IBMA’s “Vocal Group Of The Year” award 7 consecutive years. Their a cappella renditions of many songs, featuring one of the most respected lead vocalists of all time, can rarely be matched and their superb instrumentation, from some of the best musicians in the business, provides even more quality sound to their rich vocal blend.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mountain Ruckus1:00 pm: Mountain Ruckus
Mountain Ruckus is the band that plays the pre-show in the “Cabin Room” at Dolly’s Dixie Stampede. You know they’re good! “Some members of Mountain Ruckus have included Gary “Biscuit” Davis who was Dolly Parton’s band leader and produced her cd’s The Grass Is Blue and Live and Well, and YouTube Celebrity Kata Hay.”

Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers2:00 & 5:00 pm: Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers
“Larry Sparks is an original, a one of a kind musician and singer who really, truly doesn’t sound like anyone else. That’s rare in any style of music, but especially so in Bluegrass music. Sounding like Larry Sparks is what he always wanted. Over the course of the last 42 years with his own band, Larry Sparks has carved a unique niche for himself in Bluegrass and Gospel music. While Sparks is most definitely a stylist, his honest approach to the music is more than a style, it’s real with no gimmick added. After almost 47 years in the spotlight, with 42 of them with his own band, Larry Sparks is the same person on stage as he is off. Polite, plain-spoken, respectful but direct, old-fashioned, and in some regards, Sparks seems like he could be from an earlier generation. In a world gone fake, Larry Sparks has kept it real.”

Junior Sisk and the Rambler's Choice3:00 & 6:00 pm: Junior Sisk and The Rambler’s Choice
“Junior Sisk And Ramblers Choice are gaining great recognition as one of the best traditional bluegrass bands to hit the scene in decades. Junior’s soulful and sometimes haunting vocals, reminiscent of the late, great, Carter Stanley, who happens to be his hero, have captivated audiences for years. With the brand new release of their sophomore project on Rebel Records, “Heartaches And Dreams”, the band has once again captured something magical. The pleasant mix of old and new is sure to offer something here for everyone. Joining Junior is long time singing partner and cousin Timmy Massey on bass, along with band members Jason Davis on banjo, Jason Tomlin on mandolin, and Billy Hawks on fiddle.”

Balsam Range4:00 & 7:00 pm: Balsam Range
“From deep in the Appalachians where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge comes the Balsam Range band, creatively blending Bluegrass, Folk, Gospel and Jazz into a new American acoustic music experience.”

Sam Bush8:00 pm: Sam Bush
“Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush doesn’t seem old enough to be a musical legend. And he’s not. But he is. Alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.”

Check out the entire lineup.


Grand Champ from 2010“During Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass, Sevierville plays host to barbecue cook teams from all across the United States. If you’ve never tasted award-winning competition barbecue, you’re in for a treat.” Food vendors will include local teams such as The Firehouse Smokers TN of Sevierville, Seymour Smokers of Seymour, and the Smoky Mountain Smokers also of Sevierville, as well as teams from all over Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky! There will also be a burger cook-off for the kids!

ERA In The Smokies Realty & RentalsThis 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.