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

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 .

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.

Synchronous Fireflies 2012 ~ A truly amazing event!!

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesEvery June, a unique phenomenon occurs in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Synchronous Fireflies! This year, make plans to take part in this magical event held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from June 2, 2012 – June 10, 2012

Find more about this event on the National Park's website!Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are actually beetles! The light is produced by chemicals and enzymes in their abdomens and is called “bio-luminescence”.

There are 14 different species of fireflies in the Park, but only one provides a stunning light show every year in mid-June for about 2 weeks. The Synchronous Firefly (Photinus carolinus) is the only species in North America whose individuals have the ability to flash in unison. The only other place in the world you can see this unique display is Southeast Asia.

Learn about the fireflies' flash pattern!  Why Do They Flash?

Fireflies emit light to attract a mate. In most species of firefly, both males and females are capable of flashing. Each species has its own “flash-code” to help males find females of the their same species with which to mate. How and why these fireflies are able to flash synchronously is a more complicated question. Several researchers have studied these beetles in search of an answer. UConn researcher Andrew Moiseff has been trying to Unravel the Mystery of the Fireflies’ Flash for years. No one knows for sure why they flash together, but it is likely related to competition among males.

Discover Life In AmericaViewing the Light Show!

There are lots of places to view the light show in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. According to Discover Life in America, these fireflies are found in every watershed in the park. The best places to view them are at the edges of moist wooded areas. The display starts at full dark, usually around 9:30 and lasts until about midnight.

Elkmont Campgound

One of the best places to see light show is at Elkmont Campground. From June 4-12, the road to Elkmont will be closed from 5 pm until midnight, but you can park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and take a Trolley to Elkmont for $1 round trip. Contact the Park for more information: 1-865-436-1200.

Fire Fly Etiquette

  • Please use your flashlight as little as possible and cover it with blue or red cellophane -this light is not as bright and won’t disrupt the show for others.
  • Stay In A Cabin When You Come See the Fireflies!Do not catch the fireflies; just like all other wildlife in the park, they are protected!
  • Stay on the trail.
  • Take your trash with you out of the Park.


Hope you are able to visit us in the Smokies this June and experience this natural wonder firsthand! Remember, this event is a sell out each year, so be sure to  book your Gatlinburg cabin with ERA in the Smokies!

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.

Dollywood’s Splash Country Opening May 19, 2012

Visit Dollywood's Splash Country!Dollywood’s Splash Country is a water park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, adjacent to the Dollywood theme park. The park’s central theme rests around entertainer Dolly Parton’s childhood swimming in the rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains. Its season lasts from the end of May to the middle of September. This year, Dollywood’s Splash Country will be opening Saturday, May 19, 2012! Call ERA in the Smokies today to reserve your Gatlinburg cabin and plan your Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country 2012 vacation now!

Both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country are co-owned by country music star Dolly Parton and the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation.

Check Out the Rides!Rides and Attractions

Non-Height Requirement Attractions
These rides have no height requirement, although not always gentle.

Bear Mountain Fire Tower – This is an outdoor multi-level children’s attraction that consist of seven slides and a large wooden bucket timed to dump approximately 300 gallons every few minutes.
The Cascades – This is a 8,000 sq ft (740 m2) area which contains a cascading waterfall, an active 20 ft (6.1 m) geyser, a swift body slide, a gangplank shaped shallow water slide, contoured seating, a zero-depth children’s play area with 25 interactive theming elements, and 24,000 sq ft (2,200 m2) of tiered deck space.
Big Bear PlungeDown Bound Float Trip – This is an outdoor attraction is a 1,000 ft (300 m) lazy river.
Little Creek Falls – This outdoor attraction is strictly for children 48″ and under and contains a pool, slides, and activity structure.
Mountain Waves – This is an outdoor attraction consisting of a 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) wave pool.

Height-Requirement Attractions

Big Bear Plunge – This outdoor attraction allows Guests in groups of 3 or 4 to raft on a white water themed water slide.
The Butterfly – This is a double waterslide where Guests slide down 55 ft (17 m) and take a plunge in a butterfly-shaped pool and is the second fastest ride on the park.
Fire Tower Falls – This outdoor attraction consist of twin water slides which rise 70 feet (21 m) in the air and is the fastest ride on the property.
Wild River FallsMountain Scream – This outdoor attraction consists of three separate slides. Two of the slides are tunnel slides, and one is an open slide.
Mountain Twist – This is an outdoor attraction consisting of a 42 ft (13 m) long open slide where a single person slides down on a mat.
Raging River Rapids – This is an outdoor attraction where groups of 3 to 5 Guests can raft down a 700 ft (210 m) slide.
Slick Rock Racer – This multi-lane mat racer consists of 300 ft (91 m) long channels where single riders race up to 3 other riders in a race to the finish.
Swift Water Run – This outdoor attraction send riders around a cork screw funnel before sending them out through a tunnel into a 1.5 ft (0.46 m) deep run out.
Wild River Falls – This outdoor attraction consists of four slides where single or double riders zip down a fully or partially enclosed flume into a splash pool.

DiningFood and beverage establishments
Brush Fire Grill – Located in front of Bear Mountain Fire Tower, this food establishment serves chicken cheese steak and grilled chicken sandwiches.
Depot Grill – Located beside Brush Fire Grill, this food establishment serves a selection of barbecue chicken and pork cooked in a unique steam locomotive-shaped barbecue.
Cascades Lemonade – Located in the Cascades, this beverage establishment serves frozen lemonade and a variety of other frozen drinks.
High Country Provisions – Located on the deck of Mountain Waves, this food establishment serves drinks and a variety of snacks and new for 2009 “philly cheese steaks”.
Low Country Snacks – Located in front of Riverside Trading Post, this food establishment serves bottled drinks, ice cream bars, and other snacks.
Campsite Grill – Located in front of Down Bound Float Trip, this food establishment has ample seating and offers a selection of hamburgers, garden burgers, chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders, specialty desserts such as strawberry shortcake and triple chocolate cake, and beverages.
Miss Mamie’s – Located behind Campsite Grill, this food establishment serves a selection of personal-pan pizzas and drinks.
Outpost Snacks – Located in front of Mountain Waves, this establishment offers a variety of hot dogs and chili along with nachos and drinks.
Uncle Elmer’s – Located behind Campsite Grill, this food establishment offers a selection of flatbread wraps filled with grilled or fried chicken and nachos and drinks.


Shaded Rentals, Dollywood’s Splash Country offers sixteen Riverside / Waterside Retreats measuring approximately 14 ft (4.3 m) by 21 ft (6.4 m) that offer 200 sq ft (19 m2) of shaded space and an additional 100 sq ft (9.3 m2) of sun deck. Net drapes provide seclusion as Guests enjoy a 27 in (69 cm) satellite television (select programming), two ceiling fans, and a dining table with six dining chairs and four lounge chairs. A hospitality staff provides room service to each retreat, included in rental fee. Daily rental fees apply for up to twelve people (linens, food, beverages, and park admission are not included with rental fee). Smaller private shade structures, Canopies, are also available

Big River Pavilion is a groups facility with seating for up to 96 Guests. Open on three sides and having food service, drink stations, and restrooms, Big River Pavilion offers large groups a catered venue for company or family outings. Catering fees not included in park admission.

Riverside Trading Post sells souvenirs and most swimming supplies including towels, bathing suits, sunblock, swim diapers, etc.[4]
Dollywood’s Splash Country has a First Aid Station located near Big Bear Plunge with licensed medical personnel on duty at all times during operating hours.

Retreat and Canopy RentalsLife jackets are provided free of charge to all Guests at convenient areas near Little Creek Falls, Mountain Waves and adjacent locker area, and the entrance of Down Bound Float Trip.

Tubes are provided at no additional charge for the wave pool, lazy river, and tube slides.

Showers, changing areas, restrooms, family restrooms, and baby care centers are readily available.

A limited number of strollers and wheelchairs are available for daily rental.

Daily locker rentals are available.

The park is staffed by an award-winning Jeff Ellis and Associates certified lifeguard team.

History of Dollywood's many expansions over time.Splash Country History

Opened in May 2001 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dolly’s Splash Country was an addition to the Dollywood Company’s theme park.

To decide on a name for the park, Dolly Parton held a contest to come up with the most original name. Parton received over 16,000 entries. John Torres’ entry won, and he and his family were rewarded with 5 years’ worth of seasonal passes and a canoe that was signed by Dolly Parton.

The park was built into the natural terrain of a 25 acres (100,000 m2) mountain area adjacent to Dollywood theme park. The park was a $20 million investment by the Dollywood Company. The park opened with attractions such, as Mountain Waves, Raging River Rapids, the Downbound Float Trip lazy river, Little Creek Falls, Wild River Falls, and the three body slides of the Mountain Scream.

In 2003, a $1.5 million, 2-acre (8,100 m2) expansion called Raintree Hollow opened featuring Soaker Springs, and Mountain Twist.

Dollywood’s Splash Country added Big Bear Ridge in 2004. In 2004, the park also changed its name from Dolly’s Splash Country to Dollywood’s Splash Country. Also new in 2004, the Riverside Retreats. Units measuring approximately 14 ft (4.3 m) by 21 ft (6.4 m) that offer 200 sq ft (19 m2) of shaded space and an additional 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) sun deck. Amenities of retreats includes ceiling fans, satellite television, and room service.

In 2005, the park opened the Bear Mountain Fire Tower.

Dollywood’s Splash Country added an attraction consisting of twin speed slides called Fire Tower Falls in 2006. In 2007, the park expanded by constructing The Cascades. Also this year, the park doubled its number of “retreats” to 16 by adding 8 Cascades retreats.

In 2008, the park added SwiftWater Run, a cork screw water slide, replacing the Soaker Springs area.

In 2010, Dollywood’s Splash Country added Slick Rock Racer, a four lane mat slide that spans 300 ft (91 m) in length. The ride starts with an initial dip to build speed, allowing riders to gain additional momentum, to propel them to the finish. This ride is a $1 million expansion, located between Mountain Twist and Raging River Rapids.


2001 – Dollywood’s Splash Country was named the World Water park Association’s Best New Water Park in America
2007 – Dollywood’s rthte45jww46j46j mthe Must-See Waterpark Award at the 2009 “International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions” (IAAPA) Expo in Las Vegas

For more information on Dollywood or Splash Country, visit the company  website or wikipedia!