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

Splish-n-Splash in the Smokies!

Subscribe to A Day in the Smokies!Summer is here, the sun is shining, and everyone wants to know how they can get wet! Come to the Smokies for your vacation and you can find a different way to get wet for every day of the week!

Stay in one of our cabins with pool access!1. Rent a Cabin or Chalet with Pool Access
ERA in the Smokies offers a number of different cabins with pool access! An undeniably fun water umbrella accompanies the wonderful pool and clubhouse in the luxurious Black Bear Falls Community, where several of our cabins are located! Bear Pond, American Dream, Sapphire Smoke, and Bear’s Eye View offer wonderful views, luxury interiors, and of course that pool, all within about 5 minutes of Downtown Gatlinburg. Bear Path, Pointe of Grace, On the Rocks, and Shiloh, are all part of the expansive Chalet Village that boasts three different clubhouses, with a total of 3 swimming pools, a lap pool, and 3 kiddie pools.

Visit the Gatlinburg Community Center!2. Pools at the Community Centers
If your cabin doesn’t have pool access, no worries! The Gatlinburg Community Center has an indoor pool that you can enjoy for just $2 per person per day for adults, and $1.50 per child per day! The Pigeon Forge Community Center (865-429-7373) boasts both an indoor pool and an outdoor pool! The indoor pool is $6 per person per day, and the outdoor pool is just $2 per child per day, and $2.50 per adult per day! The Sevierville Community Center (865-455-5441) has an indoor pool. Or you can visit the Sevierville City Park’s outdoor Aquatic Center (865-429-1504) for just $3 per adult per day, $2.50 per child per day, and $1.25 per spectator per day! You can enjoy one pool or another year-round, rain, snow, or shine here in the Smokies!

Enjoy playing in the mountain streams!3. Enjoy Mountain Streams
Why come to the Smokies if you’re going to spend all your time in a pool? Take at least one day to visit the National Park, and enjoy some of those refreshing mountain streams! Whether you’re rock-hopping, jumping into a swimming hole, or just laying out on a huge rock, listening to the glorious sound of the water rushing by, you’re sure to get addicted to those mountain streams! Some of our favorite places to play in the streams are at the picnic areas at Metcalf Bottoms, Greenbriar, and the Chimney Tops. And since you’re at a picnic area, why not have a picnic while you’re there!

Go Rafting with the Nantahala Outdoors Center!4. Rafting and Tubing
As an East Tennessee kid, rafting and tubing were an integral part of my childhood! A week of summer camp wasn’t complete without at least one or the other, if not both! If you love thrill and adventure, look no further than a day of white water rafting! You will be an irreplaceable member of your rafting team, as you learn to paddle together according to your guide’s instructions! Experience the thrill of making it through those roaring rapids, and in the intensity, don’t forget to look at the gorgeous creation around you! If you are more interested in viewing the creation and less interested in thrill and adventure, perhaps tubing is for you! Enjoy a lovely afternoon floating down a calmer section of a creek or small river as you gaze at the beautiful surroundings! Either way, don’t forget the sunscreen! There are tons of places around here that can provide these aquatic adventures for you! Here are just a few: Smoky Mountain Outdoors, Rafting in the Smokies, and Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Visit Douglas Lake!5. Go Swimming at Douglas Lake
Yet another way to enjoy water in the Smokies is to head to nearby Douglas Lake! TVA has provided two recreation areas and a picnic pavilion at the Douglas Reservoir. The Douglas Dam Headwater Campground (besides campsites and related facilities) offers “picnic tables, swimming beach, boat ramp, walking trail, wildlife viewing area, [and] bird-watching.” The Douglas Dam Tailwater Campground offers many of the same amenities, but seems to be more oriented to fishing than swimming: “picnic tables and grills, group pavilion available by reservation, boat ramp, river fishing with fishing pier, bait and tackle shop, wildlife viewing area, [and] bird-watching.”

Playing in the Rain is Great Joy!6. Play in the Rain
Don’t let those cloudy skies discourage you! What better way to get wet than to just let it fall on you! There are more ways to play in the rain than I imagined! For starters, you can jump into all those lovely puddles! You can slide in the wet grass! You can play sports in the rain, ride your bike in the rain, or even take a romantic walk with that special someone… yes… in the rain!

Come to Dollywood's Splash Country!7. Dollywood’s Splash Country
And of course what many, including my husband, see as the mecca of getting wet in the Smokies- Dollywood’s Splash Country! They offer enough water attractions to keep you busy all summer! Besides a huge wave pool and my husband’s all time favorite- the lazy river, Splash Country boasts more than 23 water slides and thrill rides! “Slick Rock Racer, a multi-lane mat slide for the 2010 season, spans 300 feet and features four water-drenched lanes, each side by side. Positioned belly down on mats, each rider travels head first on a channel which includes an initial dip to build speed. Multiple bumps along the length of the slide allow riders to gain additional momentum which propels them to the finish. The new attraction can accommodate approximately 600 guests an hour.” ERA in the Smokies sells discount tickets to Dollywood and Splash Country! Call the number listed below for more information! I can’t wait!

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.

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!

Roll Up Your Sleeves & Dig in at the 11th Annual Gatlinburg, TN Ribfest

It’s that time again, time for the 11th annual Gatlinburg Rib Fest!

Roll up your sleeves and dig in at Gatlinburg’s 11th Annual Ribfest & Wings festival Thursday, April 26, 2012 from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Gatlinburg. Come out and enjoy live entertainment, children’s activities and a hot wing eating contest, all promising a lip-smackin’ good time as the Parkway is transformed into a Street Fair between Traffic Light 6 and Reagan Drive.

Regional rock band Demon Waffle and local rock band Tuatha Dea will provide free entertainment. Hot wing eating contests sponsored by All Sauced Up will feature sauces such as “Blazing Bomb,” “Treacherous Tongue,” “Scorching Screaming” and “Next Day Disaster.” Prizes will be awarded to the champion. See if you can handle it!

Sampling participants include BKW Seasonings, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Calhoun’s, Crawdaddy’s Restaurant, Dick’s Last Resort, Gatlinburg Fire Department, Gatlinburg Police Department, Johnny Rockets, Loco Burro Cantina, Partridge & Pear Restaurant, Pucker’s Sports Bar & Grill, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Texas Roadhouse and Walters State Community College.

“We think this will be our best Ribfest, Wings & BBQ extravaganza ever,” said George Hawkins, Special Events manager for the Department of Tourism. “The Parkway is such an exciting and unique venue.”

Additional sponsors include the City of Gatlinburg, Coca-Cola, Food City, Hard Rock Café Gatlinburg and Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg.

An armband for Ribfest, Wings & BBQ may be purchased for a small donation that allows sampling as long as the ribs and wings last. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Gatlinburg Hospitality Association’s educational scholarship fund.

A panel will judge and award the best ribs or wings in seven categories. All vendors will be vying for the coveted “People’s Choice Award” chosen by popular vote. Head on over to Gatlinburg for the Ribfest & Wings festival, and call ERA in the Smokies today to reserve your cabin so you can stay out late and enjoy all the festivities Gatlinburg has to offer!

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.