♪ ♫ ♪ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… ♪ ♫ ♪

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Here in the Great Smoky Mountains we like to kick off the winter season with our annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. It’s the 40th anniversary of this tradition and around 60,000 people come from all over to join us for the parade. Our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is celebrity Rachel Grant. So grab a chair and some hot chocolate and get ready to be dazzled!

Dollywood also has a Parade of Lights daily throughout the theme park. Along with that, they have the Smoky Mountain Christmas show schedule, meet and greet with Rudolph and Friends, and the Timber Canyon Festival of Lights.

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If you still want more, we’ve got you covered! With our Winter Magic lights set up from Gatlinburg all the way to Sevierville, we have an array of lights and displays to help get you in the holiday spirit. These feature animals and critters native to the area and historic scenes for the holidays. To view the entire loop, reserve yourself a seat on the Trolley Ride of Lights here.

Stop by Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at the Smokies Stadium to drive at your own pace through their orchestra of lights. Just tune your radio station to theirs and enjoy the musical light show in the comfort of your vehicle. At $25 a carload for the show and free access to Santa’s Village it’s the perfect way to end your day.

Santa’s Claus-et in Gatlinburg has also put on their own little musical light show. They just moved locations to a new building right in town near Traffic Light number 3A. It’s a great place to shop for the holidays and enjoy the magical light show at the beginning of the Arts and Crafts loop.

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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.

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The Island at Pigeon Forge

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The Island in PigeonForge opening June 21st features a 200 foot high observation wheel. The wheel offers the best view of the Great Smoky Mountains from right in the middle of Pigeon Forge! At the Island visitors can eat, shop, play and end the night with a spectacular view of the city lights. Shops opening on the 21st are:

  • Auntie Anne’scarousel
  • Cinnabon
  • Island Yogurt
  • The Fudgery
  • Poynor’s Pommes Frites
  • Timberwood Grill
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Dude’s Daiquiris
  • Arcade City
  • The Flying House Carousel
  • The Euro-Burgy Dome
  • The Island Trading Post
  • The Great Smoky Mountaini Wheel Gift Shop

The anticipated Spring 2014 opening will offer even more shops, attractions, and restaurants inside The Island!

Father’s Day Garden Party

christmas place

The Incredible Christmas Place is hosting a wonderful opportunity for children to make their fathers a Father’s Day card on Sunday June 16,2013. Plenty of art supplies will be available at their disposal for ample opportunity for creativity! While you are in town, celebrate Father’s Day at the Incredible Christmas Place where the staff are always full of Christmas cheer.

fathers day        While at the Incredible Christmas Place, Mrs. Claus’ will honor the fathers present by holding a cookie decorating session in her Candy Kitchen. Guests will also get to eat the cookies they decorate. You don’t want to miss this one of a kind store so make sure to look around the Incredible Christmas Place after you finish with the activities!

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The Incredible Christmas Place is the largest Christmas superstore in the South. It opened in 1986, and has earned widespread recognition for the products it sells, including personalized Christmas tree ornaments, a large variety of gourmet teas and coffees, ice cream, candy and much more. This awesome store feels like the kind of place Santa and his reindeer would feel at home!

spring garland

The Incredible Christmas Place is also famous for the garlands and other plants it sells. On Father’s Day weekend, the store’s courtyard is overflowing with abundant plant life!

Don’t forget to book your cabin today with ERA In The Smokies!

A Mountain Quiltfest 2013: Pigeon Forge, TN

Subscribe to A Day in The Smokies!Every year in March Pigeon Forge hosts A Mountain Quiltfest. This is the 19th Annual event! Quilters from all over the country come together for quilting classes, shows, appraisals, giveaways, door prizes, and more! The event is held Tuesday, March 12th – Saturday, March 16th,2012. Classes begin on Tuesday, March 12th, and registration for classes opened up in December, so if you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time!

Quilt Classes
“No matter what your quilt making level is, there is something for everyone with more than 80 quilting classes offered. To see a list of all of the classes available, click here on Quilt Class Descriptions… To check out the class schedule click here on Quilt Class Schedules…”

See this and other winning quilts from the 2010 Quiltfest!Quilt Show
“Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest quilt show is a beautiful display of a variety of quilts from all over the country. Come and admire all of the hard work and creativity put in to these incredible quilts. Quilters compete in more than 10 categories for over $20,000 cash and prizes. Categories include: Small Professional, Quilted for Hire Large Quilts, Quilted for Hire Small Quilts, Hand Quilted Bed Quilts, Machine Quilted Bed Quilts, Non-Traditional Quilts, Large Quilts, Medium Quilts, Small Quilts, Other Quilts, [and] Youth Quilts. The Pigeon Forge Quiltfest show is open to everyone whether you are a beginning quilter or a seasoned quilt master.” Find out the entry guidelines and how to enter.

Rent a Cabin when you come for Quiltfest!First Night Sneak Peak
Join us for the First Night Student Sneak Peak at the Music Road Convention Center on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 beginning at 6:00pm. Enjoy greeting old friends and making new acquaintances. Instructors, vendors and sponsors will be on hand for questions and to meet your quilting needs. Enjoy a special showing of the quilts and shop for unique items prior to the public opening. Come to meet and greet as we kick off “A Mountain Quiltfest 2013”!

Antique Quilt Bed Turning
“The Antique Quilt Bed Turning is back again this year by popular demand. This event, held each day in the lobby of the Music Road Hotel and Convention Center, will highlight quilts made before 1960.”

Full List of Events, Dates, and Times

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.

PIGEON FORGE: 13th Annual Saddle Up!

Saddle Up Pigeon Forge“We’ve rounded up some fine talent for the 13th annual Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge! Come join us for all of the outstanding cowboy entertainment and activities. Our award-winning Stories & Strings returns for a second season, joining three other concerts, a chuck wagon cookoff, Cowboy Dance and Cowboy Church. ‘Capturing the Old West,’ a special photography exhibit and video presentation by award-winning photographer Ken Jenkins, is a new addition for 2013.”

This year’s preformers include:
Brenn Hill
Chris Isaacs
Waddie Mitchell
Quebe Sisters Band
Sourdough Slim
Dave Stamey
T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up-N-Playboys
Wylie & the Wild West

This will be a great event, full of family fun!

Wednesday, February 20 :: 10AM – 11AM
Dutch Oven Cornbread Sampling
Kent Rollins :: Old Mill Square :: free
“With a restored 1876 Studebaker wagon, Kent and his wife, Shannon, travel across the country catering for weddings, corporate events and heritage festivals while preserving a part of America’s history. Kent’s Dutch oven talents are uncontested as he is named the Official Chuck Wagon Cook of Oklahoma, by its Governor. He also won the Lubbock, Texas Chuck Wagon Cook Off and the Will Rogers Award for Chuck Wagon of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. Don’t be surprised if Kent gets a chuckle out of you because his poetry and storytelling talents have earned him prestigious recognition including, The Skinny Roland Humor Award for Best Humorist and Storyteller and was nominated three times for Best Storyteller, all by the Academy of Western Artists.”

Wylie & the Wild WestThursday, February 21 :: 3:00PM
“Capturing the Old West”
Ken Jenkins :: Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge :: free
Video presentation and Western photography exhibit. “Ken Jenkins is a nationally known natural history photographer, writer, lecturer, and outdoor adventurer. For more than 30 years his photographs and articles have appeared in publications from National Geographic to Southern Living. Galleries across the country have exhibited his work including the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the Sarasota Arts Center in Florida.”

6:00PM
Intimate Evening Concerts
Wylie & the Wild West :: Partridge & Pear :: $54.88 (includes tax)
“In this era of prepackaged superstars, of pale imitations of country music being pushed onto the public by faceless media giants, the music of Wylie & The Wild West is a beacon of truth and honest beauty. As one critic says, ‘Wylie Gustafson is the coolest cowpoke around. Forget everything you hate about modern country, this guy is old-school cool without being a tired period piece.'”
Quebe Sisters Band :: Mama’s Farmhouse :: $54.88 (includes tax)
“When Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced Kway-bee) raise their fiddles and play, audiences marvel. When the girls sing their vintage style three-part harmony, audiences are blown away. Add the extraordinary rhythm guitar of Joey McKenzie and the swinging upright bass of Drew Phelps and the Quebe Sisters Band becomes a force of nature. The QSB’s unique brand of music has taken the Americana music scene by storm. They perform a refreshing blend of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.”

Friday, February 22 :: 11:00am
Chuck Wagon Sampling
Kent Rollins :: Smoky Mountain Guitars :: free
(See description under Cornbread Sampling for more information about Kent Rollins Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon)

Brenn Hill12:00pm (noon)
Stories & Strings Concert :: Smoky Mountain Guitars :: $16.46 (includes tax)
Concert Includes the Following Artists:
Bobby Black of the Saddle Cats
“The Saddle Cats are a Western Swing pocket orchestra that is enlivening Cowboy and Western Music with infectious joy and high spirits. With a repertoire that draws from the rich tapestry of traditional American music, this four-piece ensemble embraces the worlds of swing, cowboy ballads, blues, Tin Pan Alley, honky-tonk, string band music, polka and just about any traditional style under the sun.”
Brenn Hill
“Singer/Songwriter Brenn Hill doesn’t just sing about the American West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen. His most recent release, EQUINE, (2010) clearly defines what might be his most profound work to date, as well as a mirror of his growth as an artist over the last ten years. Its broad theme of horses, the cowboy¹s working partner, is but a pathway into and through his own personal journey. No longer just the observer or narrator of our Western story, but its strongest interpreter, life’s trials and tribulations are also his raw material. Faith, trust and love are his guide.”
Joey McKenzie- guitarist for the Quebe Sisters Band
Sourdough Slim
“One of the most original and beloved Western entertainers of our time, Sourdough Slim is a hoot to say the least. The moment this award winning Western showman steps into the spotlight, it’s apparent to everyone that they’re in for a rollicking good time. Ten gallon funny-man Sourdough Slim, transports us to a whimsical world where vaudevillian camp and cowboy lore intermingle to produce grins galore.”
Dave Stamey
“Dave Stamey has been a cowboy, a mule packer, a dude wrangler, and is now one of the most popular Western entertainers working today.  He has been voted three times Entertainer of the Year, three times Male Performer of the Year and twice Songwriter of the Year  by the Western Music Association, and received the Will Rogers Award  from the Academy of Western Artists. He’s delighted audiences in twenty states, and finds that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses.”
T. Scot Wilburn
“Musician T. Scot Wilburn comes from generations of musicians. Most notably, his father and uncle were a part of the popular 1950s Montana band, the Snake River Outlaws.”

Dave Stamey3:00PM
Saddle Up Concert :: Sponsored by the Inn at Christmas Place
Featured Artists Below :: Grand Majestic Theater :: $16.46 (includes tax)

  • Dave Stamey– See Description Above
  • Chris Isaacs– “A three-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers Award”, Chris Isaacs is a poet and storyteller who has lived the life that he writes about. He has seen life from a cowboy’s point of view for all of his 60-plus years, and his poems and stories are alive with the heart and humor of life from a cowboy’s point of view. He can usually find the funny side of any situation, and is considered by many to be one of the finest humorists in the country.”
  • Brenn Hill– See Description Above
  • Sourdough Slim– See Description Above
  • T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up-N-Playboys– “T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys will make their debut at Saddle Up. Scot comes from a rich and colorful musical heritage and can play any instrument with strings. He’s put together a group of outstanding musicians that includes world- renowned steel guitarist Bobby Black. A deep passion for traditional western swing music will be evident when this band hits the stage.”

7:00PM
Saddle Up Concert :: Sponsored by Premier Media
Featured Artists Below :: Grand Majestic Theater :: $16.46 (includes tax)

  • Waddie Mitchell– “‘I can’t ever remember “finding” cowboy poetry,’ Waddie Mitchell says of the entertaining and enduring art of storytelling. ‘It was always there. The cowboys sure never called it poetry. I know I wouldn’t have liked it if they would have. Seems like an oxymoron, don’t it!?’ From his earliest days on the remote Nevada ranches where his father worked, Waddie was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining, the art of spinnin’ tales in rhyme and meter that came to be called cowboy poetry, a Western tradition that is as rich as the lifestyle that gave birth to it. Within his stories, old in a voice that is timeless and familiar, are the common bonds we all share, moments both grand and commonplace, the humorous and the tragic, the life and death struggles and triumphs that we each recognize. And yet, Waddie presents his material with personal insights and the lessons learned during his life spent as a buckaroo.”
  • Chris Isaacs
  • Dave Stamey– See Description Above
  • Wylie Gustafson– See Description Above
  • Quebe Sisters Band– See Description Above

Quebe Sisters BandSaturday, February 23 :: 9:00am
Buckeroo Roundup :: Clabough’s Campground :: free
Entertaiment and cowboy-themed activities

12:00pm (noon)
Chuck Wagon Lunch :: Clabough’s Campground :: $10.00 (includes tax)

6:00PM
Saddle Up Concert :: Sponsored by Riverside Towers
Featured Artists Below :: Grand Majestic Theater :: $16.46 (includes tax)

8:30pm
Cowboy Dance
T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up-N-Playboys With Special Guest :: Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge :: $5.00 (includes tax)

Sunday, February 24 :: 8:30am – 10:30am
Chuckwagon Breakfast
Kent Rollins :: Stages West :: $5.00 (includes tax)

10:30am
Cowboy Church :: Stages West :: free

With so many exciting events to enjoy, bring the entire family for 4 days full of western music, stories, poetry, food and fun. “Saddle Up” and plan a trip to the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Stay with ERA and enjoy extra special savings for the “Saddle Up” festival. We have many great cabins to choose from, and the savings are amazing! So, if you are looking for a place to kick up your boots after a long day, we have a perfect selection of cabins for you, partner! Use the following coupon for buy 2 nights and get 2 nights free. Corral your kids, and call ERA to reserve your cabin today!

ERA In The Smokies 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.

PIGEON FORGE: Saddle Up 2012

Saddle Up Pigeon Forge, TN“Join us for Saddle Up!, a celebration of the American West and one of the featured events of Pigeon Forge Winterfest. This award-winning festival includes entertainment presented the cowboy way, including concerts by western musicians and cowboy poets—”

R.W. Hampton
Stephanie Davis
Saddle Cats
Cowboy Celtic
Kent Rollins
Ray Doyle
Andy Nelson
Chuck Pyle

This will be a great event, full of family fun!

Wednesday, February 22 :: 10AM – noon
Dutch Oven Cornbread Sampling at the Old Mill Square, featuring Kent Rollins. “With a restored 1876 Studebaker wagon, Kent and his wife, Shannon, travel across the country catering for weddings, corporate events and heritage festivals while preserving a part of America’s history. Kent’s Dutch oven talents are uncontested as he is named the Official Chuck Wagon Cook of Oklahoma, by its Governor. He also won the Lubbock, Texas Chuck Wagon Cook Off and the Will Rogers Award for Chuck Wagon of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. Don’t be surprised if Kent gets a chuckle out of you because his poetry and storytelling talents have earned him prestigious recognition including, The Skinny Roland Humor Award for Best Humorist and Storyteller and was nominated three times for Best Storyteller, all by the Academy of Western Artists.”

R.W. Hampton, perfomer, "Saddle Up" Pigeon Forge, TNThursday, February 23 :: 6:00PM
Intimate Evening Concerts
R.W. Hampton :: Partridge & Pear :: $50
“R.W. Hampton is one of the leading Western Entertainers in America today. His fans come from all walks of life. He’s loved by cowboys, cowgirls, ranch hands and rodeo stars, but also by people who have never seen a cow up close – or cared to. R.W. is known for his patriotism, his family values and Christian beliefs. His voice and songs resonate with audiences worldwide. He is today’s voice of Cowboy Music.”
Stephanie Davis :: Mama’s Farmhouse :: $40
“Stephanie Davis is passionate about great writing, especially great songwriting. ‘It’s a mysterious blend,’ the unassuming singer-songwriter says of her trade, ‘part magic, part craft, and part keeping your butt in the chair. Songwriting is hands-down the most aggravating, exhilarating, enlightening, challenging, and exasperating thing I have ever done… and that’s probably why I am so crazy about it.'”

Friday, February 24 :: 10:00am
“Stories & Strings” : Smoky Mountain Guitar Shop : Featuring the following artists:
Bobby Black & Richard Chon of the Saddle Cats
“The Saddle Cats are a Western Swing pocket orchestra that is enlivening Cowboy and Western Music with infectious joy and high spirits. With a repertoire that draws from the rich tapestry of traditional American music, this four-piece ensemble embraces the worlds of swing, cowboy ballads, blues, Tin Pan Alley, honky-tonk, string band music, polka and just about any traditional style under the sun.”
Stephanie Davis
(See earlier paragraph for more info on Stephanie Davis.)
Ray Doyle
Ray Doyle
“Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ray Doyle has contributed to more that a dozen CDs as a longtime member of the popular cowboy Western band Wylie & The Wild West. He has logged countless miles performing on five continents at venues ranging from the Grand Ole Opry to the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers. Ray has played at national folk festivals and cowboy poetry gatherings, at French rodeos and in Australian woodsheds.”
T. Scot Wilburn
“Musician T. Scot Wilburn comes from generations of musicians. Most notably, his father and uncle were a part of the popular 1950s Montana band, the Snake River Outlaws.”
Cowboy Celtic, performer, "Saddle Up" Pigeon Forge, TNDavid Wilkie & Keri Lynn Zwicker of Cowboy Celtic
“The music of David Wilkie and Cowboy Celtic has been called a ‘beautiful evocation of just how much Celtic music inspired the melodies played around the campfires in the wild, Wild West.’ Over the last ten years, David Wilkie has devoted much of his time to one of his favourite passions –the seeking out of “Stories & Strings” : $15 includes Chuckwagon sampling
3PM Concert – Tennessee Shindig Theatre: $15 featuring:

  • Andy Nelson
  • Carl Farley Youth Performer
  • Kent Rollins
  • R..W. Hampton
  • Stephanie Davis
  • Saddle Cats

7PM Concert – Tennessee Shindig Theatre: $15 featuring:

  • Andy Nelson
  • Ray Doyle
  • Cowboy Celtic
  • Chuck Pyle
  • Saddle Cats

Saturday, February 25 :: 9:00AM – 2:00PM
Buckaroo Round Up! :: Clabough’s Campground
Tickets for the Chuckwagon Cookoff Lunch are $10, and mechanical bull rides and other activities for the whole family are free. Starting at 10:30AM there will be free entertainment in the food tent, including the following performers and an open mic for cowboy poets.
Andy Nelson
Andy Nelson, performer, "Saddle Up" Pigeon Forge, TN“As a second-generation farrier, Andy Nelson has the experience and the talents and humor to bring authenticity and entertainment to an audience. Raised in Oakley, Idaho, Andy traveled the Great Basin of southern Idaho, northern Utah and northern Nevada with his father on farrier jobs, from the time he was a child until he went off to college. In 2006, Andy Nelson was named the Western Music Association’s “Male Poet of the Year” and was recently awarded the 2009 “Skinny Roland Humor Award” from the Academy of Western Artists. He performs frequently throughout the U.S. and has been a featured performer at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, the Heber City Cowboy Poetry and Buckaroo Fair, the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and other gatherings.”
Cal Farley Youth Performer
Ray Doyle– (See earlier paragraph for more information on Ray Doyle)
Chuck Pyle
Chuck Pyle, performer, "Saddle Up" Pigeon Forge, TN“Chuck Pyle has won high praise from both fans and peers alike throughout an inspired performance career of over 40 years. When reviewers first gave him the “Zen Cowboy” moniker, he decided to, as he says, “Always ride the horse in the direction it’s going,” and took the nickname to heart, shaving his head and blending his upbeat perspective with old-fashioned horse sense. He mixes infectiously hummable melodies with straight-from-the-saddle poetry, quoting bumper stickers, proverbs, world leaders and old cowboys.”

Stephanie Davis, performer, Saddle Up Pigeon Forge, TNSaturday, February 25, 2012, be sure to shine up those Cowboy Boots and dosie dough on over to the Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge Ballroom. There, you can take part in the “Cowboy Dance” featuring Stephanie Davis and the Roadrunners, as well as other special guests. Admission is $5

Sunday, February 26, 212, 8:30 AM Get the day started right with a Chuckwagon Breakfast at Stages West! $5

Sunday at 10 A.M., also enjoy Cowboy Church featuring:

  • R.W. Hampton
  • Andy Nelson
  • Cal Farley’s Performer
  • And Many Others

With so many exciting events to enjoy, bring the entire family for 4 days full of western music, stories, poetry, food and fun. “Saddle Up” and plan a trip to the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Stay with ERA and enjoy extra special savings for the “Saddle Up” festival. We have many great cabins to choose from, and the savings are amazing! So, if you are looking for a place to kick up your boots after a long day, we have a perfect selection of cabins for you, partner! Use the following coupon for buy 2 nights and get 2 nights free. Corral your kids, and call ERA to reserve your cabin today!

Get 2 Nights FREE in a Gatlinburg Cabin!

ERA In The Smokies 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.

Titanic’s 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 14, from 9am to 3pm, Titanic Pigeon Forge will host its second 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! In last year’s Pro’s Division, 1st through 10th places were all awarded prizes ranging from $125 to $2,000. And in the Amateur Division prizes were awarded for 1st through 5th places from $100 to $500!

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