Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives Headline Pigeon Forge’s July Fourth Patriot Festival

Fireworks and family fun round out the Independence Day celebration.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 3, 2019) – Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives will headline Pigeon Forge’s 29th annual Patriot Festival on July 4 in the city’s Patriot Park. The free concert begins at 8:30 p.m. following an afternoon lineup of family-friendly events.

With a long list of hits that that includes “Hillbilly Rock,” “Tempted,” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” Stuart is a five-time Grammy Award winner, platinum recording artist, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Americana Music Association, Grand Ole Opry star, country music archivist, photographer, musician, and songwriter. Since starting out singing gospel music as a child, Stuart has spent over four decades celebrating American roots music.

“Our Patriot Festival always brings a great crowd and a great artist to Pigeon Forge, and Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives certainly fit the bill,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “Folks can celebrate the Fourth of July with us as we end the night with an incredible fireworks display following Marty’s show.”

This free festival takes place in Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Park. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. with a free kids’ carnival. Onstage entertainment starts at 4 p.m. and will continue  into the night. The fireworks display starts at approximately 9:45 p.m.

The afternoon entertainment lineup also includes the Tom Petty tribute band Free Fallin, Whiskey Icarus, the Brad Hudson Band, the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus and the annual veterans tribute.

Patriot Festival guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Umbrellas, tents, and coolers are not permitted. Food vendors will be available. Free parking is provided at the Teaster Lane Municipal parking lot, and a free shuttle operates every 20 minutes between the lot and  festival site.

Additional information regarding the festival and Pigeon Forge can be found at or by calling 800-251-9100.


Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives photo available for download here. Both photos courtesy of Marty Stuart.

About Pigeon Forge: Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city’s neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge are available at or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.


Media Contact:

Trish McGee



Wilderness Wildlife Week 2019 Invites Outdoor Enthusiasts to Pigeon Forge for Excursions, Seminars, and More This Spring

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 10, 2019)—Featuring more than 200 free sessions and activities spanning five days, Pigeon Forge’s award-winning Wilderness Wildlife Week is set for May 7-11. The event is headquartered at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

In its 29th year, Wilderness Wildlife Week offers a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts, hikes and other activities designed to introduce or reacquaint participants of all ages with the great outdoors.

“Whether it’s a hike through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, learning about wildflowers, or participating in our kids’ trout fishing tournament, Wilderness Wildlife Week brings together leading experts with outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and experiences,” said Leon Downey, Pigeon Forge executive director of tourism. “Over the course of five days, participants have an opportunity to learn about the beautiful Smoky Mountains that we call home.”

The event’s headline session features Jeff Rennicke in a program entitled Hiking Towards Hope: Empowering the New Greatest Generation in the Great Outdoors (May 7 at 7 p.m.). Forensics expert Dr. Bill Bass (May 8 at 7:45 p.m.) returns with special guest emcee Frank Murphy to discuss forensic cases throughout the Smoky Mountains region.  Ken Jenkins, Judy Felts and friends host the moving program Heaven & Nature Sing (May 9 at 7:30 p.m.) with Ken providing a second evening session entitled Inside Adventure: My Unplanned and Exciting Happenings in the Smokies (May 11 at 5:30 p.m.).  Additionally, Pulitzer prize finalist Ben Montgomery shares the story of Grandma Gatewood and her experience on the Appalachian Trail during The Fascinating Story of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring True Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail (May 10 at 7:45 p.m.).

Outdoors enthusiasts, nature lovers or those who simply want to learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park can choose from lecture topics ranging from the area’s rich heritage to conservation.  Workshops focus on photography, fishing, wildflowers and more.

Among the new sessions this year are Love, Trails and Dinosaurs: The Inspirational Story of the First Person With Autism to Complete All Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trails with Theresa Moore, Cherokee Myths and Truths with Jon Elder, I Found It in the Archives: Researching History and Family at

Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Michael Aday, Neatless, Wheatless and Sleepless: East Tennessee’s Contributions to World War II with Kathy Gwinn, and Ephemeral by Nature with Stephen Lyn Bales where he looks into some of the unusual animals in the Smokies including Appalachian pandas.

Outdoor excursions of all levels are available throughout the week. Highlights include an 11-plus-mile hike to the Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower located less than a mile off the Appalachian Trail (May 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), a six-hour hike highlighting the People and Places of Cades Cove (May 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and a nearly five-mile Hen Wallow Falls trek that takes hikers through a hemlock and rhododendron forest (May 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.).

A special kids’ fishing tournament kicks off on Saturday, May 11 with registration at LeConte Center Circle Drive covered pavilion. The Wilderness Wildlife Week Youth Trout Tournament will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for children ages seven to 12. There is no fee to participate in this tournament. Fishing supplies are not provided to participants.

Throughout the concourse more than 40 exhibits and vendors, including the not-for-profit Cades Cove Preservation Association, East Tennessee Historical Society, and Keep Sevier Beautiful, are open daily during the event beginning at 10 a.m.

This spring celebration of the great outdoors is free and open to the public. For more information, a complete schedule and registration details, visit


 About Pigeon Forge: Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city’s neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge are available at or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.


Media Contact:

Katherine Henry


Pigeon Forge Celebrates 25 Years of Craftsmanship at ‘A Mountain Quiltfest’ March 20-23

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 20, 2019) – Pigeon Forge (Tennessee) invites quilters and friends to celebrate tradition and art at the 25th Annual A Mountain Quiltfest March 20-23. This year’s event will feature 67 on-site vendors, quilting classes and more than 500 quilts competing for $23,000 in prize money.

Located at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge (2986 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 37863), the artistic quilts are displayed throughout the 232,000-square-foot event center, and attendees can peruse the vendor booths stocked with quilting essentials and one-of-a-kind accessories. On-site demonstrations are available daily and free parking is available at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

Quilt show and vendor hall hours:

  • Wednesday, March 20: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 21: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, March 22: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 23: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Experienced quilters and spectators are encouraged to visit the show to admire the intricate handiwork found throughout the quilt exhibition. For those looking to learn more about this time-honored American folk art, more than 70 classes are available beginning Tuesday, March 19 for a fee, however admission to the internationally-recognized quilt show and vendor hall is free. Participants also can enjoy dedicated classes and special lectures from prolific quilter Bonnie Hunter. A complete class and lecture schedule is available at

Quiltfest patrons also are invited to bring their quilted items to Show & Tell on Friday, March 22 for the chance to win prizes. Doors open to the Show & Tell event at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free. Additional information about Show & Tell can be found in the 2019 Event Program Guide.

Attendees may submit heirloom quilts for appraisal by Cindy Stuart, an American Quilter’s Society certified appraiser. Stuart will be available for quilt appraisals March 19-23 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. by appointment only on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Cindy Stuart at 865-980-2162 or to schedule an appointment.

A Mountain Quiltfest also offers several antique quilt bed turnings during which local quilters and guild members offer detailed information about collections of quilts made before 1969.

To register for A Mountain Quiltfest, visit For more information about Pigeon Forge, visit


Photos of A Mountain Quiltfest available here.

Media Contact:
Katherine Henry 615-327-1189


Book Signing With Authentic Hatfield at Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud

Hatfiled Book Signing


CONTACT:  Deborah Fee Newsom, (865) 414-6887 or

(865) 774-8877;

Book Signing With Authentic Hatfield at “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud”

Pigeon Forge, Tenn., April 21, 2016 — Have you ever wanted to eat with the Hatfield’s of the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud? Now is your chance. Jack Hatfield will be visiting Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud Theater to sign his Hatfield Clan Cookbook, “Eat’n with the Hatfield’s.”  Books will be on sale at The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud and the public is invited.

Jack Hatfield has put together treasured family recipes used from the Hatfield clan. Inside this cookbook is a collection of recipes passed down through generations of direct descendants of The Hatfield Family (of the famous Hatfield & McCoy family feud) and friends. These recipes are a mixture of old and new recipes, some with a modern twist.  There is also a collection of photos, facts, and stories about the family history throughout the cookbook.

Author, Jack Hatfield, Jr., received his inspiration for the cookbook while helping clean out his  “Mawmaw’s” house a few years ago. During his spring-cleaning he found a drawer full of recipes, which she had collected, from family and friends over the years.  In an effort to preserve the family history, he decided to share his family’s recipes and preserve the family history by publishing a cookbook.  Hatfield said, “Our recipes are mouth waterin’, finger lickin’, knee slappin,’ home cookin,’ GOOD!”

Show tickets are available for The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud by visiting or calling (865) 908-7469 (SHOW).  The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theater is located at 119 Music Road between traffic lights 0 and 1 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge between WonderWorks and the Titanic.

The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” is a hilarious hit production inspired by real-life events that will put an ‘All You Can Eat’ four-course mountain feast in people’s bellies and a smile on their faces as they watch a lively talent competition between Pa Hatfield and Ma McCoy and their clans where the battlefield is the stage. This two-hour live show offers loads of laughs including a rowdy battle at a barn dance, extraordinary country, bluegrass, and gospel vocal and instrumental musical performances, and award winning hillbilly musicians, cloggers, and fun barnyard animals.  The feud is kicked-off most every day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. nightly with occasional 2 p.m. matinees, and guests of all ages in the audience are encouraged to support their own side of Hatfield or McCoy “kinfolks.”

This feudin’ show comes with a Granny’s ‘All You Can Eat’ mountain feast, served by a hillbilly waiter or waitress.  Granny’s menu includes: Feudin’ Fried Chicken, Open Pit Pulled-to-Pieces Pork Barbecue, Southern Style Creamy Soup, Smashed Mashed Taters, Buttery Corn on the Cob, Ma’s Hot Homemade Bread, Daisy’s Blue Ribbon Coleslaw and Granny’s Famous Specialty Desserts. A vegetarian option is also available upon request.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountains including “The Comedy Barn®”, “The Smoky Mountain Opry™,” and “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo. The Company also owns Happy Days Diner and, a vacation package website company.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is currently running a combo deal for a show ticket to “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” for $54.95 plus tax and for only $19.95 plus tax add on to purchase a ticket to “The Smoky Mountain Opry™,” “The Comedy Barn®”, or “Magic Beyond Belief™ starring Darren Romeo.” With the purchase of a combo deal adult show ticket children 11 and under are free for the second show. The child’s rate for “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” is $19.95 plus tax.  Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.  For more information about the show, visit or call (865) 908-7469 (SHOW). +++

Where a Quilt Is for More than Warmth

Not all quilts at A Mountain Quiltfest look like the ones on Grandma's bed.

Not all quilts at A Mountain Quiltfest look like the ones on Grandma’s bed.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2013) – Handmade quilts can be many things in one – a source of warmth, works of art, family heirlooms and more.

Quilts in all their glory are the focus of A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge from March 12-16.

Quilters and crafters from across the U.S. gather to enjoy a quilt show and the opportunity to choose from dozens of classes and seminars.

Whether you are a quilter or not, the displays are worth the trip to this Great Smoky Mountains resort town. This is the 19th year of A Mountain Quiltfest.

There are free-admission quilt shows at the Music Road Convention Center and the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, plus a vendor area for a variety of quilt- and craft-related items. Other Quiltfest activities include brunch and dinner lectures, show-and-tell events and quilt appraisals.

Detailed information is available at

A Mountain Quiltfest is produced by the city of Pigeon Forge and co-hosted by the Piecemakers and Sevier ValleyQuilters Guilds.

For more information about all Pigeon Forge events, call 800 251-9100 or visit

‘Saddle Up’ Brings Cowboy Fun to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2013) – Cowboy singers, cowboy poets and chuck wagon cooks are on the trail to Pigeon Forge for the 13th annual Saddle Up, Feb. 21-24, 2013.

The four-day event, a tip of the hat to the American West, features concerts, a chuck wagon cookoff and other activities designed to entertain the entire family.

Saddle Up helps wrap up Pigeon Forge Winterfest, a four-month season of activities that began last November.

Cobbler is part of every lunch at Saddle Up's chuck wagon cookoff.

Cobbler is part of every lunch at Saddle Up’s chuck wagon cookoff.

Performers for Saddle Up include cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell and Chris Isaacs, along with musicians Brenn Hill, the Quebe Sisters Band, Sourdough Slim, Dave Stamey, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys, and Wylie & the Wild West.

There are theater concerts on Feb. 22 and 23 ($15) and two Intimate Evening dinner shows ($50) on Feb. 21. Wylie & the Wild West will perform after a four-course meal at the Partridge & Pear Restaurant, and the Quebe Sisters Band will entertain at Mama’s Farmhouse Restaurant following a family-style meal prepared by the Red River Ranch chuck wagon team from Texas.

Stories & Strings ($15) is a special show on Feb. 22 at Smoky Mountain Guitars by a select group of Saddle Up musicians who will talk about personal musical influences and share favorite tunes and stories. Stories & Strings won a Pinnacle award from the International Festivals & Events Association.

A chuck wagon cookoff, sponsored by Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, is Feb. 23 at Clabough’s Campground. Chuck wagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Lunch begins at noon, and tickets are $10.

Learning to lasso is one activity at the Buckeroo Roundup.

Learning to lasso is one activity at the Buckeroo Roundup.

Buckeroo Roundup starts at 9 a.m. at the same location, offering a variety of free musical entertainment and cowboy-themed activities for family fun.

A Cowboy Dance ($5) is Feb. 23 at Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge Ballroom. Cowboy Church, a non-denominational service at Stages West, is Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. It is preceded by a chuck wagon breakfast that begins at 8:30. Breakfast is $5; Cowboy Church is free.

Saddle Up details are online at

Artists Wield Chainsaws at Titanic Ice Event

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2013) – It’s likely that the fanciest ice sculptures you ever created were the fish-shaped ice cubes that came out of that plastic ice tray you bought at IKEA.

To see what real ice artistry looks like, check out the third annual Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition on Jan. 19 (Saturday).

A chainsaw becomes an artist's tool at the Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition.

A chainsaw becomes an artist’s tool at the Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition.

The parking lot in front of the Titanic Museum Attraction become an outdoor art studio as professional and amateur ice sculptors work their magic on 250-pound blocks of ice.

Chainsaws start roaring at 9 a.m. to make the first cuts, and hand tools come into play at the day progresses.

Winners celebrate at 3 p.m., and prizes – from $500 to $2,000 – are the awards. The cost to watch the ice artists at work is just right – it’s free.

2012 Was Very, Very Good for Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park rose to 9,685,828 in 2012. That’s a 7.5 percent jump, making 2012 the biggest year since the 10.1 million visitors in 2000, which remains the record.

Park management credited mild weather last winter and spring as a big factor. Every month in 2012 had more visitors than the same month in 2011.

Clear, cool, tumbling water is a hallmark of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Clear, cool, tumbling water is a hallmark of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

December’s count was 480,527, up from 471,603. That was despite the closure of the Newfound Gap Road between the Sugarlands Visitors Center and Cherokee, N.C., for all or part of six days because of ice and snow. The Christmas and New Year’s holidays brought large numbers of visitors to the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with 800 square miles of natural beauty, is the most visited national park in the United States.

The national park is the primary focus of Wilderness Wildlife Week, a project of the City of Pigeon Forge. It offers eight days of free programming and activities about the park and numerous other outdoor topics.

Wilderness Wildlife Week takes place at the Music Road Hotel and Convention Center.

Head South for Holiday Lights, Travel Writers Say

Half of the 10 destinations the Society of American Travel Writers recommends for holiday lights are in the Southeast.

SATW members compiled a list of 10 destinations with light-up-the-night displays that might be lesser known than destinations such as Times Square in New York but still very much worth the trip.

The five destinations in the Southeast:
Winterfest lights TrainStation_067
* Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville in Tennessee for Smoky Mountain Winterfest
* Charlotte for Speedway Christmas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
* St. Augustine
* Louisville for Lights Under Louisville in Louisville Mega Cavern (yes, holiday lights in a cave)
* Pine Mountain, Ga., for Callaway Gardens

The other five scatterered around the country:

* Festival of Lights in Kauai, Hawaii
* Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.
* The Newport Beach Boat Parade in California
* Nela Park in Cleveland
* Old Town Luminaria Tour in Albuquerque, N.M.

Here’s a link to the list and event descriptions:

Festive Times All Year in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – Pick a month, any month, and you’ll find a festival or special event in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

This resort town next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park really knows how to show you a good time.

Every year starts with a mid-January salute to its neighbor with eight days of free activity called Wilderness Wildlife Week. There are classes, seminars, photography workshops, mini-concerts and hikes into the park’s 800 square miles of nature at its best.

July 4 Fireworks over Pigeon Forge’s Old Mill

February’s big event is most unusual – a salute to cowboy poetry, western music and chuck wagon cooking called Saddle Up. In March, a softer side comes out for A Mountain Quiltfest.

The city and various businesses organize the festivals and events, and a big organizer is Dollywood.

The popular theme park punctuates its almost yearlong season with an international festival in spring, a fall festival for bluegrass music and barbeque, a Southern gospel music festival and then a spectacular Christmas celebration called A Smoky Mountain Christmas.

A Smoky Mountain Christmas actually is part of a citywide celebration called Pigeon Forge Winterfest that captures all manner of events from early November through the following February

The Titanic Museum attraction gets in on the fun with a January ice-carving competition, winter snowfalls across the bow of the museum (the building looks like the famous ship) and other programs. All of 2013, for instance, is marked as “The Year of the Titanic Children” and focuses on the 133 children on the famous voyage.

Every May, thousands of people turn out for Dolly’s Homecoming Parade, which honors hometown superstar Dolly Parton. It’s all very Norman Rockwell – youthful twirling teams, high school bands, equestrian units – except that Dolly herself rides in the first float.

Mixed in during other months are car shows devoted to hot rods and nostalgic classics, a knockout 4th of July concert and fireworks event, a huge autumn crafts fair and the Salute to Veterans Parade in November.

Information about all events is online at or by calling 800-251-9100.