Posts Tagged ‘family vacations’

Outdoor Gravity Park Earns 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) — Outdoor Gravity Park received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”B13-Zorb-Smoky-Mountains

Recently the Outdoor Gravity Park opened a fourth track dubbed The FUNnel which allows two to three riders to splash and zig-zag down a 1,000-foot hill. It is the only park in the world that can boast of such a unique attraction, allowing Outdoor Gravity Park to cater to an even larger audience than before, and promises to be a summer hit. With the new TripAdvisor certificate of excellence in hand, the attraction is sure to be a staple in Pigeon Forge for years to come.

Contact:  Amanda Breeden, Amanda@OutdoorGravityPark.com

About Outdoor Gravity Park

The Outdoor Gravity Park is home to the iconic New Zealand adventures, OGO.  The OGO is straight from New Zealand, this facility’s most famous attraction is zorbing. The ball is 11 feet high, 11 feet fat, and bouncy and sits perched at the top of a 1,000-foot hill. In a moment, you will go rolling towards the bottom, slip and sliding, no tumbling—but only after a couple of things happen. First, one to three people dive into the sphere’s belly. Then, some of the park’s attendants toss ten gallons of water into this signature attraction, and finally close the door. The water makes for a slippery ride, though one without tumbling–your fast and adrenaline-packed descent down our 1000-foot hill is more akin to a bouncy water slide or a rolling Jacuzzi.  Bring your swimsuit and towel and come join us as we are open rain or shine.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site**, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors***, and 350 million reviews and opinions covering 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:

www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl, www.besttables.com and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, and www.virtualtourist.com.

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016

***Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016

 

 

Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home & Family’ Goes to Dollywood with the Legendary Dolly Parton

STUDIO CITY, Calif. (May 2016) – For the first time ever, Dolly Parton and Dollywood host Hallmark Channel’s Daytime Emmy® nominated series “Home & Family.”  Tune in the week of May 30 to enjoy this exciting week of shows, “Home & Family: The Ultimate Dollywood Experience.”

Throughout the week, special guest Dolly Parton hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare as well as H&F’s family members.  The shows will highlight Dollywood’s unique mix of southern charm, thrill rides, amazing shows, down-home cooking and Dolly will sing some of her most memorable songs.

Family members that will be joining in this ultimate Dollywood experience are lifestyle expert Debbie Matenopoulos, beauty expert Kym Douglas, medical expert Matt Iseman, family man Matt Rogers, fashion designer Orly Shani, DIY expert Ken Wingard and design expert Paige Hemmis.

ABOUT “HOME & FAMILY”

The fourth season of “Home & Family” features not only the best in lifestyle advice, but also plays host to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and most exciting music acts.  Recent guests that have visited include Dolly Parton, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Mira Sorvino, John Rhys-Davies, Joseph Fiennes,  Kate Bosworth, Naomi Judd, Wolfgang Puck, Tony Robbins, Melissa Ethridge, Fran Drescher, Hayden Christensen, Betty White, Olivia Newton-John, La Toya Jackson and James Brolin.  The series reaches viewers’ homes from its own 2,800-square-foot working home at Universal Studios.

Woody Fraser is the creator of “Home & Family.” Marty Tenney and Tracy Verna Soiseth are executive producers.  Rob George and William O’Hara are directors of “Home & Family” from Woody Fraser Enterprises. “Home & Family” is broadcast in 1080i, Hallmark Channel’s selected HD Format.  This program carries a TV-G parental guideline.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

Home & Family:

Shannon Leigh Turbeville

Triple 7 Public Relations, LLC

213-599-8714

ShannonLeigh@triple7pr.com

 

Hallmark Channel:

Chandler Hayes

818-755-2490

chandlerhayes@crownmedia.com

 

Dollywood:

Pete Owens

865-428-9486

powens@dollywood.com

 

Alcatraz East – Crime Museum To Open This Fall in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) Alcatraz East, a new crime museum, is scheduled to open this fall at the Island in Pigeon Forge.

The museum will give visitors the behind-the-scenes story to our nation’s crime history. The museum’s neighbors at The Island include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Margaritaville Hotel and will offer historic objects and activities for the entire family.

“This is going to be the place for the public to learn about crime history, law enforcement, and all things related,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “We look forward to being part of this community!”

The museum’s façade will be themed as a 19th century prison, which was always the desire of museum-owner, John Morgan.

“He was originally inspired to do this project after visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco over 20 years ago,” said Vaccarello, “So it’s only fitting that we create John’s original vision.”

Morgan previously owned the Crime Museum in Washington, DC, which permanently closed on Sept. 30, 2015, allowing for the creation of a more ambitious attraction he says will be even better than the previously “must-see” DC museum.

The interactive museum will feature a variety of ways for visitors to learn more about criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victim’s stories, crime prevention, law enforcement, forensic science, and our justice system. Spread over two floors, the 24,000 square foot museum will include interactive displays on these subjects as well as original artifacts.

“Alcatraz East is going to make a great addition to our city,” said Earlene Teaster, the Pigeon Forge city manager. “Our city truly offers something for everyone, making it a great family-friendly destination. We look forward to having this museum become a part of our community.”

Some of the interactive features of the museum will be a crime scene investigation lab, a simulated shooting range, safe cracking, digital fingerprinting, and DUI interactive safety training. Artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection that will be on display include John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a Bonnie & Clyde collection, the Bronco from the OJ chase, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, items related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the latest in law enforcement technology. The museum’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime and its consequences, law enforcement, forensic science, and CSI through a captivating interactive and entertaining educational experience.

There will be 20 different exhibit areas covering five themes for guests to explore; history of American crime, the consequences of crime, crime scene investigation, crime fighting, and pop culture.

“Last year we experienced record high visitors to our area,” said David Wear, Mayor of Pigeon Forge. “We know that this attraction will enhance our visitors’ family entertainment while staying with us.”

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East will be the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages will encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East will be an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thB02zswa4I.

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Contact:

Cher Murphy PR

571-263-2128

Lucky Winners To Get Exclusive Concert from Maddie & Tae in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 20, 2016) – The duo of Maddie & Tae is one of country music’s hot new acts, and the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism has booked the two highly declarative singers for a exclusive concert on July 31.

The audience will be limited to approximately 100 winners of the no-cost-to-enter Maddie & Tae Pigeon Forge Getaway sweepstakes that concludes May 31. To enter, visit MyPigeonForge.com/maddieandtae.

Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae

Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye brought their distinctive styles from Sugar Land, Texas, and Ada, Oklahoma, to Nashville in 2014 and scored immediate hits on their first album, “Start Here,” released in August 2015. The Academy of Country Music named them the 2015 Vocal Duo of the Year.

“Girl In A Country Song” got instant acknowledgement from NPR, Rolling Stone and David Letterman, and songs such as “Shut Up and Fish,” “Fly” and “Sierra” are securing new fans for Maddie & Tae.

“The music of Maddie & Tae is a treat, and the singers themselves are wonderful people. We wanted to present them to an appreciative and intimate audience, and we hope our contest winners become fans of Maddie & Tae and of Pigeon Forge,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

In addition to the concert, winners will meet Maddie & Tae and will receive a three-night Pigeon Forge vacation that includes admission to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, admission to almost two dozen other Pigeon Forge attractions, and $500 for travel expenses.

Pigeon Forge, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of America’s top family vacation destinations. Each year, more than 10 million people visit Pigeon Forge.

Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

Pigeon Forge’s New Rite of Spring: Wilderness Wildlife Week

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) – Pigeon Forge, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has a new way to celebrate spring. It’s a five-day event saluting the national park, Mother Nature and the culture of the southern Appalachians.

It is Wilderness Wildlife Week from May 18-22, and it’s new as a springtime event after 25 years as part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park.

You can learn about bears and trout, hone your nature photography skills, join a celebration of gospel singing, discover your artistic side, and even meet President Franklin Roosevelt – all for free. There are more than 250 programs at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge plus 40 hikes, field trips and excursions into the national park and surrounding areas.

Event manager Butch Helton said 2016 is special because this is the centennial year of the National Park Service, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the system’s most visited park. More than 10 million guests visit the 800-square-mile park every year

“We’re going to do our part to help more people understand and be active in our treasured neighbor,” Helton said.

President Roosevelt appears courtesy of actor Gary Stamm. Stamm’s keynote program on May 18, “A Fireside Chat with FDR: Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service,” will recall Roosevelt’s dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.

An array of programs fills all five days. Among the topics:

  • 900 Miles and Then Some: A Hiking Journal
  • Logging Railroads of the Smokies
  • Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians
  • Turn Your Photography into Art
  • Recording the Smokies: An Audio Journal
  • Leave No Trace: Principles of Outdoor Ethics
  • Fly Fishing the Smokies
  • Bears in the Back Seat
  • Painting the Smokies
  • Moonshine: The Past, Present and Future
  • A Miller’s Life (about the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge)
  • Birds of Prey Live Bird Show
  • The Art of Dowsing: Do You Have the Gift?
  • Gospel Music of the Smokies

Experts in numerous fields donate their time to deliver programs. Among them are current and retired National Park Service rangers, wildlife experts, artists, local historians and musicians.

In addition to FDR, evening programs include “Heaven and Nature Sing,” a presentation from Wilderness Wildlife Week creator Ken Jenkins; Dr. Bill Bass about the University of Tennessee’s famous “Body Farm”; and “Tales From Lost,” recollections from retired backcountry ranger Dwight McCarter about searches for people lost in the wilderness.

Hikes in the national park utilize numerous trails with various degrees of difficulty, and the excursions include a visit to the American Eagle Foundation’s research and rehabilitation facility at Dollywood.

On May 21, the first Appalachian Homecoming is planned at Patriot Park. This is a celebration of music, storytelling, children’s games and antique tractors. The Cades Cove Preservation Association will have a fundraising picnic, capped at 200 dinners, in conjunction with the event.

Wilderness Wildlife Week attracts people from throughout the U.S.  A voluntary sign-up sheet in 2015 identified visitors from 28 states. The most distant were from Alaska, California, New York and Wyoming.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is online at MyPigeonForge.com and by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Opening Date for Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure Announced

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 13, 2016) – Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure, one of the most anticipated new dinner attractions to come to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in recent memory, is slated to open to eager guests on Friday, May 20. Lumberjack Adventure represents a $25 million investment by Parton to create an all-new dinner theater unlike anything Pigeon Forge has seen before.

“I can promise you’ve never seen another show like this in town before,” Parton said. “I’ve truly enjoyed creating this Smoky Mountain story for families to enjoy while they are here in Pigeon Forge. There are completely new experiences for guests at this show and I can’t wait to hear what they think of the finished product.”

Parton serves as Executive Producer of the show and wrote the romantic song, “Something More,” which helps tell the story of this Smoky Mountain-themed adventure. During the show, astonished guests will marvel at the skill of world-class entertainers who thrill audiences with daring feats of acrobatic ability both in the sky and on stage. Numerous other performers display their tremendous talents through axe juggling, speed climbing and an assortment of unbelievable acts.

While the story was created in-house by her long-time collaborator Ken McCabe, Parton has assembled some of the best choreographers, set designers, lighting and sound consultants and composers in the world to create an experience never before seen in the Smokies. More than half of the total investment was allocated to make the extraordinary new show come to life for guests. A state-of-the-art sound system, lighting and special effects help immerse the audience in what is a completely new experience.

The existing building on the site was gutted and coupled with new construction to fulfill the vision of this spectacular new show. Renovations to the theater include new ticketing and arrival experiences; a space for pre-show entertainment; a distinctive animated stage and set; state-of-the-art sound, lighting and aerial rigging; and a completely new kitchen for the scrumptious lumberjack feast.

The lumberjack feast, also recently announced, treats guests to tantalizing tastes inspired by the campfire cuisine of a fun-filled sawmill logging camp. The meal begins with creamy timber slaw and a buttery, homemade lumberjack biscuit followed by campfire fried chicken, smokehouse pulled pork, homestyle smashed taters, sawmill gravy and fried skillet corn. The meal concludes with Lumberjack Adventure’s own specialty dessert. Unlimited Pepsi, tea and coffee also are part of the meal.

Lumberjack Adventure celebrates the spirit of the Appalachian people who lived off the land in logging and milling towns that dotted the map throughout the region. Guests will enjoy an exciting and imaginative adventure complete with hearty lumberjack feast. The new show is sure to provide families with even more opportunities to make lasting memories when they visit the Great Smoky Mountains.

For more information, visit www.lumberjackadventure.com.

-lumberjackadventure2016-

About World Choice Investments: Founded in 1988, World Choice Investments, LLC, doing business as Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show and Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure Dinner & Show, operates dinner attraction venues for family fun and adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our shows feature special effects, musical productions, live animals and a four-course family feast.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or peteo@wciinvest.com

Wes Ramey: (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Steve Cruz: (865) 774-8136, (865) 410-0591 or stevec@wciinvest.com

 

 

Award-Winning Bluegrass Musicians, Tangy Barbeque Create Perfect Harmony During Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 9, 2016) — Sweet sounds from the biggest names in bluegrass and the tangy tastes of the greatest barbeque in the South create a perfect harmony for guests during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 13-22).  Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent, and The Willis Clan are just a small selection of the talented bluegrass pickers taking to the stage during this annual tradition.

“It always is a special treat to have these great bluegrass performers during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival at Dollywood,” Dolly Parton said. “There is nothing like listening to these award-winning performers when they take the stage to share their talents with our guests. There is only one thing that makes the music better and that is a plate full of our famous southern barbeque—especially the ribs!”

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 15-16) are among the acts to help get the festival started on a high note. An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the event with more than 250 concerts scheduled during the festival. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver set up shop May 18, while Dailey & Vincent take the stage May 18-19. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass artists include Blue Highway (May 20), The Boxcars (May 22) and Balsam Range (May 22). The lineup also includes The Willis Clan (May 15), stars of the TLC show The Willis Family.

Vincent, one of bluegrass music’s most well-known performers, is a mainstay during the park’s annual festival and says the experience is unlike any other for her.

“We always love performing at Dollywood,” exclaimed Vincent. “There’s a special excitement in the air every time we perform there, and it comes through in the show and in the response of everyone in the crowd. We can’t wait to get there!”

All concerts are free and included with park admission. For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit Dollywood.com.

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air, thanks to expertly prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken, and slabs of ribs. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

From bluegrass favorites and tangy barbeque at Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass to the park’s award-winning rides and family-friendly atmosphere, every season features amazing new memory-making moments to celebrate.

For more information about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit www.dollywood.com.

-dollywood2016-

About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

 

Dolly’s Homecoming Parade To Be Streamed Live on Facebook – Direct from Dolly’s Float

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (April 27, 2016) – Dolly’s Homecoming Parade, Pigeon Forge’s annual salute to hometown superstar Dolly Parton, regularly attracts tens of thousands of spectators, but this year’s potential audience could be exponentially larger because it will be one of the first live stream feeds presented on Facebook.

Facebook launched live video streaming earlier this month, and this event will feature one of the world’s most recognized personalities.

Dolly Parade flagsDolly will lead the parade atop a float themed for her new theater in Pigeon Forge, Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure Dinner & Show, and the live stream will chronicle the entire event.

The parade steps off at 6 p.m. on May 6 (Friday) on a route that covers three miles of the famous Parkway through the heart of Pigeon Forge. The live stream will be from  Dolly’s float and will show Dolly, the crowds along the Parkway, and views of the city and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains.

This will be the 31st presentation of Dolly’s Homecoming Parade and the first time it will be streamed live on the Internet.

The stream will be on the Facebook page of Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure Dinner & Show. Streaming information is at LumberjackAdventure.com and DollyParton.com.

Every year, the parade adds a Norman Rockwell atmosphere to Pigeon Forge, a gateway city to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It features high school marching bands, equestrian units, veterans’ groups, twirlers, antique tractors and much more. There are 125 groups in the 2016 parade

This year’s high school bands are from Sevier County High School (Dolly was a member in her high school days), Pigeon Forge High School, Fyffe High School from Fyffe, Alabama, and Cheatham County Central High School from Ashland City, Tennessee.

Complete Pigeon Forge visitor information is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

 

Pigeon Forge Celebrates Great Smoky Mountains, Appalachian Heritage with Transformed Wilderness Wildlife Week

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 2015) – For five days in May, you can learn about bears and trout, hone your nature photography skills, join a celebration of gospel singing, discover your artistic side, and even meet President Franklin Roosevelt – all for free.

The occasion is the 26th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week, Pigeon Forge’s salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mother Nature and the heritage of the Southern Appalachians. Dates are May 18-22 at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

For its first quarter-century, Wilderness Wildlife Week was a January event, and 2016 marks its move to springtime.

“Moving to spring opens the door to visitors who were reluctant to travel in winter. It also lets us introduce a variety of new programs,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, which organizes the week filled with more than 250 programs and 40 hikes, field trips and excursions in the national park and surrounding area.

Event manager Butch Helton said 2016 is special because this is the centennial year of the National Park Service, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the system’s most visited park. More than 10 million guests visit the 800-square-mile park every year.

“We’re going to do our part to help more people understand and be active in our treasured neighbor,” Helton said.

President Roosevelt appears courtesy of actor Gary Stamm. Stamm’s keynote program on May 18, “A Fireside Chat with FDR: Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service,” will recall Roosevelt’s dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.

An array of programs fills all five days. Among the topics:

  • 900 Miles and Then Some: A Hiking Journal
  • Logging Railroads of the Smokies
  • Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians
  • Turn Your Photography into Art
  • Recording the Smokies: An Audio Journal
  • Leave No Trace: Principles of Outdoor Ethics
  • Fly Fishing the Smokies
  • Bears in the Back Seat
  • Painting the Smokies
  • Moonshine: The Past, Present and Future
  • A Miller’s Life (about the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge)
  • Birds of Prey Live Bird Show
  • The Art of Dowsing: Do You Have the Gift?
  • Gospel Music of the Smokies

Experts in numerous fields donate their time to deliver programs. Among them are current and retired National Park Service rangers, wildlife experts, artists, local historians and musicians.

In addition to FDR, evening programs include “Heaven and Nature Sing,” a presentation from Wilderness Wildlife Week creator Ken Jenkins; Dr. Bill Bass about the University of Tennessee’s famous “Body Farm”; and “Tales From Lost,” recollections from retired backcountry ranger Dwight McCarter about searches for people lost in the wilderness.

Complementing those programs is a series of hikes in the national park and field trips to destinations such as the American Eagle Foundation’s research and rehabilitation facility

On May 21, the first Appalachian Homecoming is planned at Patriot Park. This is a celebration of music, storytelling, children’s games and antique tractors. The Cades Cove Preservation Association will have a fundraising picnic, capped at 200 dinners, in conjunction with the event.

Wilderness Wildlife Week attracts people from throughout the U.S.  A voluntary sign-up sheet in 2015 identified visitors from 28 states. The most distant were from Alaska, California, New York and Wyoming.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is online at MyPigeonForge.com and by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Fabulous Festivals Celebrate Every Season at Dollywood

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 24, 2016) — Dollywood guests know every season at the award-winning park presents a totally different and exciting atmosphere for guests. Much like the changing scenery in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains creates beautiful sights for visitors, Dollywood’s fabulous festivals provide a distinct and always-changing ambiance for those who come through the gates.

As Dollywood enters its third decade of providing memory-making moments for families, its fantastic festivals offer guests a multitude of opportunities they’ll find nowhere else. Free international stage productions and concerts by bluegrass and Southern gospel favorites, the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event, as well as extended operating hours and a nightly fireworks show in the summer, combine with the park’s more than 40 rides and attractions to provide something for everyone. 

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations—March 19-April 18, 2016

Dollywood welcomes the world during Festival of Nations, a fascinating multi-cultural celebration! Featuring the traditional music, dance, food and art of nations from around the globe, Festival of Nations reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. The headline show for 2016, Mother Africa, returns after its Dollywood debut in 2014. This renowned show combines skillful acrobatics, live music and traditional dance to delight audiences through a world-class demonstration celebrating Africa’s diverse traditions.  Major touring stage shows, internationally-known performance groups, various roaming musicians and more make Festival of Nations a fun, educational and exciting experience.  Authentic international cuisine and the daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide guests with an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass—May 13- 22, 2016

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass launches the unofficial start of summer and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of International Bluegrass Music Association award winners. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This family-favorite event is music to the ears… and a treat for the taste buds.

Dollywood’s Great American Summer—June 11-Aug. 7, 2016

Great American Summer provides families even more of what they already love—time together at Dollywood. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! Families will love Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Show which returns to Dollywood in 2016. The high-flying antics of these powerful pooches will leave audiences begging for more. Perondi’s amazing animals have been featured on The Tonight Show, Ellen and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Great American Summer also features award-winning illusionist Brad Ross who takes audiences on an inspirational journey into a world of fun and magic. Each show features unbelievable magic, world-class illusions, hysterical comedy and audience interaction. To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show features uplifting music and interactive elements to celebrate the fun of Dollywood after dark! Each evening a high-spirited dance party entertains guests in Wilderness Pass with a 15-minute party designed to get every member of the family on their feet prior to Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors!

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—Sept. 30- Oct. 29, 2016

With a colorful swatch of orange, red, yellow and gold painted across the landscape, fall in the Great Smoky Mountains provides the perfect festive backdrop for Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Featuring a lineup which includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music, the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—Nov. 5, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017

An eight-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including traditional favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies. Guests also can experience the fun and excitement of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends. Many of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment designed to get everyone into the spirit of the season. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of a Smoky Mountain Christmas.

 

For more information about Dollywood’s fabulous festivals, visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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About The Dollywood Company:  A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

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Contacts

Dollywood
Pete Owens, 865-428-9486 or 865-755-7972
Director of Communications 
powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey, 865-428-9484 or 865-640-3805
Public Relations Manager 
wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis, 865-428-9601 or 865-591-1002
Publicist 
aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, 865-428-9629 or 865-919-7001
Publicist 
eliston@dollywood.com