Monday, December 19, 2011

New Years and January 2012

Who says the winter after Christmas gets dull in the Smokies? There are two very popular events worth posting on in just the first week of January.

First is the New Years Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks in downtown Gatlinburg which promises to be one of the biggest parties for miles and miles around. The streets will be filled with party-goers having a great time in the Smokies, listening to the music being played by Pyro-Shows until the big fireworks display at the Space Needle. When the big tower explodes in a storm of fireworks, you'll know it's time to celebrate the New Year!

Next up from there is the Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge on Music Road from January 7-14. This is an event for serious nature lovers and fans of the Smoky Mountains to come and see what the mountains are all about. There will be plenty of indepth lectures, guest speakers, exhibits, demonstrations, vendors and even guided walks that's perfect for kids and adults. You can see more of that at

There is never a real dull spot in the Smokies, so come on out and enjoy the rest of Winterfest with us here at Green Valley Motel! Saddle Up is coming in February and you won't want to miss that either.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade 2011!

Another week, another Winterfest activity with the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade up in Gatlinburg!

Friday night, December 2nd, Gatlinburg's most popular Christmas centered event comes marching down Highway 321 to Stoplight #10 at 7:30PM for more than an hour of famous Christmas characters, carolling, floats, marching, clown cars and even drum and pipe bands. All your favorite characters, new and old, famous and maybe some obscure icons from way back in the day, will all be there that evening and you and your kids are going to love it and treasure the memories forever. That's how the Fantasy of Lights keeps coming back year and year.

It's a fabulous, fantastic fantasy evening in Winterfest and you're going to want to bring the whole family. Stay with us for your family Winterfest needs - kids 12 and under are free! Win the best of all worlds here at Green Valley Motel -

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Winterfest Kickoffs!

After Halloween, even just hours after, the mood and focus in this great county immediately shifts to Winterfest, a special event that all three of the major cities - Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville - are celebrating at municipal areas in their respective cities.

Sevierville doesn't have as many city events as Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg does, but their Winterfest Celebration comes first. They hold their kick-off at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce/Community center and provide free entertainment (inflatable bounce houses, slide and obstacle course, local performers, kid's carnival), free food and soda, mascot dance off (!), coffee and hot chocolate, Santa Claus and... fireworks? Wow! You won't want to miss Sevierville's Kick off between 3:00PM to 8:00PM on November 7th for 2011!

On November 9th, Pigeon Forge will be kicking off the Winterfest with a new Veteran's Parade on, you guessed it, Veteran's Boulevard, before taking the festivities to Patriot Park in the center of Pigeon Forge where the Trolley Tour of Lights will begin. The Parade begins at 4:30PM on November 9th for 2011 and all are invited to attend!

Then finally, the "big" show is Gatlinburg's Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kick-off where Ripley's Aquarium becomes the city square for more than a dozen vendors, 30,000+ cups of chili and over 1,000 people are expected to show up for a night of fun, chili and the big "switch" which officially starts the Winterfest Season for Gatlinburg by turning on the million dollar lighting displays throughout the city. This event goes from 5:00PM to 8:00PM.

If you're staying with us this fabled week of Winterfest kick-off, you'll be able to get to all three of these if you wanted to with little-to-no fuss. Veteran's Boulevard in Pigeon Forge is only about 5-7 minutes away, Gatlinburg about 10-12 minutes (minus traffic) and Sevierville takes a bit longer at 15-17 minutes, but you only need to make three right turns to get to the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce! It's going to be one of the best weeks on the calendar and we want you to enjoy it with us at Green Valley Motel!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Fun in Pigeon Forge

October has been, remains, and will likely continue on to be one of the best whole months in the calendar year for the Smokies in East Tennessee. There is absolutely no way you can lose with mild, balanced temperatures of 60s, 70s and even some 80s, crisp colors up close and personal and miles around, and the Harvest Festival providing lots of great special event material for you and your family to enjoy!

First and foremost is, of course, Dollywood and their Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration. This is a month-long music and crafts festival from now to October 29th and it promises about 350 performances or MORE. This is, of course, in addition to the rides and attractions that Dollywood offers 3/4s of the year round. One full day will not give you access to everything Dollywood has to offer, you'd have to come two or three days to experience all the rides, music, and interactivity and at this time of the year, it's especially well worth the price.

The Old Mill is also an incredible source for Harvest Festival spirit in the town as it captures the dignity of the city and its Appalachian culture perfectly during October. Plenty of wonderful arts and crafts and foods (plus two restaurants) and access to Patriot Park which has a river walkway, the central Trolley hub, and a huge Rotary Club Craft Tent where a lot of local Artists will be gathered to show off wares and skills.

If you want something more organic, you should try some of the hiking trails near the Sugarlands Visitors Center toward Gatlinburg. That is a 15-20 minute drive from us, but absolutely saturated with photo opportunities and honest-to-goodness connection with nature and Autumn spirit, plus its free.

How can you lose in October? You'd have to try really really hard to do that. How can you win even further? Be taking advantage of our new specials listed below:

We hope we get to see you in October! Stay tuned for Winterfest coming up!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Harvest Festival 2011

Start your planning now and get in time for Dollywood's Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration and the changing of the colors!

Dollywood's October tradition should not be missed by anyone. The rides are all in full swing and the cooler temperatures are MUCH easier to walk through the park with. If you love Southern Gospel, you better just buy a season pass because you will be back every day of the month for more! It is, by far, Dollywood's most dignified Festival and one of the easiest to enjoy on park and you shouldn't miss it for anything!

Green Valley, as we've said before, offers you plenty of convenience to Dollywood and not just in location but with the fact that Kids 12 and Under are FREE - making it much easier to afford to go on park.

Wanna know what else is going on for Autumn? Let's take a look at our special events:

Taste of Autumn
Location: Gatlinburg Convention Center
Description: The Taste of Autumn has been Gatlinburg's tastiest charity event for 13 years. A $25 donation will give you access to food from all kinds of vendors with the best food in town at the huge W.L. Mills Auditorium. All proceeds go to the United Way of Sevier County.
Start Date: September 15th
End Date: September 15h
Link Out:

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
Location: Gatlinburg Convention Center
Description: This popular event is hosted by Rocky Top Outfitter and is open to children as well as adults, visitors as well as local. Admission prices apply.
Start Date: September 24th
End Date: September 25th
Link Out:

Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg
Location: Ober Gatlinburg
Description: German food and German fun on top of the world for the Fall Season! Get in early and join in the music, dancing and everything else Ober Gatlinburg has to offer
Start Date: September 30th
End Date: October 30th
Link Out:

Ripley's Fright Nights
Location: Ripley's Haunted Adventure
Description: An entire month of screams, frights and thrills to celebrate Halloween in Gatlinburg. Character parades, the living dead, and things you better say your prayers to prepare for.
Start Date: October 1st
End Date: October 31st
Link Out:

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair
Location: W.L. Mills Convention Center
Description: Artists and Crafters local and from hundreds of miles around gather at the Gatlinburg Convention Center where over 120 booths and all kinds of handcrafted items, plus the artists, are on display.
Start Date: October 6th
End Date: October 23rd
Link Out:

Trick or Treat Kick off Karnival
Location: Downtown Gatlinburg
Description: From Noon to 3 P.M. Gatlinburg will celebrate Halloween with the Gatlinburg Police Department and Gatlinburg Fire Department working in conjunction to offer a safe, family fun filled trip for everyone!
Start Date: October 31st
End Date: October 31st
Link Out:

Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff
Location: Downtown Gatlinburg
Description: Offering mouth-watering recipes of homemade chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg celebrates the start of Winter with an awesome Chili Cookoff! Bring admission and a lot of napkins.
Start Date: November 9th
End Date: November 9th
Link Out:

Trolley Ride of Lights
Location: Downtown Gatlinburg
Description: Visitors can soak up the spirit of the season from the comfort of a Gatlinburg Trolley by taking the relaxing Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. These are popular guided excursions that are sure to become a tradition.
Start Date: November 9th
End Date: January 30th
Link Out:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Plan a Trip to Cherokee, North Carolina

Have you been across the National Park to Cherokee, NC? Cherokee is a sort of bookend to Gatlinburg and well worth a day trip visit out.

Cherokee is located on the other side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the Spur, on the same highway that the Sugarlands Visitor Center is on. From there, it is an hour's drive through the National Park, across THE most gorgeous scenery in the Tennessee Smokies (and over a dozen stopping-parking spots to take pictures, several hiking trails and plenty of picnicking opportunities), from the tops of the hills and then down again at the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center, which is your sign that you're 3-5 minutes away from Cherokee.

Once inside, you can go straight, take a turn left, or stop at the Arcade/Fun Center right at the gates into the town if the kids are getting antsy or you need a good place to stretch your legs a bit. Going left will take you to some hotels, some restaurants and some shopping alongside another arcade and fun center. Going straight will take you straight into the heart of the town. Cherokee is fairly small (about the size of Gatlinburg) and it's pretty hard to get lost.

From there are plenty of things to do from the aforementioned Arcades/Fun Centers to more cultural items of interest, like the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center, which offers a walking trail, historical architecture, and some exhibits on Appalachian culture from the old days, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, which is, appropriately, the authority on Cherokee history and information with hundred of exhibits and excellent video presentations throughout the tour, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, which is a working Cherokee Indian Village meant to show you what life back in 1760 was like for the Cherokee Indians, and Unto These Hills, a dramatic production high in the hills showcasing the story of Tsali and more history plus incredible musical numbers.

Cherokee also features an island park where kids can wade in the Oconaluftee river or a canal in the center of the park plus a large, unique bamboo grove full of photo opportunities. If you have kids who like to skate, take them to the free skate park. If all else fails, Harrah's Cherokee Casino is a huge facility with entertainment like you can't get for miles and miles around.

Cherokee, NC is a little town with a lot to offer, so if you're looking for something different and you want to see a lot of gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenery on the way there, plan a day trip out and you won't be disappointed.

To get to Cherokee from Gatlinburg, take the Gatlinburg Bypass from the Spur (just 2 minutes before you reach the city from Pigeon Forge) and keep on straight for roughly an hour.

All pictures are copyright Ge'ne L. K. Lawhead

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Craftsmen's Fair

For those who may have been to the Craftsmen's Fair for a while, the one in July, and likely more to come, would have surprised you. You would've arrived to find so many booths (more than 160 as listed by the Craftsmen's information sheet) that many of them had to spread out into the hallways and even outside the W.L. Mills Convention Center in downtown Gatlinburg.

With 160+ booths and artists both local and from Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and way beyond, there was, of course, a wide berth of arts and crafts from candles, baskets, wood works, rock works, paintings, clothes and music to Christmas trees, sports-based fan pulls, old fashioned rifles, shields, interesting lights, and much more than any human being could hope to absorb in a few hours.

If you're coming to the Autumn Craftsmen's Fair and you just can't get enough of hand-made arts the likes of which you've seen and haven't seen before, the $6.00 admission fee is well worth it. Unfortunately, we were not able to get pictures, but we can guarantee you you've probably never seen a convention center this packed with amazing arts and crafts from nearly the entire Eastern half of the country.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's Left to Do?

Well the 4th of July came and went and it was a blast - many times over. Now we look forward to the rest of the summer being a bit quieter and with more opportunities to relax.

Some might still wonder, "Well, what's left to do around there in July?" True, we don't have a lot of new events this month, but so much is still going on, like Dollywood's Kidsfest and Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales in Gatlinburg. There's also plenty of year-round entertainment like the dozen or so theaters just a few minutes down the road from us, The Track, Dolly's Splash Country and more!

Special Events aren't special if they always hit one after the other, don't always feel the need to wait for one for your Smoky Mountain Vacation to begin. Anytime is a great time to vacation here in Pigeon Forge and we'd love to have you with us whenever that time may be.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Special Events Into July

Tomorrow starts Kidsfest at Dollywood as we touched on in our last blog entry (see below for more details). If you brought the kids with you to the Smokies (and we sure hope you did since kids 12 and under are FREE at Green Valley Motel!) this is the perfect way to entertain them for the entire day and make their summer fun dreams come true!

Other suggestions for fun in the Smokies? Dolly's Splash Country is another great place for kids and adults to cool off in these record high temperatures for June and July and a place where you truly get your money's worth with a plethora of high quality and safe water slides to cater to every taste. Get wet in style at Dolly's Splash Country!

And don't forget we have the Fourth of July coming up. Pigeon Forge has traditionally selected Patriot Park as the home for all Independence Day fun in the city where food booths, a kid's area, an afternoon-into-evening full of music and the glorious fireworks will all be held. Get in and get a spot early because the entire park and then some will fill up quickly as the day goes on.

Is Green Valley within walking distance or easy convenience to Patriot Park or anything else Pigeon Forge has to offer? Of course it is! Convenience and child-friendly accommodations are what Green Valley Motel is all about. See our website at to see how we can make your summer in the Smokies memorable.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kidsfest 2011!

Its hard to say we look forward to one season over the other here in the mountains, but summer has a special place in our hearts as with Springfest, Harvest Festival and the holidays as we enjoy the plethora of opportunities, natural and man-made, the Smokies gives us for a short or extended summer vacation!

One of the best things to do in the summer by far is Dollywood's Kidsfest. Completely family-friendly and full of performances and all kinds of fun stuff, Dollywood has been doing Kidsfest for years and each iteration gets better! This year we have Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 4D, The Gazillion Bubble Show, Penguin Group USA and much more in addition to the list of rides and interactive items Dollywood already has. Great for the young'uns! June 17th through August 8th, 2011 (and don't forget Dolly's Splash Country is open!)

And don't forget we're STILL offering Kids 12 and Under to stay FREE. Does it get any better than that? Stay with us here at Green Valley Motel and save money for all the fun stuff you and your family are about to enjoy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dolly Parade 2011

Dolly is coming back to the 'Forge on May 6th!

Every year in the late sections of Springfest, almost to ring in the coming Summer season, Dolly Parton makes a homecoming visit by acting as the Grand Marshall in Pigeon Forge's annual Dolly Parade. By 6:00 P.M. the sidewalks will be filled with cheering fans and the streets thronged with colorful floats lead by our county sweetheart, Miss Parton herself! Its free to the general public and fun will be had by all.

May is going to be a good time for the Smokies, so bring the family for Springfest to Green Valley Motel where Kids 12 and Under are free! Save that money for Dollywood, Gatlinburg Scottish Games and other special events coming up soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Springfest 2011

For those who follow us here or on Facebook, you know we sit in a comfortable spot inbetween Gatlinburg and much of Pigeon Forge. We're roughly ten minutes to Dollywood and ten minutes to the start of the city of Gatlinburg and the last weekend in March just happens to have two great events going on on each side!

Dollywood's Festival of the Nations begins on March 26th and lasts to May 2nd for the start of the 2011 Season; promising the same high quality world music performances and activities that have delighted millions for a decade. Many acts will be returning this year and you can find out all about on For those bringing a family, consider that Kids under 12 are FREE and the tickets prices for Festival of the Nations suddenly become much more reasonable (and with our trolley stop, you wont even need to start the car to pay for parking either!)

Then in Gatlinburg, the 3rd annual Gatlinburg Screenfest which features nearly 2 dozen short films by independent directors and talent in the areas. Horror, drama, documentary style and more will all be featured. Its a great way to experience an offbeat side of Gatlinburg that isn't seen very often and for that reason should not be missed. Visit for all the information you need on this event.

Its a great weekend to start a great season and Green Valley Motel gives you everything you need to get the ball rolling at prices and deals you can't miss! Make your reservations today!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

February is still an exciting month for Pigeon Forge and this side of the Smokies. Its Valentine's Day next week so get those plans in! Titanic is doing Valentine's Day stuff all month long, so check out what they will be offering at

Saddle Up! is also going on from February 24th to the 27th for 2011. All throughout the city will be cowboy, western style performances and fun all thanks to Wylie and The Wild West, The Quebe Sisters Band, Brenn Hill, Yvonne Hollenback, Chris Isaacs, Jean and Gray Prescott and Ray Doyle.

Green Valley Motel will be a perfect and affordable place to call home in the Smokies as you go out and enjoy all these things and more that are available here and Gatlinburg. Look for our specials to find how you can save more on your Smoky Mountain Vacation for Valentine's Day or any other day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

21st Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week

January 8th to the 15th, the first in a long line of yearly traditions for the city of Pigeon Forge is the Wilderness Wildlife Week on Music Road. This has been a consistant hit for two decades plus, and people of all ages turn out for all kinds of great offerings from this event.

Lectures, guest speakers, animals, art, hiking supplies and even walks and hikes are all expected to return this week. More than 175 seminars, 100 experts and 50 guided walks and hikes plus ApplachiaFest will make this a Wilderness Wildlife not to miss!

Music Road is on the other side of town towards Sevierville, only 10 minutes from Green Valley Motel. If you were looking for a great Smoky Mountain Vacation for the kids but didn't want to fight holiday traffic and holiday costs, you came to the right place with Green Valley Motel - kids under 12 stay free.