Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Mountain Quiltfest and Festival of the Nations 2014

Wow - two huge festivals in Pigeon Forge at the same time? You better believe this is the real start of the "visitors season" here in the Smokies. The quiet season is done for this year, now we look forward to the special events going on nearly nonstop in the cities.

The first one starts today at the LeConte Conference Center with "A Mountain Quiltfest" and goes on to Friday, March 22nd. This is, to put it simply, a huge quilt festival, but it is surprisingly popular and very enriching, whether you're a fan of Appalachian culture or not. Lots of beautiful works of art will be on display, and those initiated can find quilting workshops to learn professional skills, plus there will be a quilting contest with a prize of $20,000 at stake. Yes, quilting is serious business here in the Smokies!

And then, also on 3/22, is an event a LOT of people look forward to - Dollywood's "Festival of Nations" and grand re-opening for the 2014 season. This year the headlining act is "Mother Africa", at the main theater on park, while many newer performers play at venues throughout alongside returning favorites like Zambia Vocal Group and Atahualpa coming back again.

And many more special events in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg will be following suit as Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales, Gatlinburg Winefest, the Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run and more. As always, check back with us next month and any time in between.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Press Release: Just Get Outdoors With Liz & GSM Outfitters!

WEARS VALLEY, TN – A brand new program opens up in the heart of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains allowing locals and visitors to better understand and appreciate the nature of the Appalachians in our region. This program is a collaboration between the owners of GSM Outfitters in Wears Valley, and wildlife biologist Liz Domingue.

“Just Get Outdoors!” will feature lectures, workshops, interactive activities for kids, photography and much more. Day and evening classes will be available. The following is a list of the classes and activities scheduled:

* Wildflowers, Wildflowers, Wildflowers!
April 10, 2014

* Wildflower Walk With a Naturalist
April 11, 2014

* Nature Photography Workshop
May 24, 2014

* Salamander Capital of the World!
July 25, 2014

* Salamander Foray
July 26, 2014

Group size will be small and space is limited. Participants will be asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of time, to bring their own lunch and drinks and rainwear. Hiking boots also recommended.

To sign up for the outings and evening programs, contact Michael or Heather at 865-366-2608 or at