Thursday, April 23, 2009

TLC's "The Duggars -18 Kids" Coming To Pigeon Forge

Duggar Family of '18 Kids and Counting' to vacation and work around Pigeon Forge.

It'll take a lot of planning on their part, but the Duggar Family of the TLC series "18 and Counting" plans to visit Pigeon Forge and Dollywood next month. They'll be part of Dollywood's annual Dolly Parton parade and shoot segments of their show while on vacation. The ever-expanding Duggar family will be visiting May 5 -9 to "explore" Dollywood and shoot an episode of their show.

Pigeon Forge Mayor Keith Whaley invited the reality TV family; Their trek here will have them traveling 750 miles from their hometown of Springdale, Ark., to participate in the upcoming Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade on May 8.

The Duggar family trip to Pigeon Forge will be featured in a summer episode of "18 Kids and Counting," which airs on TLC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Each episode chronicles the lives of an Arkansas couple, Jim Bob and Michele Duggar, and their 18 natural-born children, who range in age from four months to 21 years. The family includes two sets of twins. For more information, visit

Details of Parton's float are a secret, but the Duggars will participate with an honorary float the City of Pigeon Forge has crafted for them.

In days leading up to and after the parade, the family will visit many Parkway attractions during their five-day stay, including seeing several live comedy and musical theaters, going to Zorb, the mountain-side free-fall inside a gigantic ball.

Info from Knox News Blog
Posted by Terry Morrow

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival on May 1-3, 2009

Upwards of 20,000 visitors are expected at the 17th annual Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival on May 1-3, 2009 at Townsend Visitors Center on East Lamar Alexander Parkway.The Townsend festival was established as an extension of Old Timer's Day held in Cades Cove inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The original festival consisted of bluegrass bands and musicians jammin' and pickin' on the porch. Today's festival has grown to include bands performing on stage and on the grounds.The festival will kick off Friday, May 1, with Great Smokies and Nature Celebration Day. The day will consist of special activities to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Park, which is being celebrated all year, and the beauty of nature.

Old Timer's Day will be held Saturday, May 2.The weekend will conclude Sunday, May 3, with an unofficial day of special activities designed to highlight the beauty and traditions of the mountain community on Tuckaleechee Cove Day.The vast majority of events are free and showcase mountain culture and Appalachian heritage.

May 1 events:9 to 11 a.m. -- Wildflower walk on Chestnut Top Trail in the Smokies with Tom Harrington, local naturalist and Park volunteer, walk will be limited to 25 people, meet at the visitors center, call 448-6134 to reserve a spot.10 a.m. --

Hedgewood Gardens Tour, meet at visitors center, $7 fee per person to benefit Hearts and Hands Scholarship Fund.11 a.m. --

Clogging demonstration and instruction with Jack Patton on the stage at the visitors center.1 to 5 p.m. -- White Oak Sinks Hike (moderate difficulty) with Ann Froschauer, limit 15 people, meet at visitors center, call 448-6134 to reserve a spot.1 to 4 p.m. --

Featured author and book signing, Steve Cotham with historic photographs from the McClung collection at visitors center. Cotham's book, "Images of America: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park," tells the story of the Park through old photographs.2 p.m. --

Hedgewood Gardens Tour, meet at visitors center, $7 fee per person to benefit Hearts and Hands Scholarship Fund.May 2 events:8:30 to 10:30 a.m. --

Young Pickers Talent Contest, bluegrass music contest for pickers 17 years of age and younger at visitors center stage.9 to 11 a.m. --

Young folks program in the storytelling tent, with games, music, stories and more.10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Old fashioned kid's games in field behind visitors center.11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. --

Old Harp Sing, shape note music with the East Tennessee Old Harp Singers in storytelling tent.1 p.m. --

Dowsing demonstration with Charlie Monday, meet at storytelling tent.1 to 4 p.m. -- Storytelling with Lendel Abbott, Roy Harper, Robin Goddard and Richard Hilten.4 to 5 p.m. --

Old Time Music program with Carl and Betty Ross in storytelling tent.6 p.m. --

Smokin' in the Smokies BBQ Peoples Choice Awards.May 3 events:9 a.m. --

Wildflower Walk on Chestnut Top Trail with Dwight McCarter, limit 25 people, meet at visitors center, to register call 448-6134. McCarter is author of the book "Lost" and is a retired park ranger.1 to 3 p.m. --

Old Tremont Stroll with naturalist/historian Rebecca Vial, meet at visitors center.2 to 4 p.m. --

Porch Pickin' Gospel Signing and old time jam sessions on porch and around the grounds.2 p.m. -

Hedgewood Gardens Tour, meet at visitors center, $7 fee per person to benefit Hearts and Hands Scholarship Fund. Other events available both days, including:Bluegrass music on the stage and pickin' on the porch and in the adjacent grove.7 p.m. concert by Steve Kaufman, three-time national flatpicking guitar champion.

Evening square dance with caller Don Tipton and the Carolina Bluegrass Boys in stage area.Arts and crafts booths along Townsend bike/walking trail.Smokin' in the Smokies BBQ and other foods. Blount County Chamber of Commerce will be selling hot dogs, drinks, popcorn and chips.Cake raffles and bake sale for Hearts and Hands Scholarship Fund.Arts and crafts demonstrations in exhibit room of center.

Basketry by Bonny Kate Sugg.Woodcarving by Lendel Abbott.Quilting by Ila Mae Morton and Maetta Conrad.Rug hooking by Bonny Kate Sugg.Weaving by Effie Suttles.Spinning by Dale Liles.Charcoal/pencil art by Andy England.

Antique cars, Smoky Mountain Model A Club, in front of visitors center.Antique tractors and engines, Foothills Tractor Club, in field behind visitors center.

Appalachian demonstrations around the grounds.Mountain berry basket making and poetry by Bill Alexander.Lye soap making and other old time skills by Sallie Swor.

Pottery by Carol Ware.Beekeeping and bee hive observation by Tony Holt.

Blacksmithing by Hugh Bowie.Moonshine still by Bill Leistner.

Cornmeal making by Ronald Fowler.

Visitors can learn about the heritage of Cades Cove from the Cades Cove Preservation Association exhibits and about one of the Smokies' most renowned animals at the Appalachian Bear Center activity booth.The visitors center is located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend.

Townsend in the Smokies festival is a green event. Visitors are encouraged to dispose of their trash properly. Keep Blount Beautiful and Spectra Inc. will have recycling containers for plastic bottles and aluminum cans placed throughout the festival grounds. Proceeds will go to Hearts and Hands Scholarship Fund

Info from the Maryville Daily Times

Friday, April 03, 2009

New ZipLine At Dollywood In May 2009 !!

Wow, just read about this on's site I don't see anything about it yet at Dollywood's website .. How cool to zip over Dollywood !! Check it out..

Dollywood in Tennessee, US, is preparing to launch what will be the first multiple station zip-line experience in a US theme park.

Opening in May 2009, SkyZip will allow guests to travel over the 150-acre theme park, which is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains.The hour-long adventure will include up to five zip-line treks ranging in length from 100ft to nearly 1,000ft and a 100-foot long swinging bridge perched above the trees.Each zip-line is an elevated and inclined wire from which a pulley and a seating apparatus are suspended allowing the guest to move between two points via gravity."

SkyZip is the first of a series of premium experiences Dollywood plans to launch in the coming year," said Dollywood president Ken Bell. "These high level family experiences are 'ready-to-go' meaning our guests just show up for the thrills, no previous experience or expensive gear needed." Each SkyZip tour offers a distinctive adventure with a theme.

Fliers will launch from a perch above the park's region called Wilderness Pass and soar to Dollywood's triple spiral-looping rollercoaster, Tennessee Tornado, and beyond.One trail takes adventurers close to Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. After a brief hike, the adventurers will zip above Craftsman's Valley, which houses Dollywood's artisans, to the same point where their adventure began.

Info from