Tax Free Weekend in Tennessee

Tax Free Weekend in Tennessee, begins at 12:01 AM on Friday, August 3rd and ends on Sunday August 5th at 11:59 PM. During this weekend, many back to school items, including school supplies, clothing and computers will all be tax free!

If you’re coming to Tennessee on a trip during this time, you might consider combining your shopping with sight-seeing in the Smoky Mountains! Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, both located in the Smokey Mountains, offer an array of shopping and tourist experiences. Continue reading

July 4th in Gatlinburg

If you are looking for something fun to do on July 4th this year, head over for  July 4th in Gatlinburg “Stand Here” July 4th Fireworks Celebration! Voted a top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society, this year is sure to be a great one! Bring your chairs to downtown Gatlinburg, the fireworks will light up the skyline usually about an hour after dark, or around 10:00pm.  The display is considered the grand finale to the Annual “First Independence Day Parade in the Nation” at midnight on July 3rd 2011 in downtown Gatlinburg.

You can see the fireworks from the downtown area streets, or you can view them from various hotel rooms in Gatlinburg, and cabins and chalets surrounding the area.  As long as you have a good view of Gatlinburg, you should be able to see the fireworks. Come celebrate Independence Day and get ready for an amazing fireworks show!

First Independence Day Parade in the Nation!

If you will be in the Smoky Mountains in early July, don’t miss the 36thAnnual First Independence Day Parade in the Nation!  In Gatlinburg, TNthere will be a huge July 4th parade at 12am.  There will be over 100,000 viewers at the parade, and many members of the US Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and the Coast Guard will participate this year.  There will be military vehicles and bands participating, including the 100th United States Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Catherine Bach, better known as “Daisy Duke” of “Dukes of Hazzard” will appear in the Midnight Parade, as well as Rick Hurst, better known as “Cletus” from the same series.  There will be vehicles from Hazzard Countyincluding the “General Lee”.

The 100th US Army Band from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, will feature concerts on Sunday, July 3, with all performances at Ripley’s Aquarium of the SmokiesPlaza. The Sunday lineup will include the Dixieland Band at 10 a.m., the Brass Quintet at noon, the Jazz Ensemble at 2 and the Rock Band at 4. On Monday, July 4, the entire 100th Army Concert Band will perform on the Plaza beginning at 8:30 p.m. before the Independence Day fireworks finale at 10 p.m.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will be paying tribute to two deceased tribal veterans with their entry: Medal of Honor Recipient Charles George and Bronze Star Recipient Reuben Taylor. George threw himself on a hand grenade in the Korean War to save his fellow soldiers and Taylor fought in World War II battles including the “Battle of the Bulge” and the invasion of Holland known as “Operation Market Garden.”

Ripley’s Entertainment will have a new attraction, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” a modified Delta 88 with a psychedelic design honoring the Beatles Viewers can spot such manifestations from Beatles’ lyrics such as “Marmalade Skies,” “I am the walrus, I am the egg man,” and “Mother Superior jumping the gun.”  The car came from Ripley’s Believe It or Not inOrlando, Florida.

“This will be one of the most patriotic and colorful midnight parades that the City of Gatlinburg has ever produced,” said Special Events Manager George Hawkins, who organized the first Gatlinburg 4th of July parade in 1976 in celebration of America’s Bicentennial. “We are very excited about the entire weekend of events, which will include a two-day festival highlighting our armed services.”

Check out the parade route early to choose your viewing spot, because many of the spectators will start arriving with their chairs along the parade route as early as 7 a.m. on July 3.

Looking for more information about the 36th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade? Please call 800-56-VISIT (568-4748) or visit www.gatlinburg.com.

Great Country Music in Pigeon Forge

Do you love Country Music? Will you be visiting the Pigeon Forge TN area soon?  If so, you should make time to go see Country Tonite, rated “The Best Show in the Smokies” by NACMAI, and the “Best Show in the Smokies” and “Best Live Country Show” by CMAA three years in a row!!  Country Tonite is a fast paced live show that includes singing, dancing, comedy, gospel and good old American patriotism!  This show is extremely unique, it includes youth performers as well so it is fun for the entire family!  It’s a feel good show that is so much more than just country music… Don’t hesitate take in a show at Country Tonite in your vacation to Pigeon Forge TN, you will love it!

Country Tonite is located on the parkway near traffic light #1 in Pigeon Forge.  It is a 1500 seat multi million dollar theatre with top of the line sound and lighting systems and two enormous video screens.  There are holiday shows in November and December every year as well.  This is their 15th year in production.  You can call and get tickets at 1-800-792-4308 or 865-453-2003. Ticket prices are $24.00 for adults, children are free under the age of 12 with a paid adult ticket, and teens (12-17 years old) are $15.00.  Discount Tickets Available Here

Every year they have a totally new show.  The show lasts about 2 hours and has an intermission of about 15 minutes midway through the show.  You can even meet the performers after the show in the lobby and get their autographs. Flash photography is allowed, but no video or audio recording.  There are also DVD’s available of the show that can be purchased.

 

Here is the 2011 lineup for performers in Country Tonite;

June 17, 2011 at 8:00pm        Ronnie Milsap                                     $35.00 a ticket

July 1,   2011 at 8:00pm          Loretta Morgan & Pam Tillis              $35.00 a ticket

July 22, 2011 at 8:00pm          George Jones                                       $44.50 a ticket

July 23, 2011 at 8:00pm          George Jones                                       $44.50 a ticket

August 19, 2011 at 8:00pm    Don Williams                                      $39.95 a ticket

Sept. 23, 2011 at 8:00pm        Gene Watson & Connie Smith           $35.00 a ticket

October 21, 2011 at 8:00pm   Ray Stevens                                        $44.50 a ticket

Nov. 11, 2011 at 8:00pm       The Nashville Legends Show             $35.00 a ticket

Featuring Jim Ed Brown,

Helen Cornelius, Jack Green

& Jeannie Seely

 

For more information, contact

Country Tonite

129 Showplace Boulevard
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(865) 453-2003

1-800-792-4308

www.countrytonitepf.com

 

Pigeon Forge Entertainment

 

Did you know that the Smoky Mountains has a natural phenomenon that occurs only one other place in the world?

Did you know that the Smoky Mountains has a natural phenomenon that occurs only one other place in the world?  For a couple of weeks in early summer in mid June (4ththru the 12th), a rare species of fireflies come into the Smoky Mountains to do synchronized blinking.  This species has an internal sensor that lets them know when another firefly is lit.  The fireflies can be lit for up to 6 seconds, it creates a wave of blinking lights that is absolutely amazing to see.  The only other known location that this happens is in Southeast Asia.

Fireflies are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. Their light patterns are part of the adulthood mating display. Each species of firefly has characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light. The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in mid-June.

The production of light by living organisms is called bioluminescence. Many species of insects and marine creatures are capable of it. Fireflies combine the chemical luciferin and oxygen with the enzyme luciferase in their lanterns (part of their abdomens) to make light. The chemical reaction is very efficient and produces little or no heat.

No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons. The fireflies do not always flash in unison. They may flash in waves across hillsides, and at other times will flash randomly. Synchronicity occurs in short bursts that end with abrupt periods of darkness.

How can you see them? There are Gatlinburg trolleys that go to Sugarlands VisitorCenter to pick up visitors every 20 minutes starting at 7:00pm. They run June 4th thru the 12th.  The fireflies usually start lighting up around 9:30pm.  It costs $1.00 per person to ride the trolley.  It takes you to the Little River Trailhead at Elkmont.  The last trolley back leaves at 11:00pm.  No private vehicles are allowed into the Little River Trailhead after 5:00pm, unless you are staying at the campground.

Here are the rules;

  • Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, a flashlight that is covered in red or blue cellophane to minimize white lights, keep them pointed down and turn them off when you get to your destination.
  • Carry a backpack with any refreshments you may need.
  • The only amenities available are portapotty’s.
  •  No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • If you want to take pictures, don’t use a flash and set your aperture to f11 and take a long exposure on a tripod to get a nice glowing picture.
  • Park rangers and volunteers will be around for questions, guided walks and assistance.
  • Don’t forget the last trolley leaves at 11:00pm