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
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.
Cades Cove was once a remote place in the Great Smoky Mountains. Nature abounds here and the loop affords spectacular views of the mountains and fields. Many deer call the Cove home, and many people have seen bear here as well. One of the few ways through the Smokies and into the cove was along Indian trails. Some of those trails were improved into roads. One of those trails was called, appropriately enough, Cades Cove road. The name was later changed to Rich Mountain Road. By either name the road was one of the main routes through the Smokies between Tuckaleechee and Cades Cove.
Rich Mountain Road is about a third of the way around the Cove. It is a one way dirt road that is about 12 miles long that ends up back in Townsend. There are a couple of nice views of the Cove along the drive and can be a good shortcut to get back to civilization. There is another road to explore out of Cades Cove called Parsons Branch Road. This is a one way primitive road that cuts through pristine forest with opportunities to see wildlife and wildflowers as well. There are areas where the creek cuts across the road and some nice waterfalls. It comes out on 129 in the middle of The Dragon.
Though Cades Cove was generally a self sustaining community, pioneers bought things from Maryville such as medicine and remedies such as Camphorated oil, catnip tea, Castor oil, Epsom salts. As time went by, general stores sprang up in Cades Cove where medicine, seeds, sugar, kerosene, yard goods and hardware supplies. Products could be purchased with money or by trading products such as eggs. Still, the larger town of Maryville had a more appealing selection and so the trips from the Cades Cove continued. Many times families would sell chestnuts which grew everywhere in Cades Cove in the 1800’s. Disease eventually killed the trees.
“Kate’s Cove” was the name of Cades Cove originally, after an Indian chief’s wife. The Cove drew the Cherokee Indians back to the area again and again because of its abundant wildlife and good hunting. Later, Cades Cove’s wildlife drew European descent frontiersmen to make it their home. They and their offspring cleared the fertile valley floor and built farms to sustain them. The pioneer’s families lived in Cades Cove for many generations before the cove became part of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, Cades Cove is still as full of wildlife as before but draws not hunters, but millions of Smokies visitors.
The Cove has been preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to look much the way it looked in the 1800′s. Once home to a small mountain community whose settlers came from mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and upper eastTennessee, Cades Cove is today the largest open air museum in the entire GreatSmoky Mountain National Park.
There are many primitive buildings to enjoy as you go around Cades Cove, including two churches, some beautiful homestead cabins, corn cribs, various mills, a smokehouse and barns. It has all been preserved the way it would have been back in the 1800’s. Today, the Cove boasts a large campground, stables for riding horses, an amphitheater, a large gift shop and bike rentals. The Cades Cove loop is 11 miles long and runs along a beautiful valley in a loop with mountains surrounding it. It is a favorite for many families and people enjoy the hiking and biking and nature viewing opportunities. It is a great way to take a peek at what life would have been like 200 years ago
Planning Affordable Vacations
After the recent economic recession, every family in the US has gone into cost-cutting mode. We have started cutting back on our personal expenses as much as possible. Expensive outings and dinners have gone out of the window. Family vacations and picnics are one of the first things to get the axe. However, such cost cutting efforts make our life boring. Everyone is subjected to severe financial pressure and this makes life highly difficult to manage. We need to have healthy outlets to let out our frustration and to unwind a bit so that we can meet the challenges of our life once again with the new found energy. Rather than totally cutting off our family vacations, we need to look at affordable options for our family vacations.
Some of the popular vacation spots that you can consider for your budget vacation include Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Smoky Mountains. Rather than visiting expensive cities, you can enjoy a peaceful vacation in the natural settings of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. You will be able to relax completely, forgetting about all the rush of stresses of life. There is no point in driving around to various places when you should be actually resting and relaxing during your vacation. We do all the running around all through the year, vacations should therefore be different from our daily routine. This is one of the reasons why many families prefer places like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Smoky Mountains, etc. You will not only be able to enjoy the beauty of nature in these places but you will also be able to have an affordable vacation. Furthermore, you can opt to stay in cozy cabins rather than multistoried hotels that cost you a lot of money. Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins are ideal for budget vacations. You will be able to save a considerable amount of money using these cabins for your vacation accommodation. You will also be able to have a totally new experience when compared to any of your regular vacations. On the one hand, you will be able to have your family vacation within your budget and same money and on the other hand, you would have had your family vacation in one of the most beautiful spots in TN.
Rather than complaining that you cannot afford family vacation and make everyone feel miserable, considering affordable vacation options will make everyone in the family happy. However, you need to make sure that you do not blindly rent your cabins without comparing the prices. By spending some time searching for the cheapest deals, you will be able to increase your savings further. At the same time, you must also make sure that you rent comfortable cabins. Rent your cabins from reputed vacation rental cabins company. Make sure that your cabin rental company enjoys good reputation for their well maintained cabins.
Start planning your holidays now, enjoy affordable vacations with your family. You do not have to deprive your family anymore of those most needed vacations anymore.