The 24th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week will be held Jan. 25-Feb. 1st at the new LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. The annual salute to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the great outdoors has been recognized by many organizations including the International Festivals & Events Assoc. and Southeast Tourism Society.
Among the many different activities offered is the new Smokies through the Lens! (Photography workshops), hiking, and crafting. Some of the many lectures will cover the Civil War in the Smokiesand East Tennessee, fly fishing, wildlife, conservation, and much more.
Visitors to The Resort at Governor’s Crossing and the Smoky Mountains look forward to attending certain area events year after year. Listed below are dates of some of the earlier events for 2014. Dates are subject to change.
· Feb. 19-23 14th Annual Saddle Up Celebration TBA
· Mar. 19-22 20th Annual A Mountain Quiltfest LeConte Center Pigeon Forge
· Mar. 21-22 Corvette Expo Seviervville Events Center
· Mar. 22 Dollywood Opens
· April 11-13 Spring Pigeon Forge Rod Run
· May 2 Dolly’s Homecoming Parade Pigeon Forge
· May 16-17 Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Sevierville
One of East Tennessee’s and here in the Smokies great attractions is the chance to see a black bear in the wild. People come from near and far with the hope of seeing one of these bears and other wildlife as this area holds the greatest bear population in the entire state.
Mother & Cub
On top of that viewing them in the wild is free as The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has no admission fees. That’s right; you can drive through Cades Cove, the Roaring Fork, all over the park and only have to pay for your fuel. Sadly foolish, uneducated, and uncaring tourists are ruining the chance for you and your family to observe these bears.
A recent report by Knoxville WBIR TV News brought to light that poor behavior by certain tourists is harming these bears leading to their removal or even causing the need for certain bears to be killed. They reported how tourists fed a female black bear and her three cubs in Cades Cove causing them to become “Nuisance Bears”. This forced the park service to capture and relocate the mother bear and her cubs 40 miles from the area. The article goes on to tell of a bear having to be euthanized in 2010 because of it approaching hikers in the Laurel Falls area wanting food.
The WBIR article also reported on the story in Country Magazine where the lady bragged about approaching an angry mother bear and her cubs in Cades Cove to get that “photographic treasure”. Thankfully enough public backlash caused the magazine to retract the story.
Cub in tree eating berries
The law states you must stay back 50 yards and may not disturb or displace these animals. Visitors can be arrested and fined for violating this law. Bring a zoom lens and stay back. Don’t feed the bears! Keep your distance, stay safe and keep them safe.
Newfound Gap Road (US-441), the main route from Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC, has been closed since January due to a land slide on the NC side, near mile marker 22. Park officials have reported that road repairs are on schedule and should be completed by May 15, 2013. Newfound Gap Road is open from Gatlinburg to the Newfound Gap overlook and to Clingmans Dome Road weather permitting. UPDATE: Newfound Gap Road repairs are completed and the road is now open from Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC as of 4/15/13.
The following roads are scheduled to openApril 12:
Parsons Branch Road
The Roaring Fork Motor Natural Trail Little Greenbrier
Due to federal budget cuts the following campgrounds and picnic areas will be closed in 2013: Look Rock campground and picnic area Abrams Creek campground Balsam Mountain campground and picnic area (includes Heintooga Ridge and Balsam Mountain Roads) Tow String horse camp (NC)
Current park road and facilities information click here.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge start celebrating July 4th early and go late into the night with fun and excitement for the whole family. The two cities bring back the charm of years gone by with many small town traditions plus some modern day entertainment.
The 8th Annual Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival is scheduled for May 18 & 19 in downtown Sevierville. This free street style festival features live Bluegrass music as well as some of the finest BBQ in the country.
Again in 2011 Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is at TN Smokies Stadium in Sevierville, TN. With hundreds of thousands of lights programmed to music, this is a “can’t miss” experience for the family during the holidays.
While taking in the light show the children will enjoy “Santa’s Village” with a free petting zoo. There are also pony and camel rides, photos with Santa, and festive refreshments.
Hours are dusk to 10PM. Fees schedule.
Car enthusiasts from all over the United States, as well as Canada, attend this annual event. With the Shades of the Past show having been the previous weekend, many cars and trucks either stay over for this show or come in early to pick that ideal location along the Parkway to display their vehicles. We thought we’d post a few images for those unable to attend.
The 2nd Annual Civil War Relic Show & Sale will be held August 27-28 at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. After a hugely attended first show in 2010 this years show looks to be bigger and better. The 2011 schedule calls for a living history camp, artillery demonstration, original & reproduction pieces from the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus GA plus vendors and collectors of Civil War Memorabilia from around the country.
Civil War Relic Show & Sale
Attendees include The 8th TN (US) & The 63rd TN (CS), who will have members at the living history site, Mr. Ross Moore (vocalist, musician, & Humorist), who will perform on stage Saturday, and O’ROY(Our Reflections of Yesterday).
The Civil War Relic Show & Sale is sponsored by Smoky Mountain Resorts, the Tennessee Division Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Tennessee Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. For further information visit the shows web site.
The first few weeks of June in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Mother Nature treats us with the annual lightshow of the synchronized fireflies. There are 12 species of the flashing fireflies know to inhabit the park. The “flashing” is caused by a chemical reaction in the firefly’s body.
Thus year the City of Gatlinburg will provide trolley service to the Elkmont Campground through June 12, as park officials will close the entrance road to Elkmont to all vehicles and pedestrians daily at 5PM until midnight. Registered campers staying at the Elkmont Campground will be exempt from this road closure. Due to safety concerns visitors will not be allowed to walk the Elkmont entrance.
The trolleys will pick up visitors at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center parking area at 7PM until the parking area is full or until 9PM which ever occurs first. The last return trolley from Elkmont will depart at 11PM. The roundtrip cost is $1 per person. There is no overflow parking at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center, and restrictions will be enforced, so arrive early.
It is recommended that visitors bring flashlights with red cellophane covers to reduce white light. Visitors may bring lawn chairs, and carry food & water in backpacks but these items must be able to fit on their laps while on the trolleys. There are no services available at the site and coolers, alcoholic beverages, and pets are strictly prohibited.
- Nestled in the Heart of the Great Smoky Mountains -