Dollywood’s Festival of Nations

Find out why Dollywood’s Festival of Nations is one of the best events to attend in Pigeon Forge, TN. The Festival of Nations at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has entertainment for the entire family!

If you haven’t yet visited Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Festival of Nations is an excellent time to do so. Held between March 22 – April 23, 2013, this month long international event showcases performers from around the world, as well as highlighting many different cultures. The Festival of Nations at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN is a captivating sight, featuring some of the world’s best entertainment, plus art, dancing, music and food.

2013’s Festival at Dollywood features Spirit of the Dance, a wildly entertaining Irish dance troupe. This spell binding show is more than just your average tap performance. You’ll see a powerful, foot-stomping show with performers in fantastic costumes. This show offers incredible music and amazing dances seen by more than 30 million people around the world – you’ll be glad you chose to come.

Of course, Spirit of the Dance isn’t the only show you’ll see at Dollywood during the Festival of Nations. The Paper World Show by Mimirichi is a comedic performance by Ukranian clowns that will leave you chuckling in your seats.

Atahualpa, from Ecuador, offers South American traditional songs and dance rhythms. They play both native instruments and modern keyboards and guitars, resulting in a fascinating blend of cultures. Los Pampas Gauchos will bring their Argentinian flair to Dollywood. The show is filled with traditional dancing, as well as performances that include drums, boleadoras, knives, capes, and whips.

Zebra Stelzentheater of Germany will entertain the crowds with a fun and lively performance featuring stilt dancing that will have guests clamoring for an encore performance.

The Zambian Vocal Group brings different tribes together, forming one sound and creating a unified performance. They perform a capella, with no instruments, singing traditional hymns as well as original pieces. You’ll hear traditional African rhythms, complex harmonies, and unique vocal percussion, too.

If you’ve never been to Dollywood, this is the time to attend. You’ll see all the usual attractions, plus the wonderful performances and sights of the Festival of Nations. Also be sure to check out our list of tips for visiting Dollywood.

If you’re looking for a place to stay while in town then be sure to check out our list of the best hotels in Pigeon Forge, TN and our list of Pigeon Forge cabins. Also be sure to check out the full calendar of events in Pigeon Forge, TN.

2013 Saddle Up! Performers

Some of you might come to Saddle Up! for the great food, or maybe it’s just a chance for you to get out of your house with all your western duds on. Whatever the reason, the performers that Saddle Up! has lined up this year are some of the best in recent memory. Their musical talents rival some of the best in the country/western genre. You’ll hear stories, some of the finest fiddlin’ around and yodeling that will have you spinning around in your seat.

The all-star lineup of Saddle Up! performers includes Brenn Hill, Chris Isaacs, Waddie Mitchell, The Quebe Sisters Band, Dave Stamey, Sourdough Slim, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys, and Wylie & the Wild West. If their names don’t already have you guessing what type of performance they’ll give, well we can’t help ya. Come out to this year’s Saddle Up! festival in Pigeon Forge and see for yourself.

As for this year’s slate of performers, here’s a quick synopsis of each:

Brenn Hill

Western music that been passed down through the generations. Raised in Utah, Brenn and his music celebrate the land he grew up against, his story, and that of countless other musicians who fell in love with the promise of the West. His music paints a picture of love and faith. Hill is a rising star in his profession and he puts on a show you won’t forget.

Chris Isaacs

Come listen to the stories and poetry of Chris Isaacs. You’ll laugh and enjoy his point of view from a cowboy’s perspective. It’s a wonderful show that will leave you laughing out loud and applauding for more. Chris has won the Album of the Year and the Will Rogers Medallion Award of Excellence from the Academy of Western Artists, and his work has been published in numerous magazines.

Waddie Mitchell

Waddie Mitchell can spin a tale, whether in rhyme or not, that can be considered modern day cowboy poetry. In 1984, he helped organize the internationally recognized Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Waddie has performed at venues around the world, appeared on numerous television shows and from the stage at Carnegie Hall.

Quebe Sisters Band

The Quebe Sisters Band’s blend of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz and Texas-style fiddling is as unique as there is these days. They’ve performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center and the Ryman Auditorium, among other prestigious venues, and wowed crowds at each. Their performances with Ricky Skaggs, Merle Haggard and other music legends have made them a quite an act to contend with. You don’t want to miss this performance. They’re sure to bring out a lively crowd.

Sourdough Slim

Sourdough Slim is a veritable one-man western extravaganza, crooning western classics, playing accordion, guitar and harmonica, dancing a jig, twirling a lariat, dishing out hilarious comedic sketches and letting loose with award-winning yippie-ti-yi-yodeling. A favorite at cowboy gatherings and world-renowned music halls, Slim’s act draws crowds from every walk of life.

Dave Stamey

Dave Stamey has been a cowboy, a mule packer and a dude wrangler, and now he’s one of the most popular Western entertainers working today. Dave Stamey has delighted audiences in 14 states and numerous locales and finds that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses.

T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys

T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys will make their debut at Saddle Up. Scot comes from a rich and colorful musical heritage and can play any instrument with strings. He’s put together a group of outstanding musicians that includes world- renowned steel guitarist Bobby Black. A deep passion for traditional western swing music will be evident when this band hits the stage.

Wylie & the Wild West

Wylie Gustafson describes the Wild West as a “good-time, cowboy band that hates to be boring.” This high-energy group has performed around the world and stateside, appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “A Prairie Home Companion,” and his voice has been heard in millions of homes as the prominent yodel of the Yahoo! ad campaign.

A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge TN

This guide to the 2012 Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN reveals many highlights this massive quilt show has to offer. Get entry forms, dates, contact information, and more for a Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!

A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN is the perfect event if you’re interested in quilts and quilting. This show draws over 20,000 people each year from all across the country. What do those people have in common? They all love making, collecting, and learning about quilts!

Held March 12-16 this year, the 2013 Mountain Quiltfest has lots to offer . If you enjoy quilting itself, you’ll get a chance to learn from the best in the world. More than eighty-five sessions for instruction and master classes will be taught at this Pigeon Forge quilt show. There are courses for anyone from the beginning quilter to the long-time master. No matter who you are or how much experience you have in quilting, you’ll love learning from the well qualified, experienced instructors at A Smoky Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

This year, join us for the First Night Sneak Peak at the Music Road Convention Center on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 beginning at 6:00 pm. Instructors, vendors and sponsors will be on hand for questions and to meet your quilting needs. Enjoy a special showing of the quilts and shop for unique items prior to the public opening.

You can register for these quilting classes online at the Mountain Quiltfest website. Classes are first come, first served when it comes to registration, and may fill up quickly! Some entry fees are charged for courses as well, and range from $20-$60, depending on the materials supplied by the instructor. However, it’s worth it when you think about how much you’ll learn.

Learn about everything from designing a quilt to fixing an antique, and get tips on different classic quilt types, as well as table runners and more. Classes start on March 13th, so you may need to get there early. Take a free trolley ride between class sites so you know you’ll be on time.

In addition to classes, quilters will be able to enter their own works in the Smoky Mountain Quiltfest Quilt Show. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are or how fancy or simple your quilt is – you can enter. The only limit is that each person may enter no more than three pieces.

This show is judged professionally. A single viewer’s choice ribbon will be awarded, along with ribbons and cash prizes to other winners. Find the guidelines here: and submit your masterpiece!

If you’d like to experience the best that quilting has to offer, A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the place to do it. Find out more about this great event at, or call 1-800-251-9100. This really is the event for anyone who loves to see, collect, or make quilts.

If you are looking for Pigeon Forge lodging, be sure to check out our list of Pigeon Forge cabins and our list of the best Pigeon Forge hotels. If you would like to stay in Gatlinburg, TN we also have a list of Gatlinburg, TN cabins as well as a list of the best hotels in Gatlinburg.

Titanic Honors Teachers in February

Calling all teachers! Calling all local teachers! Looking to get a bit more familiar with the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge? Especially for those of you looking at planning an upcoming field trip to the popular Pigeon Forge attraction. Be sure to plan a visit during Titanic’s Teacher Appreciation Days – February 1-28.

During the month of February, all teachers are invited to come tour and take part in the Titanic museum attraction at NO CHARGE (includes 1 free audio player). We’re talking about the whole month of February, the 1-28. It’s FREE to all area teachers. The Titanic Museum Attraction especially looks forward to hosting the area’s history teachers who include the Titanic as a part of their curriculum.

This year, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is celebrating the year of the child. Exhibits focus on the children who were a part of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, their stories, what they wore and brought aboard the Titanic, where they came from, and how they came to be passengers. It’s a great link for teachers and make it the perfect time to visit the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge.

To purchase tickets, please call 800-381-7670 or you may purchase them at the door during the month of February. All teachers must present your ID Badge or Paycheck Stub/ID for a Public or Private School at the door upon arrival. (Other guests pay regular admission price).

To see how the Titanic Museum Attraction can work with you in providing your students with unique learning experiences click here.

2013 Pigeon Forge Winter Carnival of Magic

It’s that time of year again, well almost. We’re talking about Pigeon Forge’s 39th annual Winter Carnival of Magic. This year, the convention will be held from March 8-9 at the Country Tonite Theater. Over the years, the Winter Carnival of Magic has become a widely recognized event due to the number of talented performers that are showcased each year.

The two day Winter Carnival of Magic convention is a mixture of lectures, shows, and contests. The Ring 58 will be sponsoring the Winter Carnival of Magic. Ring 58, is the East Tennessee chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Each year, Ring 58 pick the top magicians worldwide to come and take part in the convention.

The whole family is going to have a blast at this year’s Winter Carnival of Magic, from laughter to looks of amazement at the tricks and illusions that some of these magicians will make happen. These are some of the most talented magicians around and they’ll prove it. As for all the other magicians that will be in attendance, but aren’t lined up to participate in the show, they’ll be showcasing their skills during the stage and close-up contest. A cash prize of $100 will be given away to the first place holder.

Start planning your perfect Pigeon Forge vacation today and include the Winter Carnival of Magic with it. You will not want to miss all of the fun of the Winter Carnival in Pigeon Forge. The Winter Carnival of Magic is an event that you will regret missing!!

If you are looking for Pigeon Forge lodging, be sure to check out our list of Pigeon Forge cabins and our list of the best Pigeon Forge hotels. If you would like to stay in Gatlinburg, TN we also have a list of Gatlinburg, TN cabins as well as a list of the best hotels in Gatlinburg.

Saddle Up! 2013

One of Pigeon Forge’s most popular events is back for its 13th go round this year, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Saddle Up! (Feb. 20-24), the area’s premiere western extravaganza returns to Pigeon Forge featuring everything cowboy, country, and cool. We’re talking about cooks, musicians, historians, and a slew of other western enthusiasts.

If you want to hear some great country and bluegrass, as well as taste some of the finest in country cookin’, Saddle Up! is the time to be in Pigeon Forge. The 13th annual Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge won’t be lacking for western talent! It’s going to be a week packed with outstanding cowboy entertainment and activities. Stories & Strings, an award winning concert series, returns after being well received last year, along with three other wildly popular concerts, the annual chuck wagon cookoff, Cowboy Dance and Cowboy Church. A special photography exhibit titled “Capturing the Old West” and video presentation by award-winning photographer Ken Jenkins, is a new addition for 2013.

Saddle Up guests will hear an all-star lineup of performers including award-winning poets and singers, fancy fiddlers, amazing yodelers and hall-of-fame musicians. We’re proud to welcome Brenn Hill, Chris Isaacs, Waddie Mitchell, The Quebe Sisters Band, Dave Stamey, Sourdough Slim, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys, and Wylie & the Wild West.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, Feb. 20

10-11 a.m.

Cornbread Sampling
Kent Rollins & the Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon
Old Mill Square

Thursday, Feb. 21

3 p.m.

“Capturing the Old West”
Video presentation and Western photography exhibit
Ken Jenkins, award-winning photographer
Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge

6 p.m.

Intimate Evening Concerts
The Quebe Sisters Band
Mama’s Farmhouse
$54.88 tax inclusive

Wylie & the Wild West
Partridge & Pear
$54.88 tax inclusive

Friday, Feb. 22

11 a.m.

Chuck Wagon Sampling
Kent Rollins Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon
Smoky Mountain Guitars


Stories & Strings concert
(doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
Smoky Mountain Guitars
$16.46 tax inclusive

  • Bobby Black
  • Brenn Hill
  • Joey McKenzie
  • Sourdough Slim
  • Dave Stamey
  • T. Scot Wilburn

3 p.m.

Saddle Up Concert
Sponsored by the Inn at Christmas Place
Grand Majestic Theater
$16.46 tax inclusive

  • Dave Stamey
  • Chris Isaacs
  • Brenn Hill
  • Sourdough Slim
  • T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys

7 p.m.

Saddle Up Concert
Sponsored by Premier Media
Grand Majestic Theater
$16.46 tax inclusive

Waddie Mitchell, Chris, Isaacs, Dave Stamey
Wylie Gustafson
The Quebe Sisters Band

Saturday, Feb. 23

9 a.m.

Buckeroo Roundup
Clabough’s Campground
Entertainment and cowboy-themed activities


Chuck Wagon Lunch
Clabough’s Campground
$10 per plate, tax inclusive

6 p.m.

Saddle Up Concert
Sponsored by Riverside Towers
Grand Majestic Theater
$16.46 tax inclusive

  • Cal Farley Youth Performer
  • Waddie Mitchell
  • The Quebe Sisters Band
  • Sourdough Slim
  • Brenn Hill
  • Wylie & the Wild West

8:30 p.m.

Cowboy Dance
Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge
T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys
With special guests
$5 tax inclusive

Sunday, Feb. 24

8:30 -10:30 a.m.

Chuck Wagon Breakfast
Kent Rollins & the Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon
Stages West
$5 tax inclusive

10:30 a.m.

Cowboy Church
Stages West

Titanic Museum Exhibits for 2013

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is always finding new and unique ways to change it up and keep things fresh at their Smoky Mountain location. This month will see the museum close for a few days in order to put up new exhibits before unveiling them to the public.

For 2013, Titanic’s theme will be The Year of the Child. It’s a part of the Titanic story that most don’t think about when discussing that fateful day. This year those children will be at the forefront of the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Their personal stories will headline the attraction and you can see what shaped their lives as they prepared to board the Titanic. In the Titanic’s words, “Some survived. Some did not. All will be honored.”

But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see of your favorite exhibits from the past year. The re-creation of the hull is the same, where you learn it took three million rivets to build the ship; there were three anchors and the center anchor weighed 15.5 tons.

Another interesting fact about the people who boarded the Titanic is most of them did not know how to swim in 1912. You can still sort through photographs of those people and wonder who actually survived the crash and who didn’t. It was a different time and most of these people had their lives in front of them. What were they thinking as they boarded the ship? All types of questions come to mind as you peruse the various exhibits.

There are three rare Teddy bears on exhibit currently at the museum; and each has a story. Other highlighted exhibits include a leather coin purse, the size of a 50-cent piece, now valued at $20,000. Some of these exhibits on display at the Branson, Missouri Titanic attraction may even make their way to the Pigeon Forge site this year.

Come find out about the sacrifices married couples made as a part of the ship’s maiden voyage. Read about the story of Isador and Ida Strauss; she refused to leave his side when all knew those who stayed on the ship would perish. Reverend William Lahtinen and his wife, Anna Amelia, as well as Reverend Ernest Carter and his wife, Lilian – their stories are on full display. Find out about these couples, their lives, and each one’s Titanic story.

The year 2013 is going to be one to remember at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Come see for yourself and find out the real story of its crew and passengers.

Boy Scout Day at Dixie Stampede

Come join the cast of the Dixie Stampede as they honor some of our local youth on Boy Scout Day at the Dixie Stampede, January 26.

The Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show in Pigeon Forge, TN is one of the most popular dinner shows in Pigeon Forge. It has been here for many years and has remained arguably the one dinner show that families visit each time they come to this area. If you have never been to the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show I definitely recommend it. It costs about $35 per adult, but you get a good meal with the famous Dixie Stampede Cream of Vegetable Soup and about 2 hours worth of entertainment.

If you’re looking for Dixie Stampede Coupons be sure to get your copy of the free Pigeon Forge Coupon book by clicking here. The coupon book includes a $3 off coupon for Dixie Stampede…the best coupon available. You can also check out the official Dixie Stampede Special Offers page at, but there aren’t any better deals than the $3 off found in the free Pigeon Forge coupon book.

One of the novelties is that they have no silverware. Your hands are your fork and knife! Some people love it and others thinks it’s nasty…either way it’s fun to dig in and wipe your hands on your neighbor moist towelette (I always wanted to say moist towelette in a sentence).

For more information call 865-774-8114

February Freeze 5K

If you’re looking for a great way to jump start your health and fitness goals this year, Pigeon Forge’s annual February Freeze 5K (Feb. 9) is a pretty good way to start. The race is challenging enough for en experienced runner, but also easy enough for those first timers that are just getting into the sport.

And you don’t have to worry about hills and steep inclines during the race. Officials categorize it as fast and flat with only a singular incline along the whole course to worry about. In all, the race will start and end on Butler Street across from Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. The Old Mill district, as it’s called around town, will make up the brunt of the course. The race will make its way to River Road, utilizing the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Hey, if you decide not to run, at least come out and watch and cheer on all the participants. You might even see someone you know.

The February Freeze 5K is a run/walk race with a course time limit of 1.5 hours. Runners are encouraged to dress in warm clothing as it is held during the heart of February and temperatures in the Smokies that time of year tend to be on the colder side.

Following the race there will be an awards presentation including overall awards, age group awards, and an award given to the best lighted costume. So figure out a way to string lights around yourself and be able to run with them on.

Race day registration will be in the parking lot of Patriot Park.

For additional information, contact the following:

Hiking Checklist for Wilderness Wildlife Week

With Pigeon Forge’s annual Wilderness Wildlife Week quickly approaching (Jan. 12-19), a good thing to keep in your back pocket would be an updated Smoky Mountain hiking checklist. Especially if you plan on taking part in one of the many excursions into the park that occur during the week.

This yearly event is especially dependent on the forecast and to say that the winter weather in the Smokies is unpredictable would be a vast understatement. Temperatures can range from the 50s to below freezing and change in a heartbeat. If you are planning on participating in one of the day hikes into the mountains, please BE PREPARED and g over your checklist a few times the night before. Besides a comfortable pair of sturdy hiking boots, BE SURE you also include the following items in your backpack:

  • Head Cover (hat, toboggan or hooded coat)
  • Rain Gear/Poncho
  • Gloves
  • Lunch or Trail Snacks (fruit, nuts)
  • A Pocketknife
  • An Extra pair of socks
  • A Flashlight
  • Water

Each of these items is essential to make sure that the hike is a memorable one for all the right reasons, and none of the wrong ones.

All hikes during Wilderness Wildlife Week will start out at the Music Road Hotel and Convention Center and from there move into the park. As part of the event, hikers may only sign for one hike per day. Once a hike is filled, hikers may sign up for an alternate list if they so desire.

During the winter months, it’s also a time when the trails might not be a peak condition as they are during the spring, summer and fall months. Hikers should be prepared for such instances they may encounter like swollen streams, bridge washouts, downed trees, and trail erosion. According to park officials, this can be especially the case between December and May due to the seasonal nature of the national park’s trail maintenance program.

Still, for some of the season’s shortcomings, it’s just as good of a time to visit the park as any. Fallen leaves opens up new vistas along the trails that you won’t get in the lighter months, revealing stone walls, chimneys, foundations, and other reminders of past residents before the area was designated a national.

So take care and make sure you, your friends, and family are prepared for this month’s Wilderness Wildlife Week hike. The more you know, the greater the time you’ll have. See you on the trail!