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!

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge Tennessee has become the largest event of its kind in the nation. If you love the outdoors, then you must attend this event in Pigeon Forge.

If you love the outdoors, then Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge is your dream event. Don’t let the “Wildlife” part fool you…this event covers all aspects of the Great Smoky Mountains and the great outdoors worldwide. The event has grown from a single-day “get-together” to a multi-day expo with numerous classes, vendors, activities, and more. There are hikes, field trips, photography contests, and several classes presented by a long list of experts. Many of the classes and activities are designed for children, so this event is perfect for the entire family. There are various levels of hikes ranging from beginner to expert. These hikes are guided by experts of the area and they’ll show you the best places to explore through the Great Smokey Mountains. I first attended this event in the late ’90s and it amazes me every year to see the number and quality of classes & activities grow. The people that you meet and the things that you learn are simply priceless. Perhaps that’s why this event is free of charge!! That’s right…you can attend the classes and experience Wilderness Wildlife Week for free. Like I said, if you like anything about the outdoors, then you owe it to yourself to attend the Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Highlighted events for 2013:

*Photography Contest featuring 7 divisions:

– Amateur
– Professional
– Wildlife
– Landscapes/Seascapes
– Youth & Young Adults (ages 17 and under)
– Great Smoky Mountain Landmarks
– Nature’s Wonders in Black & White

Also new to the contest is the implementation of the Judges’ Choice Award.

*Cades Cove Heritage Track – Experts in the history of Cades Cove bring the past back to life with their historical presentation.

*Echoes of the Smokies! Wilma Durpo presents the history of the Great Smoky Mountains.

*Smoky Mountain Heritage Track – A guided history of Pigeon Forge, Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains.

January 12-19,2013

Music Road Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge

Official website:
Winterfest Wilderness Wildlife Week

For a brochure outlining all the activities of Pigeon Forge Wilderness Week, call 1-800-WINTERFEST or the Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events at (865) 429-7350.

Titanic’s 3rd Annual Ice Carving Competition

When most people think “talent competition”, they’re probably thinking about some American Idol-related singing contest. But when places like the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge thinks talent competition, they think ice-carving. It’s one of the most wondrous events in the Smokies pitting people with real carving skills to the test.

On the billboards and ad banners it’s the 3rd Annual Professional Ice Carving Competition at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. The first two have been a rousing success similar to most of their big events like fireworks at Thanksgiving and the past year’s anniversary celebration. This year’s ice carving spectacular is Saturday, January 19th from 9am-3pm and chances are that it will be just as big of an event as it was the past two years, if not bigger.

You’ll bear witness to some of the world’s-most celebrated and decorated ice sculptors as they chisel 250-pound blocks of ice into fantastic designs featuring local animals and designs, and other popular images. This FREE one-day family event will take place on Titanic’s outdoor entertainment center. Professionals and amateurs alike will be competing for cash prizes.

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is dedicated to the 2,208 passengers aboard the Titanic when it made its maiden voyage in 1912. The museum in Pigeon Forge features over 400 artifacts that came directly from the remains of the Titanic herself.

For more information, please contact the Titanic Museum Attraction at 800-381-7670.

Wilderness Wildlife Week to Feature 304 Events in 2013

Just 22 years ago when the first Wilderness Wildlife Week was held in Pigeon Forge, there were 4 events scheduled, on a Saturday. This coming year (Jan. 12-19, 2013), 304 events will make up the 8-day happening. Amazing how things have changed.

Yes, you did read that right, that’s 304 different FREE workshops, lectures, panel discussions, mini-concerts, hikes and excursions. And all in the name of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and highlighting its variety of outdoor life and adventure.

Most programs featured during Wilderness Wildlife Week are indoors at the Music Road Hotel Convention Center. For those looking to experience the outdoors, there are 44 hikes and excursions scheduled during the week. From a photo trek in Cades Cove to a four-mile walk through the Elkmont historic district to a strenuous 11-mile hike to Mt. Cammerer, these excursions run the gamut of outdoor adventure in the Smokies.

This year’s keynote speaker is Sam Venable of the Knoxville News Sentinel. He will be speaking on Jan. 12 about “How To Tawlk and Rite Good: An Introduction to the Native Tongue of Southern Appalachia.”

If you’re planning on being in town for Wilderness Wildlife Week, expect something new each day. In all, there are 142 new programs for 2013. Topics range from the “Wonderful Waterfalls of Tennessee,” “Being Bear Smart,” “Searching for Panthers in the Smokies,” “Wild Hog Management in Great Smoky Mountains National Park” and “Advanced Possomology” (songs and stories about possums presented by folklorist Doug Elliott). Other notable programs include workshops surrounding the heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Children can come and have a great time this year as 19 specific programs are planned to get kids involved in the park. An outdoor photography gets children interested in the animals of the Smokies, a beginner’s hiking tour, the importance of owls and knowing how to act if you encounter a bear are just a few of the fun events for kids during the 23rd annual Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge.

One of the more popular events each year are the nature photography workshops instruction on taking pictures and editing images can be gathered from a handful of the region’s most accomplished photographers. Those aren’t the only experts that will be featured this coming year during Wilderness Wildlife Week. Over 200 leading voices in the fields of nature photography, biology, social history, and music, as well as a number of local who grew up around the park make up an exciting week.

In 2012, 33 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, England and New Zealand were represented during the Pigeon Forge event. It’s been named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event on 10 separate occasions.

For additional details on Wilderness Wildlife Week, including schedules and hike information, visit or call 1-800-251-9100.

2013 Pigeon Forge Calendar of Events


23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week (Jan. 12 – 19) – An entire week of nature programming including hikes, seminars, and workshops. Music Road Hotel & Convention Center.

3rd Annual Professional Ice Carving Competition (Jan. 19) – Titanic Museum Attraction, 9 am – 3 pm. Watch the world’s most celebrated ice sculptors chisel 250-pound blocks of ice into fantastic designs. This free one-day family event takes place during Pigeon Forge Winterfest in Titanic’s outdoor entertainment center. Professionals and amateurs will compete for prize monies. For more information, call 800-381-7670.


Sweetheart Month at Titanic Pigeon Forge (Feb. 1 – 28) – Experience love the entire month of February as we tribute romance and lasting love of couples everywhere.

Saddle Up! (Feb. 21 – 24) – Participants enjoy cowboy entertainment and activities. The award-winning Stories & Strings program returns. Register to experience three other concerts, a chuck wagon cookoff, and The Cowboy Dance. Finish out the event with Cowboy Church on Sunday.


Smoky Mountain Springfest (March 12 – June 2) – Marks the beginning of springtime throughout the Smoky Mountains. Experience the brightest spring blooms and buds. Celebrate the melting of snow and the arrival of green grass and home-spun spring-themed events and activities. Smoky Mountain Springfest is March 12 – June 2, 2013.

A Mountain Quiltfest (March 12 – 16) – Each year Quiltfest welcomes over 20,000 visitors from around the country to the Pigeon Forge area. Quilting enthusiasts bring their work to Pigeon Forge and compete in a world-renown, multi-category quilt show.

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show (March 29 – 31) – Unique handcrafted gifts and products produced by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are placed on display and offered for sale as they host their annual Easter show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.


The 6th Annual Mountain Man Memorial March (April 19 – 20) – One of the largest Gold Star Family recognition ceremonies in the southeast. The Mountain Man Memorial March begins on Friday, April 19th at 8:00 pm. in front of Ripley’s Aquarium where the Gold Star Family Ceremony will take place.

Spring Grand Rod Run (April 19 – 21) – TBA in Pigeon Forge, TN. 1-800-241-4444

63rd Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (April 23 – 27) – An annual five-day event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park consisting of a variety of wildflower, fauna, and natural history walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and indoor seminars.

Princess Tea Party at Titanic Pigeon Forge (April 27) – Space is very limited, and reservations are required. Call 1-800-381-7670.


11th Anniversary Yellow Mustang Show (May 3 – 5) – at The Inn at Christmas Place.

Dolly Parade (May 3) – 6 pm on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN. Dolly has been holding her annual Dolly Parade here in Pigeon Forge. This event kicks off Springfest in the Smoky Mountains and usually draws about 50,000 Dolly lovers and spectators from all over the country. It’s fun, it’s free, and you get to see Dolly herself.

28th Annual Dolly Parade (May 10) – The one and only Dolly Parton rides atop a spectacular float as the Grand Marshal of her annual namesake parade. Join the merriment at 6:00 pm on the Parkway as festive floats, marching bands, and local celebrities pass by. Dolly Parade Photo Gallery

Shrine FunFest Parade (May 11) – 9 am on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN

Annual F-100 Supernationals & All Ford Show (May 16 – 18) – located at Grand Hotel & Convention Center. For more information, call (865) 465-9644 or visit

Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass (May 17 – 18) – Enjoy great food and world-class bluegrass music in downtown Sevierville, TN.


Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge (June 7 – 9) – See some of the most gorgeous Pontiacs around. Be sure to attend the 13th Annual show June 7-9, 2013.

All Chevy Supernationals (June 14 – 15) – TBA For more information, call (423) 465-5855.

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales (June 21 – August 10) – A special time in Gatlinburg, TN featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans performing throughout the streets.


Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales (July 1 – 31) – A special time in Gatlinburg, TN featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans performing throughout the streets.

4th of July Midnight Parade (July 3 – 4) – This is the 38th annual parade and billed as “First July Fourth Parade in the Nation!” Parade starts at the stroke of midnight the night of July 3rd in order to officially begin Independence Day on July 4th.

Patriot Festival (July 4) – at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (July 19 – 28) – Come to Gatlinburg Convention Center and see over 150 booths featuring some of the nation’s finest arts and crafts. Artisans demonstrate their skills offer their original artworks for sale. Enjoy live country & bluegrass. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily, Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales (August 1 – 11) – A special time in Gatlinburg, TN featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans performing throughout the streets. Enjoy performers through August 11.

Kidabra (August 6 – 9) – The International Association of Family & Kidshow Performers Annual Convention – Registration required. Free Kids Show periodically during convention – call for schedule. Grand Finale Public Show is Friday August 9, 2013 – 8:00 pm admission. (336) 492-7870


Shades of the Past Rod Run (September 6 – 7) – For more information call Dan Draper at (865) 995-2009 or visit

Grand Fall Rod Run (September 12 – 15) – Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. View the 2012 Fall Grand Rod Run Photo Gallery.


Circle Yer Wagens (October 5 – 6) – Volkswagen Show and Swap Meet at Sevier County Fairgrounds. For more information, call (865) 453-0770.

Dollywood’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

If you’re into musicals, and especially Christmas musicals, you’re going to love Dollywood’s version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This magical story surrounding Santa Claus’ Christmas Eve visit is set to some familiar holiday tunes and the choreography  will leave you speechless as you enjoy Dollywood’s rendition of a true Christmas miracle.

Featuring a 12-member cast and a 4-piece band, no holiday corner or crack is left unattended to as the cast tells the wondrous  “Twas the Night Before Christmas classic set to music and song. The stage is located at the Rivertown Junction area of Dollywood and shows run at 4:45, 6:45, and 8:15 pm throughout Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

Stepping through the park gates, you know it’s Christmastime at Dollywood. You’re met by a giant snowman standing beside a larger than life candy cane stands guard as you approach the turnstiles. Thousands of colorful lights adorn The Emporium, the bakery, and the Showstreet Palace. Yes, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is underway!

As you walk through the park it is difficult not to feel the chill in the air, even though it may be 70 degrees outside. Reindeer, elves and dozens of other colorful characters line the walkways throughout the park and icicles fall from brightly lit trees.

Just below Dollywood’s Celebrity Theater a Christmas Tree decorated with blue lights and snowflakes replaces the water in the fountain that run the rest of the year. A short distance away you will find one of Dollywood’s most popular Christmas attractions, The Carol of the Trees. This light and music celebration is nestled on the lake between Aunt Granny’s all-you-can-eat holiday buffet and the now still waters of the Smoky Mountain River Rampage.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas runs through the end of December. The big change will be in the actual hours as Dollywood’s Christmas in the Smokies festival mainly occurs during the evening hours. Show dates and times can be found on And as alway, if you purchase a 2013 Season Pass, you’ll get into next December’s Dollywood Christmas in the Smokies for FREE.