Tuesday, December 30, 2008

59th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage

Just to give you an idea of how incredibly popular and important this event is to Sevier County, take into consideration this event is nearly 60 years old. This event is older than most of the people who attend, yet is fun and accessible for all ages and levels of botanical interest.

If you're looking for the one thing to do to really get into the Great Smoky Mountains, THIS IS IT. This is the main event. The Wildflower Pilgrimage offers over 150 things to do across 4 days. Lectures, walks, hiking tours, guests and demonstrations showcase the incredible depth of natural life here in the Smoky Mountains. There will be photography workshops, herb lore classes and something called an "armchair" tour of Cades Cove. You can expect to find many of these classes at the W.L. Mills Conference Center on Airport Road in downtown Gatlinburg. And don't forget the art show!

The Art Show?

You heard me. The 2009 Spring Wildflower art competition will highlight many images and interpretations of the Appalachian flora and fauna. With a strong artistic community foundating Gatlinburg, you could almost see it coming.

All of the above and more are sponsored by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the City of Gatlinburg, The University of Tennessee, Friends of the Smokies, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society and the Gatlinburg Garden Club...

...so yeah, it's really a big deal.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saddle Up!
Revisit those old cowboy dreams during Saddle Up! in Pigeon Forge.

In addition to concert performances, where you'll hear the best in western music and cowboy poetry, Saddle Up! also features a Cowboy Symphony, the Old Mill Chuckwagon Cook-Off, a western swing dance and Cowboy Church.

Appearing at Saddle Up! 2009 are musicians Wylie and The Wild West, the Quebe Sisters Band, Andy Wilkinson, Juni Fisher and Andy Hedges, along with cowboy poets/storytellers Paul Zarzyski, Kent Rollins and Jim Hawkins.

The Cowboy Symphony includes a 45-piece orchestra performing with Wylie & the Wild West, who also will lend their talents to the Saturday Night dance.

Chuckwagons from throughout the Southeast and beyond will compete for prizes in the second annual cook-off, sponsored by the Old Mill.

Other Saddle Up! activities include the Slice of Pure Country Celebrity Breakfast and Sunday's Chuckwagon Lunch which follows Cowboy Church at Stages West.

The 9th Annual Saddle Up! is Feb. 19-22, 2009. Learn more at mypigeonforge.com/saddleup

Appalachia Fest in Pigeon Forge

The musical component of Wilderness Wildlife Week, AppalachiaFest is an evening of traditional mountain music. Three outstanding musicians will headline the 2009 event: Tim O'Brien, Dirk Powell, and Riley Baugus.O'Brien is a Grammy award winner and all three played parts on the "Cold Mountain" movie soundtrack.

Rounding out the AppalachiaFest lineup is Boogertown Gap, a duo that performs old-time mountain, folk and Celtic Music.

Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 17 and younger. Tickets are available at 1-800-792-4308. The event is co-sponsored by WDVX radio in Knoxville, TN.

The 3rd Annual AppalachiaFest is Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at Country Tonite Theatre. Learn more at mypigeonforge.com/music.