Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Bluegrass Artists Headline Two-Night Concert Feb. 10-11 To Benefit Dollywood Foundation Wildfire Scholarship Fund

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Jan 10, 2017)—A lineup of bluegrass music’s top artists is scheduled to perform Feb. 10-11 in Pigeon Forge with proceeds from ticket sales to benefit the Dollywood Foundation Wildfire Scholarship Fund.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Grascals, Flatt Lonesome, and Volume 5 will take the stage on Friday, Feb. 10. The Lonesome River Band, Barry Bales & Friends, Newtown, Dave Adkins Band, and Jimbo Whaley & Greenbriar perform on Saturday, Feb. 11, during a two-night bluegrass celebration to benefit those affected by recent wildfires in East Tennessee.

“For these stellar artists to step up and donate their time and talents to support Sevier County families is beyond belief,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “This two-night music event will help ensure that Sevier County students receive scholarship funds and that’s an important investment in the students’ future—and ours.”

“As an East Tennessee native, I’ve been especially moved by the mountain tough spirit of my neighbors in the aftermath of this event,” said Lawson. “I am excited and humbled to participate in this two-night bluegrass celebration offering relief and support for some well-deserving folks.” Lawson was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, and resides in Bristol, Tennessee. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Hall of Fame, seven–time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year Award winner and has four Grammy Award nominations for best bluegrass album.

General admission tickets are $30 per person for each concert, or a two-concert ticket is available for $50 per person (ticketing service and handling fees not included). Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 18, at knoxvilletickets.com or at the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism offices (open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) located at the LeConte Center (135 Jake Thomas Road). For more information, please visit http://mypf.social/smokymtnstrongbluegrasscelebration.

Dolly Parton established the Dollywood Foundation Scholarship Fund to provide support for Sevier County students to attend the university of their choice. The scholarship fund includes the Dolly Parton Scholarship, awarded annually to a student at each of Parton’s native Sevier County’s five high schools. In November 2016, the fund presented the One Million Children Scholarship, a special $30,000 scholarship awarded to a two-year-old Imagination Library participant to commemorate the literacy program’s achievement of a monthly enrollment of one million children. The Wildfire Scholarship will provide financial aid to students whose homes were lost to the fires.

Sevier County firefighters and first responders along with families currently participating in the My People Fund distribution will be special guests at the concerts.

Friday’s concert begins at 5 p.m.; Saturday’s show starts at 4 p.m. (doors open an hour prior to each concert).

The concert is sponsored by the City of Pigeon Forge and the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge with talent provided by Moonstruck Management. Sound and lighting is donated by Blue Ridge Sound; Stellar Visions and Sound is donation staging. Catering is provided by Bullfish Grill. Other sponsors include the Sevier County Economic Development Council. WDVX radio is the official media sponsor.

Media contact:         Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189

 

Pigeon Forge Evacuation Lifted, No Injuries Reported

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Nov. 29, 2016)—Mandatory emergency evacuations have been lifted in Pigeon Forge in East Tennessee following Monday’s (Nov. 28) wildfires. No injuries are reported in Pigeon Forge as officials work toward the completion of a city-wide assessment.

Monday night’s rainfall helped crews battle the blazes. “We were prepared for the rain to come and for receiving no rain at all,” said Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson. “Fortunately, the rain came but the other conditions—specifically, the high winds—we experienced on Monday night subsided. We were able to avoid the dramatic spread of wildfires as we entered the second day, bringing much more favorable conditions overall.”

Much-improved weather conditions on Tuesday (Nov. 29) allowed Pigeon Forge Fire Department officials and ground crews to conduct a damage assessment of the area. At this time, approximately 100 firefighters and first responders have completed an assessment of the city and 90 percent of the outlying rural areas. Crews were hampered by downed power lines which still block access to some areas.

More than 100 structures in the county were destroyed along with 15 residential properties in the city.

“As of Tuesday afternoon, we have 40 total units on the ground responding to 10 active spot fires outside of the city,” said Watson.

Local crews and outside resources are continuing efforts to complete the area-wide assessment. Approximately 100 firefighters, including those from Pigeon Forge and 15 additional stations from throughout East Tennessee, are assisting. Tennessee Emergency Management Association officials remain on site in Pigeon Forge to support local officials.

As Pigeon Forge returns to normal for the majority of the city’s 6,000 permanent residents and its visiting guests, “Our thoughts and prayers remain with our neighbors in Gatlinburg who endured greater destruction and loss of life and property,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster.

Approximately 125 people remain displaced and in local emergency shelters in Pigeon Forge. City officials estimate that 500 people were evacuated on Monday night. The American Red Cross provided assistance at The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge and the Pigeon Forge Community Center, the area’s two largest shelters.

The American Red Cross makes available the website Safeandwell.communityos.org for communication between those affected by disasters. Those wanting to locate a friend or loved one or anyone wanting to check-in as safe may visit this site for updates.

Ways to aid in disaster relief can be found by visiting redcross.org/donate. To donate by check or to this specific cause, complete this donation form by printing and mailing to the American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839. To volunteer with the American Red Cross, particularly after the evacuation and during the wildfire recovery, visit redcross.org/volunteers.

#

Trish McGee

865-654-6242

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

Pigeon Forge Wildfire Update

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee—Nov. 29, 2016—As a result of the wildfires on Monday, Nov. 28, Pigeon Forge has multiple active brush fires at this time. Crews are on the ground working to extinguish and contain them.

In the city of Pigeon Forge, nine residential structures have been destroyed by fire.

Due to downed power lines, there are areas that the Pigeon Forge Fire Department has been unable to access. Firefighters are working with the local electric department to manage this situation.

In addition to local firefighters, outside resources are being put into place throughout the area.

Approximately 125 people are displaced and remain in local emergency shelters in Pigeon Forge.

Approximately 100 firefighters from 15 additional stations throughout East Tennessee are assisting the efforts.

Tennessee Emergency Management Association officials are currently on site in Pigeon Forge to support local officials.

The American Red Cross makes available the website Safeandwell.communityos.org for communication between those affected by disasters. Those wanting to locate a friend or loved one or anyone wanting to check-in as safe may visit this site for updates.

Ways to aid in disaster relief can be found by visiting redcross.org/donate. To donate by check or to this specific cause, complete this donation form by printing and mailing to the American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839. To volunteer with the American Red Cross, particularly after the evacuation and during the wildfire recovery, visit redcross.org/volunteers.

Donations are being accepted at the Pigeon Forge Fire Hall Station 1 in Pigeon Forge.

#

Trish McGee

865-654-6242

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

 

 

Pigeon Forge Wildfire Update

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Nov. 29, 2016)—Firefighters continue to battle wildfires in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Approximately 500 people evacuated on Monday evening and took shelter in Pigeon Forge facilities. At this time, 75 people remain in the shelter. The Red Cross is assisting those who were displaced.

According to Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson, there are multiple active fires in Pigeon Forge that crews are working to contain.  Power outages continue in various areas of the city. At daybreak, emergency crews began a damage assessment of the area.

More than 100 firefighters from 15 additional stations throughout East Tennessee are battling the blazes.

Tennessee Emergency Management Association officials are currently on site in Pigeon Forge to support local officials.

The American Red Cross makes available the website Safeandwell.communityos.org for communication between those affected by disasters. Those wanting to locate a friend or loved one or anyone wanting to check-in as safe may visit this site for updates.

Donations are being accepted at the Pigeon Forge Fire Hall Station 1 at 3229 Rena Street in Pigeon Forge.

#

Pigeon Forge Winterfest Welcomes Guests with Five Million Lights, New Attractions; Annual celebration slated for Nov. 8-Feb. 28, 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2016)—Draped in more than five million lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for guests to enjoy during the city’s annual Winterfest celebration (Nov. 8-Feb. 28).

Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, the family friendly destination brings new meaning to sparkle, twinkle and glow as colorful light displays depicting popular characters and playful scenes illuminate the city’s six-lane Parkway from one end to the other.

“Whether folks are visiting Pigeon Forge for the first time or making a return trip, Winterfest is the perfect occasion to share those moments that become memories,” said Leon Downey, executive director of tourism for the city of Pigeon Forge. “It’s a special time of year, and we’re proud to offer folks something new to experience alongside the many traditions they’ve come to expect in Pigeon Forge.”

This year, several new attractions expand the scope of Winterfest, giving families more reasons to visit:

  • The Island in Pigeon Forge unveils $1.5 million in new Christmas experiences for guests. All-new decorations are showcased throughout the 23-acre property, including approximately 40,000 ornaments, half a million lights and more than 5,000 feet of garland. Guests are treated to three new Christmas trees, including one that stands 40 feet tall and allows guests to walk through. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their new workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music. Paula Deen presides over The Island’s annual tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. There is no admission fee to enjoy the Christmas décor.
  • Dollywood recently announced the $2.5 million addition of Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors, featuring new floats, specialty characters and songs. The park also adds a new show to its entertainment lineup with the stage production It’s a Wonderful Life. Both are part of Dollywood’s award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival (Nov. 5-Jan. 1, 2017).
  • Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure Dinner & Show puts a new spin on the holidays with an all-new Christmas show. This year, it is Christmas in Timber Ridge and the competition is on to see which lumber camp family is the best at growing and supplying the best Christmas trees in all the land. A cast of lumberjacks, “lumberjills” and “lumberjacrobats” bring this fast-paced, high-energy Christmas spectacular to life. A show-stopping Nativity scene, set to the sounds of Dolly’s own recording of The Little Drummer Boy, celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.

Other Winterfest highlights include:

  • The Titanic Attraction’s fourth annual Thanksgiving fireworks spectacular on Thursday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. Festivities also include a whimsical parade of costumed steampunk revelers. 
  • The Inn at Christmas Place welcomes Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of literary master Charles Dickens, on Nov. 6-8. In his seventh year at the property, Dickens performs his one-man enactment of A Christmas Carol. New for 2016, Inn at Christmas Place offers afternoon tea featuring A Child’s Journey with Dickens on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3 p.m.

Details about all aspects of Winterfest are available at www.mypigeonforge.com.

 

#

LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, National Quartet Convention Ink Five-Year Contract Extension

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 26, 2016) – The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge and the National Quartet Convention (NQC) have committed to a five-year contract extension that keeps the gospel music event in Pigeon Forge through 2021.

The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge hosted NQC in 2014 and 2015. This year’s event is slated for Sept. 25-Oct. 1.

“Four years ago, the NQC and the city of Pigeon Forge announced plans for the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge to host the NQC for two years,” said Leon Downey, Pigeon Forge executive director of tourism. “Given NQC’s extremely successful track record and prior attendance, our city and our facility pledged to host this event in such a way that both the NQC and Pigeon Forge would be proud. This five-year commitment proves that, together, we’ve delivered on that promise.”

Combined attendance for NQC’s first two years at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge is 67,000. Of the city’s more than 14,000 rooms, NQC attendees have reserved an estimated 94,269 paid room nights in 2014 and 2015 for the seven-day event. In its first two years, NQC delivered total attendee spending of more than $32.5 million across a variety of categories including lodging, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, groceries and gasoline.

Pigeon Forge’s quantity and variety of accommodations, the family-friendly atmosphere and the setting at the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park were major reasons for the event to come to Pigeon Forge, according to Clarke Beasley, executive vice president of the National Quartet Convention.

“The NQC and Pigeon Forge share the same family values,” said Beasley, “We’re pleased to let our fans know that we’ve established our home for the next five years in a facility that shares our passion for presenting the best in gospel music. Next year, we’ll mark the NQC’s 60th anniversary at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.”

Opened in October 2013, the 232,000-square-foot LeConte Event Center represents a $50 million investment on behalf of the city of Pigeon Forge. In its first three years of operation, the facility has hosted large assembly events, trade shows and expositions, competitive events and special events. Groups from 1,500 to 12,000 attend events in the 100,500-square-foot, clear-span (no columns) exhibit space with up to 17 separate breakout rooms.

JD Sumner, a gospel music legend and former backup singer for Elvis Presley, founded the NQC in 1957 and co-produced it with James Blackwood.

Lineup for the 2016 NQC event include the Hoppers, Greater Vision, Jim Brady Trio, Whisnants, Tribute Quartet, Jason Crabb, Triumphant, Kingdom Heirs, the Mark Trammell Quartet and many others.

Contact:

Trish Mcgee

615-327-1189

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

 

Veterans Services Commissioner Grinder To Serve as Grand Marshal in Pigeon Forge Parade

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Aug. 24, 2016)—Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder will serve as grand marshal of the annual Veterans Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 9 a.m. on the Parkway.

The Veterans Homecoming Parade, (which begins at traffic light 8 on the Parkway and travels north to traffic light 5 where it concludes) is the highlight of the city’s monthlong Celebrate Freedom! event in August which honors America’s heroes for their service and sacrifice. Service members, veterans, police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders are entitled to various discounts at participating businesses. More information is available at MyPigeonForgeCelebrateFreedom.

“Our service men and women, past and present, are certainly worthy of our appreciation and acknowledgment,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The city of Pigeon Forge devotes the month of August to honoring these deserving folks, like Commissioner Grinder, who sacrifice so much for the many freedoms we enjoy.”

Grinder was appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011.  Colonel Grinder is the first female in the state to serve as Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services.  The retired colonel served more than 35 years in the Tennessee Army National Guard before accepting her current appointment.

“Traveling the state to meet with, recognize and serve Tennessee’s veterans is an incredible honor,” Grinder said. “Listening to the stories of our fellow veterans continues to increase my gratitude for their sacrifices, courage and continued contribution to our state and country.  The Volunteer State was built and thrives on the spirit of these amazing men and women.”

Grinder earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College and a master’s degree in human resource development from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Grinder is a Bronze Star medal recipient and an Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran.

 

#

Contact:         Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

865-654-6242

 

Three Months of Ripken Experience: 363 Teams, 23 States, $6.7 Million

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2016) – The first three months of youth baseball tournaments at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge have been everything the city expected – and perhaps more.

“Baseball lives on statistics, and the numbers coming out of the Ripken Experience are awesome. Visitor spending of $6.7 million in Pigeon Forge is simply wonderful,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager, who worked closely on development of the $22.5 million project.

Cal Ripken Jr., a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball, cut the ribbon on the six-field complex on March 9. The first tournament was March 12-13. Ripken Baseball has a 10-year contract to manage the facility.

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

From mid-March through the third week of June, there have been 11 tournaments that drew 363 teams from 23 states. The Alaska Quakes from Anchorage traveled the greatest distance to play on the fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

“The 363 teams and their followers, almost 18,000 people, benefit Pigeon Forge in many ways. They stay in our hotels, they dine in our restaurants and they have fun at our attractions and theaters,” Brackins said, noting that tournament scheduling gives them plenty of recreational time.

The appeal of Pigeon Forge as a family vacation destination was a major reason the city built the complex and contracted with Ripken Baseball to operate it.

“We were confident Ripken Baseball could attract teams, and we were equally confident Pigeon Forge would appeal to the players’ families. We’re attracting new people to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies, and we know that new visitors are almost certain to return for future vacations,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

The Southeast, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic produced the greatest number of teams in the first three months. There were 144 teams from Tennessee, 43 from Georgia, 37 from North Carolina and 24 from Ohio.

In addition to Alaska, other distant states that produced teams included Wisconsin, Texas and Massachusetts.

A tournament with 44 teams from 16 states and Canada in the last days of June will push the team total to more than 400.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engle Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will host tournaments nine months out of the year and offer year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and toll-free at 800-251-9100.

#

Contact:

Tom Adkinson

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

 

Pigeon Forge’s July 4 Patriot Festival To Feature Joe Diffie, Fireworks Spectacular

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2016) – Grand Ole Opry member and Grammy Award winner Joe Diffie will rock Patriot Festival, Pigeon Forge’s annual blowout to celebrate July 4, immediately before a spectacular fireworks show brightens the sky over this Great Smoky Mountains resort city.

Activity begins at noon, and onstage entertainment begins at 1:30 p.m. for guests at Patriot Park.  Admission is free.

Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie

In addition to a variety of local entertainers, music will come from Emily Ann Roberts, who placed second on NBC’s “The Voice,” and Tribute, a celebration of the Allman Brothers Band.

Patriot Festival guests will recognize Diffie’s songs that will come from his 20 Top 10 hits and his 13 albums. Count on sing-alongs to “John Deere Green,” “ Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox” and “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets).”

Food and family games are part of the day’s activities, and guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Free parking will be at Patriot Park and the city’s Teaster Lane parking lot. A free shuttle will run from the Teaster Lane lot.

Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m., and WIVK-FM in Knoxville will simulcast the fireworks show’s patriotic soundtrack.

Patriot Festival in Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge

Patriot Festival in Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge

#

Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

 

 

 

Lucky Winners To Get Exclusive Concert from Maddie & Tae in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 20, 2016) – The duo of Maddie & Tae is one of country music’s hot new acts, and the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism has booked the two highly declarative singers for a exclusive concert on July 31.

The audience will be limited to approximately 100 winners of the no-cost-to-enter Maddie & Tae Pigeon Forge Getaway sweepstakes that concludes May 31. To enter, visit MyPigeonForge.com/maddieandtae.

Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae

Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye brought their distinctive styles from Sugar Land, Texas, and Ada, Oklahoma, to Nashville in 2014 and scored immediate hits on their first album, “Start Here,” released in August 2015. The Academy of Country Music named them the 2015 Vocal Duo of the Year.

“Girl In A Country Song” got instant acknowledgement from NPR, Rolling Stone and David Letterman, and songs such as “Shut Up and Fish,” “Fly” and “Sierra” are securing new fans for Maddie & Tae.

“The music of Maddie & Tae is a treat, and the singers themselves are wonderful people. We wanted to present them to an appreciative and intimate audience, and we hope our contest winners become fans of Maddie & Tae and of Pigeon Forge,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

In addition to the concert, winners will meet Maddie & Tae and will receive a three-night Pigeon Forge vacation that includes admission to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, admission to almost two dozen other Pigeon Forge attractions, and $500 for travel expenses.

Pigeon Forge, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of America’s top family vacation destinations. Each year, more than 10 million people visit Pigeon Forge.

Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 800-251-9100.

#

 

Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796