Posts Tagged ‘Pigeon Forge’

Explore Rare Crime Artifacts from Tennessee, Across the Country at Alcatraz East Crime Museum

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (July 2017) –Those living in and visiting the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area will find a wide range of rare crime and law enforcement artifacts on display at the new Alcatraz East Crime Museum. The variety of objects on display offer an up close and personal look at the stories of some of the most notorious people and crimes in American and Tennessee history, located practically in your own backyard.

“For those looking for something new, different, and interesting, Alcatraz East Crime Museum is the perfect place to visit,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “Our guests enjoy learning about infamous crimes, the people involved, and how they can help prevent crime themselves. There’s something for everyone at the museum, from children learning about safety tips to adults seeing how good their aim is.”

The museum is the home to artifacts, which include firearms, CSI equipment, prison art, and automobiles, come from hundreds of justice and law enforcement divisions nationwide, including several from the state of Tennessee. This includes Tennessee police badges, the polygraph machine used on Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, items belonging to outlaw Jesse James, confiscated moonshine stills, a display on Dr. William M. Bass of the Body Farm, and the museum’s newest addition, the original CBC (super glue) machine and patent, designed to lift fingerprints from bodies, invented by Sevier County native Arthur M. Bohanan. One of the centerpieces of the new museum is Tennessee’s electric chair, “Old Smokey,” that was used in 125 executions from 1916-1960.

Additionally, the museum features numerous Tennessee stories, such as the Scopes Monkey Trial, legendary lawman Sheriff Buford Pusser, Machine Gun Kelly’s Memphis capture, local presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, and the shootings in Chattanooga. The collection also includes prison art from the Tennessee State Prison, leatherwork from the Brushy Mountain State Prison, a Sevier County Sheriff’s Office patrol car, and a Pigeon Forge Police uniform. There are also rotating temporary exhibits, currently including one on wildlife trafficking, which explores how species, including local black bears, are affected by poaching and what citizens can do to help address the problem.

“Whether your interests are to see the famous O.J. Simpson white Bronco or the Natalee Holloway dedication, there is a wide variety of stories to explore,” states Vaccarello, “Visitors from across the country come to visit the museum and always find something that is personal to them or their state; Alcatraz East Crime Museum has quickly become a must-see attraction!”

Alcatraz East officially joined the ranks of fun and family friendly Sevier County options on December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Guests can also enjoy free parking available at The Island during their visit.

The museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

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CONTACT:
Cher Murphy
Cher@chermurphypr.com
571-263-2128

Amazing Animals™ Pet Show returns for second season at Comedy Barn® Theater in Pigeon Forge

 Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 7, 2017 –The Comedy Barn® Theater’s all new original “Amazing Animals” ™ matinee show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is back for a second summer season.  “Amazing Animals” ™ features trained pigs, parrots, housecats, dogs and a mini-donkey all performing together in a pet show at The Comedy Barn® Theater at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  The show runs through Saturday, Aug. 12.

“Animals are the most amazing creatures and our ‘Amazing Animals’ Pet Show features animal antics, zany comedy and a cast of fuzzy, furry, feathered and four legged friends,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group and co-owner of The Comedy Barn® Theater.  “We have a wonderful mix of music, comedy, mayhem and animals.”

“Come experience our ‘Amazing Animals’ show,” said Jim Hedrick, co-owner of The Comedy Barn Theater.  “We are very pleased to add to the cast this year the remarkable ventriloquist talent of Kyle Scribner. Kyle has some amazing animal puppets which come to life, and they will make you laugh until you cry.”

Hedrick said, “We have also added two new trained pigs to the cast this year that will leave you dazed and amazed.  You will love the showdown between the “Hatdawgs and the McCaws.”

Anthony, Alena King and their trained “comedy critters” perform in the “Amazing Animals” ™ pet show. They have performed at The Comedy Barn® Theater for the last four years.  They have appeared on Animal Planet’s “Pet Star,”  “The Tonight Show,” and at theme parks, festivals, fairs, pet expos, conventions and corporate events across the country. They have also performed in theaters in Branson, Mo., in “The Comedy Pet Variety Show” in Lakeland, Fla., as well as in the Royal Hanneford Circus.

“Tony and Alena King are bringing back their amazing animal act to The ‘Amazing Animal’ Pet Show,” Fee said.  “Tony and Alena are phenomenally talented animal trainers and performers, and it is incredible what their animals can do.  Tony and Alena have a unique, family friendly act that combines their extraordinary pets with magic, acrobatics and audience participation. They have rescued most of these animals from shelters all over the country, and now they are Pigeon Forge stars.

“Come see Tony’s mini pigs ham it up at The Comedy Barn,” Fee said.  “These pigs can even check the mail!”  Pig stars Boris Bacon and Jessie Ham perform comedy, do flag rising, hurdle jumping, mail checking, ball playing, bell ringing and pig waltzing, and they even roll out the red carpet!

Ten high-diving domestic housecats all perform in a comedy routine. They jump through hoops, zig zag, do a high step routine, balance on an Olympic pole, upside-down walk, do super jumps, and they even do a high diving stunt.

Fee said, “Also starring in The Amazing Animals show at The Comedy Barn Theater is a Comedy Barn Canine act where the dogs do hurdle jumps and barrel rolls, they roll over, they do a hind leg stand and they even jump rope.”

Charlie the communicating mini-donkey is another part of “The Amazing Animals” ™  show.  “Charlie is the only donkey in Pigeon Forge who understands humans,” Fee said.  “The audience can watch him shake his head yes or no to their questions. He can also add, subtract and even guess people’s age.

“This show also has trained birds,” said Fee.  “Come see birds flying through rings right over your head,” Fee said.  “They also do comedy, skate, ride scooters and bicycles, perform on the high wire, dance, pull carts, see-saw, do foot juggling, fly through rings and many other feats.”

King is a former accomplished aerialist and high wire walker. “We are animal lovers,” King said. His wife, Alena, is originally from Russia and attended circus school in Russia.  She is a former aerialist and fire spinner.

Country magician Greg Franklin, known as “Farmer Clem” in “The Comedy Barn®” show, also appears in the “Amazing Animals” ™ show. He previously worked at the Carolina Nights Dinner Theater in Maggie Valley. There will also be a magical appearance from Lindsay Hamm as she reprises her role as the Pink Panther and stage assistant.  Hamm was a member of last year’s “Amazing Animals” ™ cast and has also previously performed in “Magic Beyond Belief.” ™   The production team includes:  David Fee and Jim Hedrick, executive producers; Clare Lewis, director; Justin Manning and David Rains, sound and lights; and Nora Wasden and Steven Foldenauer, stage technicians.

For more information visit AmazingAnimals.com or call the box office at (865) 428-5222 or 1-800-29-LAUGH. Ticket prices are $29.95 plus tax for adults and $9.95 plus tax for children ages 3 to 11.  The theater is located at 2775 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including “The Smoky Mountain Opry,™” “The Comedy Barn,” ®  The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud,™” “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo,” and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”

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CONTACT:  Deborah Fee Newsom

(865) 414-6887 or (865) 774-8877; Deborah@FeeHedrick.com

 

 

O.J. Bronco Displayed at Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge 22 Years Later

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (June 6, 2017) – The anniversary of the scene made famous when 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson flee the police in a white Bronco is quickly approaching. June 17, 1994 is a date many recall because of the news he made that day, having been accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend. Rather than turn himself in, as ordered by police, the former football star fled with cameras rolling and millions watching. Today, that infamous white 1993 Ford Bronco is on display Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Although the vehicle has been largely out of the public eye for two decades, it came back into the public eye in 2016 with the popularity of the shows “O.J.: Made in America” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

“We are fortunate to have this piece of history in our collection,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “It’s something that many of us watched and remember, as it sparked so many conversations that influenced our views. This case was important for so many aspects of law enforcement from police procedures to DNA.”

It is estimated that 150 million people tuned into the verdict in the Simpson trial in 1995 where he was acquitted. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery, where he remains, but is eligible for parole later this year.

“This is a part of our country’s history that millions are interested in,” states Vaccarello, “Visitors are coming to the museum just to see the infamous Bronco and our other Simpson artifacts.  There’s nothing quite like seeing such an iconic piece first-hand.”

The Bronco was kept hidden in a garage between Las Vegas and California for years but was always kept in running condition and preserved in the same condition as it was in 1994. Simpson’s previous sports manager, Mike Gilbert, worked directly with the museum to handle the preservation of this important piece of crime history.

“When I was working with ESPN on the documentary ‘O.J.: Made in America,’ I knew there would be an increased curiosity surrounding this case,” says Michael Gilbert, co-owner of the vehicle and Simpson’s former manager. “Not only would people learn details they never heard, but there would also be a new generation learning about it for the first time.  This partnership with Alcatraz East has been important to me. I wanted the Bronco in a place where it would be protected, as well as be part of a bigger story- a part of history.”

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000 square foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

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CONTACT:

Cher Murphy

Cher@chermurphypr.com

571-263-2128

Extraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment, Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival May 26-June 4

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, May 22, 2017) —With Dollywood’s award-winning chefs offering up tasty barbeque and the biggest names in bluegrass serving up some sweet sounds, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) continues the “Year of the Family” with a special treat for the senses.

Steep Canyon Rangers (May 31), Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (June 4), Dailey & Vincent (May 29), and seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (May 28) are among the acts helping the festival reach a high note.

“There’s no doubt bluegrass holds a special place in my heart,” Dolly Parton explained. “There is something so beautiful about the sounds of that good ol’ mountain music. That’s why it’s a treat to have these great bluegrass performers, like my good friend Rhonda Vincent, at Dollywood during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. These really are the best in the business, and I’m glad we’re able to share their gifts with the guests who come visit us. Heck, I might even grab a plate of those ribs and sit down and enjoy some of the shows myself!”

This year’s festival includes a number of IBMA and Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBMA) award winners including Flatt Lonesome, a rising new group which won the 2016 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year awards. The group headlines the festival on June 3.

“Flatt Lonesome always looks forward to being part of the Dollywood Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival,” said Kelsi Robertson Harrigill of Flatt Lonesome. “It is a great event that features all our favorite things – roller coasters, barbeque and bluegrass music, and the folks that come to the shows are always so much fun to play for.  We sure hope to be part of this great festival every year!”

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival with more than 25 individual concerts scheduled each day on stages across the park. Legendary bluegrass group Hot Rize kicks off the festival on May 26, with The Gibson Brothers (May 27) and Band of Ruhks (May 28) also playing on opening weekend. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass performers include Blue Highway (June 3), Cricket Tell the Weather (June 3) and Farmhands (June 2). The lineup also includes the ETSU Pride Bluegrass Band (May 30), Carson Peters and Iron Mountain (May 26), and The Loose Strings Band (May 31). Six-String Soldiers, the bluegrass arm of the United States Army Field Band, play, appropriately enough, on Sunday, May 28 and Memorial Day Monday, May 29.

“As a singer and a songwriter who loves bluegrass music, it’s an honor to be able to play at Dollywood this year,” said Andrea Asprelli of Cricket Tell the Weather. “I first listened to Dolly on the Trio albums, and soon learned that her powerful vocals were just as inspiring as her creative, entrepreneurial and loving spirit.”

All concerts are free and included with park admission. For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit Dollywood.com.

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air, thanks to expertly-prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

From bluegrass favorites and tangy barbeque at Barbeque and Bluegrass to the park’s award-winning rides and family-friendly atmosphere, Dollywood’s Year of The Family provides amazing new memory-making moments for families to celebrate.

For more information about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit www.dollywood.com.

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About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dollywood’s Splash Country Debuts New Family Slide for 17th Season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Tuesday, May 9, 2017)—As the days grow longer and the sun a little warmer, lifeguards at Dollywood’s Splash Country become more eager to open the gates for another season of Smoky Mountain water park fun. Opening day for 2017 is Saturday, May 13 when the park debuts a new family racing slide, attraction upgrades, new parking options, a new calming area, and newly-recognized Platinum Award-winning lifeguards.

The most anticipated new-comer to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017 is TailSpin Racer, a five-story slide complex that offers six people the opportunity to race each other in a thrilling rush. From its unique spiraling, high-speed AquaTubes to its splashdown finish, it’s an all-out competition to see who can get to the end first. TailSpin Racer matches riders in a head-to-head race with the fun of a traditional mat racer-style slide and the tight turns and daring drops of an enclosed slide. Guests will immediately spot the new attraction near the front of the water park, which only adds to the excitement.

“TailSpin Racer is our first new attraction since we opened our water coaster, RiverRush,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown. “This is something our guests have been asking for and we are thrilled that we’re delivering a family slide that gives six people the chance to race at the same time.”

Dollywood’s Splash Country also is thrilled to welcome back its team of lifeguards which recently earned the prestigious Platinum International Safety Award from Ellis & Associates. These water park guards are the only team in the state of Tennessee to receive this recognition. Dollywood’s Splash Country is independently audited by a third party several times each season. E&A, a firm specializing in international aquatic safety and risk management, presented the award. In 2016, E&A had 355 clients who qualified for an award; only 10% earned the Platinum Award.  Both Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort lifeguards were honored with Platinum for their vigilance in guarding the water.

“Of all the things we’re proud of at our water park, our lifeguards deserve the highest praise,” Brown continued. “Our guests trust us to keep their families safe as they splash and play with us; our guards take their roles seriously. We expect them to be alert and aware of everything happening in their zones. They do that, and more. We have the best lifeguards in the business.”

Additionally, Dollywood’s Splash Country guests can look forward to several upgrades throughout the park. From the new option of Preferred Parking, to misters on walkways to cool feet, and new equipment to help streamline food purchases, the water park has refreshing upgrades to enhance guest comfort. And, based on the response to Dollywood’s calming room, Dollywood’s Splash Country will offer a new calming area for guests who experience sensory overload. The area provides an opportunity for individuals to take a break in a private area of the park.

Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday, May 13 with daily operation beginning on Saturday, May 20. Daily operation continues through Sunday, August 13. The park opens Aug. 15 and 17 and on weekends through Labor Day weekend until Sept. 4. For more information about Dollywood’s Splash Country or any of The Dollywood Company properties, please visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which celebrated record attendance in 2016. Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today in 2014 and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

 

Media Contacts:   Pete Owens: Public Relations Director (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Publicist (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.aspx.

Drop Line Opens May 6 At Dollywood

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Friday, May 5, 2017) — Dolly Parton declared this season at Dollywood as “The Year of the Family,” thanks to the fantastic family fun which abounds throughout 2017. Today, park officials unveiled Drop Line, a 230-foot-tall free-fall experience, to media during a special sneak preview. The ride officially opens to guests on Saturday, May 6.

Drop Line lifts guests more than 20 stories above Dollywood’s Timber Canyon. As it ascends, the ride’s gondola slowly spins around the tower, providing guests with a bird’s eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Guests shouldn’t get too comfortable with the commanding vantage point they find more than 200 feet above the ground, however. In an instant, Drop Line descends back to the ground in a thrilling rush of excitement.

“Drop Line is the perfect new attraction for Dollywood,” said the park’s General Manager Gene Scherrer. “We have a number of unique rides, but this one is unlike anything else here. Our guests will have a chance to enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery as they rise up the tower, but once they get to the top, the anticipation of the drop will certainly create memories they’ll remember for quite some time,” he added with a laugh.

Dollywood also soon will open Whistle Punk Chaser, adjacent to Drop Line and the award-winning Thunderhead wooden coaster. Whistle Punk Chaser is a junior coaster which throws exciting twists and turns at Dollywood’s younger guests, helping prepare them for the day they can join their parents aboard the park’s larger rides.

The Year of the Family continues with several exciting events and festivals, including Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) and summer at Dollywood (June 17- Aug. 6). Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 29- Oct. 28), which this year features Great Pumpkin LumiNights, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 4- Jan. 1) round out the year.

The Year of the Family continues at Dollywood’s Splash Country as well. The water park’s newest attraction, TailSpin Racer, opens along with the park on Saturday, May 13. TailSpin Racer is a six-lane, mat racer slide which certainly will see families and friends challenge each other to a wet and wild race to its splashdown finish.

For B-roll of Drop Line, please visit: https://thedollywoodcompany.sharefile.com/d-s88281ad311d4112a

For more information about Dollywood’s Year of the Family, visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

 

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About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

 

 

The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Poaching: Alcatraz East Temporary Exhibit Opening Soon

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (April 25, 2017) – When a Minnesota-based dentist paid $54,000 to trophy hunt in Zimbabwe in 2015 with a professional guide, he unknowingly was about to kill the beloved and iconic lion Cecil. The images from that hunt went viral and although the dentist’s actions were not deemed illegal, the event sparked a worldwide outcry and raised awareness about the plight of wildlife, including lions, tigers, and elephants. Since that incident, the public is increasingly committed to protect wildlife and to put a stop to the trade of illegal wildlife poaching.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion-dollar business, that involves the illegal trade of live animals and objects made from their parts. Many of the animals involved are endangered, making the practice an international crisis. Poachers either capture animals to sell, or kill them for their fur, bones, shells, and other body parts to be used in everything from traditional medicines, to clothing and jewelry. Even locally, effecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bears are poached for their gallbladders and bile, which are used in traditional medicines. Only thirty-four states explicitly ban the trade, and these parts can go for $5,000 in Asia.  Those interested in learning more about the wildlife trade can attend the temporary exhibit “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Trafficking” at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, which will open on May 15, 2017.

“This is a heartfelt exhibit that brings awareness to illegal wildlife trade, an important issue visitors won’t want to miss,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “This is a problem that is devastating to animals and the planet. The exhibit will also teach guests how to be proactive and find out how they can help.”

The exhibit was first displayed at the Crime Museum in Washington, DC in 2015 by the Center for Conservation Impact, in partnership with the Freeland Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, INTERPOL, Kashmir World Foundation, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WildAid, and Wildlife Trust of India.

“There was such a positive response to the exhibit, we felt the issue is too important to not share again with new audiences,” says Vaccarello.

Many people are unaware of how critical the poaching situation has become around the world, yet the statistics are alarming. It’s estimated that 97 percent of the world’s tigers have been lost in the last century, 76 percent of elephants have been lost during the last 13 years, and over 1,200 rhinoceros were killed last year alone. These animal populations have been depleted to supply black market demand for worthless natural medicines, jewelry and other souvenirs, and are considered status symbols, as the case with shark fin soup.

International travelers normally take home souvenirs from their trips, but what they may not realize is that the materials used to make those trinkets may have been illegally harvested from endangered and protected wildlife. These include items made from ivory and tortoise shell, so when shopping for souvenirs, it is best to ask questions about what products are made of, where it came from, as it may not be legal to bring back to the U.S. This exhibit will include items confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other border agencies.

“Wildlife trafficking is a serious epidemic that is plaguing our world due to Asia’s sensational demand for Rhino Horn, which is made from nothing more than keratin, the same as our finger nails along with Elephant Ivory made from dentine, the same as the human tooth.” explains Katie Cleary, model, film producer and writer of “Give Me Shelter” available on Netflix, and founder of World Animal News which brings you the latest breaking animal welfare news from around the world. “The more that we are educated about wildlife crimes and trafficking of endangered species and the ways to stop it, the better equipped we are to bring it to an end and protect these innocent species before it’s too late.”

Recent news headlines show this problem is ongoing, with 18 rhino horns being seized in Mozambique in April, and news being shared about the illegal animal smuggling coming across the Mexican border, including of birds and lizards to be sold as pets in the U.S.

“The collaborators are excited Alcatraz East will feature our exhibit on the important and timely topic of illegal wildlife trafficking,” says Jennifer Sevin, president of the Center for Conservation Impact, a partner in the exhibit. “From ginseng to freshwater mussels and bears, illegal wildlife trafficking is as much a local issue as it is global.”

“Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur” begins May 15, 2017 and will run through Spring 2018. Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000-square-foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

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Source:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Illegal Wildlife Trade. https://www.fws.gov/international/travel-and-trade/illegal-wildlife-trade.html

Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater Gives $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (April 21, 2017) — The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater gave $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital this week.  Jim Hedrick, co-owner of the Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater and senior vice president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group said, “Our own little employee family has been greatly helped by the amazing medical care they have received from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and thousands and thousands of children have been helped by the services of this hospital as well. We are able to donate to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital with one hundred percent of the proceeds from our Christmas Candle Program, whereby, LED candles are purchased by guests who attend “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™.” We are really touched and blessed to be able to give to this worthy organization.  It is our honor and our pleasure to donate $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.”

“I am stunned,” said Keith Goodwin, chief executive officer of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.  “We are so blessed, so thankful and so thrilled.”  The hospital plans to use the gift to fund their programs and provide assistance to families who are not able to afford services.

Also present for the check presentation were Michael Headla, general manager of The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater; East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) vice-presidents: Bruce Anderson, former legal services, Hella Ewing, patient care, Cathy Shuck, legal services, Carlton Long, institutional advancement, and presenting the big check is Jim Hedrick, sr. vice president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment and Keith Goodwin, chief executive officer, ETCH.  Surrounded by the Smoky Mountain Opry’s cast, Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear was on stage along with several Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group’s employees including Morris Turner, IT specialist, Danny Davaney, entertainer at The Comedy Barn® Theater and three of his children and Judy Caudill, general manager of The Comedy Barn® Theater, whose families have a life-time connection with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“Our company is pleased and honored to be helping East Tennessee Children’s Hospital,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment. “It is our way of giving back.  We wish all children good health.  This donation is made possible because of the tremendous support of generous guests who gave to our Christmas Candle Program because they want to help others.”

The Smoky Mountain Opry’s™ Christmas Candle Program is used to support local charitable causes. At intermission before the live nativity scene during the “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™” show, guests purchase LED souvenir candles “to hold high in honor of Christ.” The candles are held in honor of the spirit of giving at Christmas. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these candles go to the Smoky Mountain Opry™ Christmas Candle Fund. The Candle Fund has now given over $500,00 to local charities.

The “Smoky Mountain Opry™,” renowned as the must-see variety show in Pigeon Forge, recently reopened for the season with “Feel the Music,” an all-new original show with many new cast members and what Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group says is “their biggest and best show in Pigeon Forge to date.” The show has earned the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row for having a five-star average rating on their site, making the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” show one of the top-performing 10 percent of businesses worldwide on Trip Advisor. The new show features a musical journey through some of music’s greatest hits with country, Broadway, the silver screen, classic rock, gospel and patriotic numbers.

In the Dec. 2014 edition of Southern Living magazine, the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” was named the “Don’t Miss Variety Show” in Pigeon Forge.

The show runs at 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday with occasional Sunday evening shows.  It also runs at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.  For more information, visit http://www.smokymtnopry.com/ or call The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater box office at (865) 428-SHOW (7469) or 1-800-768-1170.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the Southeast, owns and produces nine shows in the Smoky Mountain area including: The “Smoky Mountain Opry™,” “The Comedy Barn®,” the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™,” “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo and the “Smith Morning Variety Show” featuring Charlie Bob Smith and friends. In November and December, the company presents “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™,” The “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud™” and “The Comedy Barn® Christmas Show.” In addition, the company produces a summer seasonal “Amazing Animals®” show at The Comedy Barn® Theater.

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East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s vision is Leading the Way to Healthy Children. Children’s Hospital is a private, independent, not-for-profit pediatric medical center that has served the East Tennessee region for more than 75 years and is certified by the state of Tennessee as a

Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center.

 

 

 

Media Contact:

Deborah Fee Newsom

Director of Public Relations and Merchandising

Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group

119 Music Road,

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

(865) 414-6887 (cell), (865) 774-8877

Deborah@FeeHedrick.com

More Than 200 Free Seminars, Outdoor Excursions Highlight Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge May 9-13

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 24, 2017)—Featuring more than 220 free sessions spanning five days, Pigeon Forge’s award-winning Wilderness Wildlife Week is set for May 9-13. The event is headquartered at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

In its 27th year, Wilderness Wildlife Week offers a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts, hikes and other activities designed to introduce or reacquaint participants of all ages with the great outdoors.

“From great speakers and interactive how-to classes to topics like Appalachian heritage and forensics, Wilderness Wildlife Week is designed to be informative, engaging and fun,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

The event’s headline sessions include Ken Jenkins, Judy Felts and Friends in a program entitled Beauty from the Ashes (May 9 at 7:45 p.m.) which features photography and inspirational music. Forensics experts Dr. Bill Bass and Art Bohanan (May 10 at 7:45 p.m.) share their findings from applying forensic science to identifying human remains, some of which were discovered in graves dating back 2,000 years. Former park ranger Dwight McCarter (May 11 at 7:15 p.m.) shares stories of search and rescue efforts in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers or those who simply want to learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park can choose from lectures about topics ranging from the area’s rich heritage to conservation. Outdoor demonstrations include backcountry cooking and blacksmithing while indoor workshops focus on quilting, basket weaving, photography, fishing and wildflowers. Sevier County’s Sevier Solid Waste management facility’s Where Did It Go? presentation will address managing debris from the November wildfire.

Hikers of all experience levels can choose from several excursions each day. Highlights include a three-mile behind-the-scenes Cades Cove Tour (May 10 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a 13.8-mile Appalachian Trail/Goshen Prong hike (May 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.), the one-mile LeConte Center Riverwalk Birding Safari (May 13 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.), and the new 2.5-mile Cades Cove Loop Night Hike (May 11 from 7:15-11 p.m.).

A special kids’ track is offered for younger outdoor enthusiasts where participants can learn more about such topics as whittling, crafting mystery stories, making art from recycled materials and more. Children ages seven to 12 can register for the free Kids’ Trout Tournament on Saturday, May 13, at 8 a.m. in Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Park pavilion.

Patriot Park also is the location of the second annual Appalachian Homecoming event on Friday, May 12, at 5 p.m., with storytelling, music, children’s games, and an antique tractor show. A limited 200 tickets ($15 in advance and $20 onsite) will be offered for a country-style picnic dinner on the grounds with proceeds benefitting Keep Sevier Beautiful.

More than 50 exhibits and vendors include the not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation, Appalachian Bear Rescue, Cades Cove Preservation Association and Onsite Heritage Museum, Keep Sevier Beautiful and more.

This spring celebration of the great outdoors is free and open to the public. For more information, a complete schedule and registration details, visit MyPigeonForge.com.

 

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Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Will Amaze

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 18, 2017) – Thanks to master storyteller Dolly Parton, music, mountains mystery and mayhem abound in her new high-energy dinner attraction, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures. Several of Parton’s original and popular songs serve as the score for this thrilling Smoky Mountain tale about her family.

“This story will be full of music, of course,” Parton said. “What I am excited about are the amazing acrobats and animals that help tell the story of the romance between my mom and dad and the rivalry between the Owens and the Partons.”

Some of the acts Parton describes have never been seen before in the Great Smoky Mountains. Acrobatic performers will display their abilities on aerial silks suspended three stories above the stage;   perform a balletic display above the stage on suspended hoops called Lyras; and will defy gravity in and on the amazing Electro-wheel, all within the context of Parton’s exciting story.

“We searched all over the country for the best acts to help tell Dolly’s story,” Jim Rule, WCI CEO said. “These are some of the most talented actors, animals and acrobats we have ever worked with.  We know our guests are going to be amazed and excited by what they see.”

After the success of Dolly’s NBC movies about her childhood, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show will take guests on a journey that ultimately shapes the very beginnings of Dolly’s family – the time her parents met and fell in love. Pre-purchased ticket holders for a Lumberjack Adventure show scheduled in 2017 should contact the box office at 844-322-4400 for re-ticketing.  Tickets for Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner and Show will go on sale soon.

-WCII2017-

About World Choice Investments: Founded in 1988, World Choice Investments, LLC, doing business as Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show and Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner & Show, operates dinner attraction venues for family fun and adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our shows feature special effects, musical productions, live animals and a four-course family feast.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or peteo@wciinvest.com

Steve Cruz: (865) 774-8136, (865) 410-0591 or stevec@wciinvest.com

Wes Ramey: (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com