Posts Tagged ‘Pigeon Forge’

Conquering the Con: How Seniors Can Avoid Being Swindled and Scammed

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (August 22, 2017) — Anyone, at any age, can fall victim to a scam. However, con artists most often set their sights on older adults. Seniors in the U.S. are swindled out of an estimated $37 billion per year, according to a report by True Link Financial, mainly through financial exploitation, criminal fraud and caregiver abuse. In an effort to call attention to fraud that particularly targets older adults, Alcatraz East Crime Museum has collaborated with AARP Foundation on a temporary exhibit to help seniors recognize, refuse and report scams.

“We all want to protect our aging parents and loved ones,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “The more people understand how victims are targeted, the more we can do to protect ourselves from these crimes.”

Created by AARP Foundation’s fraud experts and hosted by Alcatraz East, the year-long exhibit, “Scamalot: Conquering the Con,” opens September 21, 2017. Visitors will encounter fraud in its various forms, including impostor scams, investment fraud and lottery scams. The exhibit will also feature stories of notable fraudsters, such as Charles Ponzi, and information on how the public can protect themselves from scams.

“Scamalot” will explore common scams and how to avoid them, including:

  • IRS scams, in which a caller posing as an Internal Revenue Service agent threatens the victim with arrest if they don’t pay.
  • Tech support scams, in which fraudsters gain access to personal information by offering to “fix” a nonexistent computer virus.
  • Sweepstakes scams, which promise a large cash prize in return for a “claim fee.”

“Con artists have their sights set on older adults,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president of programs for AARP Foundation. “Seniors are likely to have accumulated savings, own their home and have good credit — making them attractive targets. We developed ‘Scamalot: Conquering the Con’ to build awareness and understanding of the different types of fraud.”

Among the exhibit’s features will be objects related to infamous fraudsters Bernie Madoff, Lou Pearlman and David Hampton. Visitors will also be able to test their scam spotting skills through interactive displays.

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 museum offers a wide array of exhibits on notorious crimes, law enforcement, and CSI, with historic artifacts and interactives. The Bronco from the famous OJ Simpson chase is currently on display at the museum, along with displays on the Unabomber, Ted Bundy, and Whitey Bulger.

The museum is open 365 days a year, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 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, Tenn. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works to increase economic opportunity and social connections that help prevent and reduce senior poverty. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

 

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Sources:

The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015https://truelink-wordpress-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/True-Link-Report-On-Elder-Financial-Abuse-012815.pdf

Cher Murphy

President

Cher Murphy PR

T: 571-263-2128

cher@chermurphypr.com

www.CherMurphyPR.com

 

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin Luminights Provides Families With Memory-Making Opportunities

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Friday, August 18, 2017)—Dolly Parton today shared plans with media about her award-winning park’s upcoming harvest and Christmas events, as well as a new album project which features music from Dollywood’s Little Engine Playhouse.

“I love fall in the Great Smoky Mountains,” Parton said during the media event. “It truly is one of my favorite times of the year to come home. God’s coloring book is in full display with the Great Smoky Mountains painted in reds and golds.

“I’m also really excited to be here to let you know about our brand new nighttime event we are adding for families in October called Great Pumpkin LumiNights. You know, people from all around the world know us for the millions of twinklin’ lights we put up at Christmas time. Well, when guests see thousands of these glowing pumpkins all lit up in Timber Canyon, they’re going to have that same special feeling. We think Great Pumpkin LumiNights will become just as popular with families as our Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of new family traditions made this October!”

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 29- Oct. 28) provides families with great Southern gospel entertainment during the day and fabulous fall fun during the evening thanks to the new Great Pumpkin LumiNights. This season marks the first time the Smoky Mountain theme park has opened every day—and stayed open after dark—during its family-favorite harvest event. The expanded operating schedule allows Dollywood to provide guests with additional autumn experiences designed to help them create cherished family memories.

The biggest names in Southern gospel take to stages every day throughout the park with more than 500 individual performances during the run of the festival. Additionally, Great Pumpkin LumiNights offers whimsical, family-friendly activities that are sure to make this event a new harvest tradition.

Families will bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through immersive harvest-themed displays throughout Dollywood’s Timber Canyon. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together. With so many carved pumpkins needed to create Great Pumpkin LumiNights, Dollywood has a number of “pumpkin artists” who will host demonstrations to help guests learn how to produce the perfect pumpkin masterpiece.

Unique harvest games and attractions—including a glow maze—for kids, a nightly Pumpkin Boogie dance party, and friendly costume characters help add to the festive atmosphere. New themed food options and exclusive harvest-themed Coca-Cola products make Great Pumpkin LumiNights the place to be when the sun goes down in the Smokies.

Alongside Great Pumpkin LumiNights, Dollywood once again hosts the largest Southern gospel music event in America with the biggest names in the genre visiting the Southern Gospel Jubilee. Karen Peck & New River (Oct. 21-22), Guy Penrod (Oct. 23-24), The Isaacs (Oct. 12-13), The McKameys (Oct. 6-7), Gold City (Oct. 2-3) and many more provide inspirational music to fill the autumn air.

The park’s Year of the Family continues with America’s most-loved holiday theme park event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 4- Jan. 1, 2018). Honored for nine-consecutive years with Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket for Best Christmas Event, Dollywood is home to a festive holiday atmosphere that truly puts guests in the holiday spirit.

“I just love Christmas at Dollywood, and I know you all do too,” Parton said. “The Parade of Many Colors is back this Christmas, along with seven holiday shows and four million beautiful lights. We even have Rudolph and his friends back for another year of creating family memories. It will be a November and December to remember!”

From the spectacular shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the four million sparkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.

Parton also spoke about her newest project, a children’s CD entitled I Believe in You. The CD will be released in September and features songs she has written throughout the years for Dollywood’s Little Engine Playhouse. It includes a new version of Coat of Many Colors which debuted in the playhouse this summer.

For more information about Dollywood’s Harvest Festival or Smoky Mountain Christmas, 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). 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

Link to Great Pumpkin LumiNights teaser video: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ntht65tyi3mq2ca/AAAg8gJptsHrNA5yh9q76aQIa?dl=0

 

 

 

Dollywood Searches For Panel Of Dollywood Insiders

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Aug. 2, 2017) — This season, Dollywood launched a new opportunity for guests to find tips and information about its world-class theme park: a panel of nine relatable park guests who love Dollywood and shared their experiences on a new section of the Dollywood website.

For its second season of Dollywood Insiders, the theme park plans to expand the panel to include even more women and men who will serve as brand experts for The Dollywood Company. Due to great interest and response from those wanting to join the next panel, the deadline for applications has been extended until Friday, Aug. 11. Applications are available now: dollywood.com/Insiders/About-Dollywood-Insiders.

The inaugural panel, documented their Dollywood knowledge and suggestions for other park guests through blog posts, pictures and video found on the Dollywood website, Dollywood.com/Insiders. Their posts include topics such as how to get the best value during your Dollywood visit, what’s new at the park, behind the scenes tours and information, and even tips such as the best time to ride the Dollywood Express. Insiders use this content to truly offer their guest perspective and allow peeks behind the curtain. The new panel will have even more behind-the-scenes access as the program continues to grow.

Insiders write about all Dollywood Company properties including Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins, and Dolly Parton’s Pigeon Forge dinner attractions.

“This has become an excellent opportunity to engage and inform our guests like we’ve never been able to do before,” said Sunni Hickman, VP Dollywood Marketing. “We enjoy trying new channels of communication and I’m confident our guests will see the value in learning and gaining advice from other park guests.”

The first group of selected panelists included moms, professionals, writers, bloggers, and most importantly, they love all things Dollywood. They represented different family makeups, walks of life, and they came from communities around the Southeast—from Nashville to Knoxville to Charlotte and beyond.

“Dollywood is one of our absolute favorite places for family fun. It is a gem right in our own backyard!” said Katie Van Dyke, one of the inaugural panelists. “I’m honored to be an Insider, and couldn’t be more excited to help other families get the most out of their Dollywood experience.”

For more insight into what’s going on at Dollywood, the park also launched an official park blog,https://blog.dollywood.com, where hosts share information about offers, website tools such as theSummer Planning Guide, and more.

The Insiders serve on the panel for a one-year term and re-apply, if interested. Perks of the role include behind the scenes access, tickets and invitations to media events.

For more information about the application process and how you can join the next Dollywood Insider panel, visit dollywood.com/Insiders/About-Dollywood-Insiders for updates.

 -dollywood2017-

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 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: 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 athttp://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

Alcatraz East Crime Museum’s Unabomber Exhibit Teaches Guests Technique That Led To Arrest

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (July 31, 2017) –The media buzz surrounding the new eight-part television series on the Discovery Channel, Manhunt: Unabomber, has led to renewed interest in the investigation that ended with the arrest of Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber. The ongoing fascination in this case is understandable considering the randomness of the targets and anonymous killings that left the public and law enforcement perplexed and apprehensive for years.  His bombs were untraceable and Kaczynski even planted clues to divert law enforcement in their investigation.

“Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, is one of our most popular exhibits at Alcatraz East,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer. “Knowing the details about what went into capturing criminals like Kaczynski helps us understand and appreciate the persistence of law enforcement to solve a case.”

Behind the headlines there are things that people today may not realize about the Ted Kaczynski, who remains in a high security prison in Colorado. He is extremely intelligent. In grade school, his IQ tests were so high that he was able to skip two grades. He was educated at Harvard University and received his PhD at the University of Michigan. In 1967, he was hired as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming the youngest professor they had hired.

The manhunt for the Unabomber is considered to be the FBI’s most expensive case to solve. Multiple agencies joined efforts to provide a total of 150 investigators, analysts, and others who worked on this case for 17 years. During that time, Kaczynski’s homemade bombs killed three people and injured 23.

Kaczynski’s ultimate capture came after the FBI, The New York Times and The Washington Post came together in agreement to publish the Unabomber’s manifesto. On September 19, 1995, The Washington Post printed the now famous 35,000 word essay where he explained his motives and views on the ills of modern society. The Unabomber’s writing style was recognized by family members, who, after investigating on their own, sadly realized that their findings had to be reported. In February 1996, the FBI was contacted by David Kaczynski, noting the similarities in the manifesto to the writings and philosophy of his older brother Ted. A linguistic analysis examined previous writings by Ted Kaczynski and determined that he was, in fact, the author of the manifesto, ultimately leading to his arrest. The critical technique used by investigators, called forensic linguistics, proved that the FBI had made the right decision to publish the manifesto.

A Unabomber exhibit can be seen at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, with items from his cabin, including his passport photos, a scale with Kaczynski’s handwritten calibration notes, which he used to calculate postage to mail his packages, and a Bible with his handwritten notes.

“This display shares with our visitors details about this case that aren’t as readily known. It also allows them to see the importance of the public working with law enforcement, and agencies pooling resources to solve crimes,” explains Janine Vaccarello, COO of the museum.

Today, the Unabomber is 75-years-old, and remains in ADX Florence, a prison located in Florence, Colorado, where he is serving eight life sentences with no possibility of parole. There, he is locked in his cell 23 hours per day.

Those interested in learning more about the case should be sure to tune in to the Discovery series on August 1, 2017.

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

Sources:

FBI. The Unabomber. https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/stories/2008/april/unabomber_042408

NY Times. Unabomber’s kin collects reward… http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/21/us/unabomber-s-kin-collect-reward-of-1-million-for-turning-him-in.html?mcubz=0

Washington Post. The Unambomber Trial: The Manifesto. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/unabomber/manifesto.text.htm

 

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.

 

  # # #

 

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.

 -dollywood2017-

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.

-dollywood2017-


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.

 

-dollywood2017-

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