Posts Tagged ‘Saddle Up’

Pigeon Forge Presents Four Months of Festivals, Special Events

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) – Pigeon Forge lives up to its nickname of the “Center of Fun in the Smokies” with winter and spring special events that include cowboys, American folk art, a parade with an international celebrity and a celebration of America’s most visited national park. Here’s the lineup of city-sponsored events from February through May.

Saddle Up

Saddle Up is a celebration of the American West featuring western music, cowboy poetry and a highly competitive chuck wagon cookoff. Dates are Feb. 17-21. It is the 16th year Pigeon Forge has brought cowboy culture to the Smokies.

R.W. Hampton at Saddle Up

R.W. Hampton at Saddle Up

Poets and performers such as Dave Stamey, R.W. Hampton, Yvonne Hollenbeck and Chris Isaacs will star in full concerts, small performances and “intimate evening” dinners that include steaks to make any cowboy or cowgirl happy. Events are at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge and other venues.

The chuck wagon cookoff is Feb. 20, and it features nine cook teams from five states. It’s dutch oven cooking at its best, and Saddle Up guests can buy lunch from the team of their choice. Before lunch, a family-oriented Buckaroo Roundup will teach youngsters how to throw a lasso and maybe how to yodel.

A Mountain Quiltfest

More than 550 artfully designed and carefully stitched quilts will chase more than $20,000 in prize money at A Mountain Quiltfest, an event featuring classes, demonstrations and special activities that has drawn quilters and fans of fabric art to Pigeon Forge for 22 years. Dates are March 15-19 at the LeConte Event Center.DSCN2150

Twenty quilt categories will be displayed, including ones with this year’s special theme – log cabins. A Mountain Quiltfest includes more than 70 classes and lectures about America’s popular folk art taught by world-class instructors. There is a fee for classes, but admission to quilt displays and a vendor mall is free.

In addition to the classes, many people visit A Mountain Quiltfest to get appraisals of quilts that are family heirlooms.

Dolly’s Homecoming Parade

For 31 years, Pigeon Forge has saluted the area’s most popular singer, songwriter, movie star and philanthropist – Dolly Parton – with Dolly’s Homecoming Parade. This year’s date is May 6.Dolly Parade_low res[1]

Pigeon Forge shuts down half of the Parkway, the main thoroughfare through town, for a small-town parade that would make Norman Rockwell proud. Parton herself leads the parade in a float whose theme is kept secret every year until parade day.

Tens of thousands of Parton’s fans line the Parkway, and she uses a sound system on the float to call out to special friends she spots. The rest of the parade features high school bands, twirlers, equestrian groups, fire trucks, go-carts, clowns and more.

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Wilderness Wildlife Week is Pigeon Forge’s annual salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and an array of nature topics. It offers five days of free photography workshops, seminars, art classes, children’s activities, hikes and excursions. Dates are May 18-22.WWW Possum_rr

The major focus is on Pigeon Forge’s next-door neighbor, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited of all American national parks. The 26th presentation of Wilderness Wildlife Week takes on special significance because 2016 is the centennial year of the National Park Service.

Program presenters include professional photographers, botanists, biologists, hiking experts, talented artists and mountain musicians. All donate their time to spread the word about enjoying the beauties of nature on display in the national park and throughout the Southern Appalachians.

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

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Chuck Wagons Head to Pigeon Forge for Cowboy Cookoff

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Visitors to Pigeon Forge can sample a taste of the Old West, prepared by authentic chuck wagon cooks, on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff and Lunch are part of Saddle Up, a five-day celebration of the American West, Feb. 17-21.

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Chuck wagons were a vital part of America’s history, feeding cowboys as they drove cattle and horses west. Wagons just like those will be in Pigeon Forge. The cook teams will be anxious to show off their skills, as they compete for cash and prizes. After the food has been judged, each wagon will serve lunch for $12.50 per plate.

A record nine teams and wagons will travel from five states. Visitors can purchase lunch from wagons carrying names like Circle L Chuckwagon, Circle S Bar, Double X Ranch, Greenhorn Cattle Company, Grumpy’s Grub, JL Cattle Company, R/D Chuckwagon, Ramblin’ Rose, and Skillet & Spurs.

Each chuck wagon team will prepare chicken-fried steaks, potatoes, beans, bread, cornbread and a dessert. They are judged on individual food categories and the authenticity of wagons and camp set-ups. Winners will be announced Saturday afternoon, prior to a 6 p.m. Saddle Up concert at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup.  Remaining tickets will be sold onsite the day of the cookoff. Past years have seen more than 600 meals served.

The cookoff is at Clabough’s Campground on Wears Valley Road and is preceded by the Buckeroo Roundup, with a number of family-friendly activities that lead up to the cowboy-style lunch. Admission to the Buckeroo Roundup is free.

Ticket information and a complete schedule of all Saddle Up activities are available at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup or by calling 1-800-251-9100.

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Award-winning Chuck Wagon Cook Returns to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Award-winning chuck wagon cook and entertainer Kent Rollins will be in Pigeon Forge during Saddle Up. He and his Red River Ranch chuck wagon and team will be at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, where they will cook for three intimate evening dinner shows.

In addition to running a successful catering business and feeding cowboys on working ranches, Rollins has been featured on Food Network shows, including Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Chopped Grill Masters and Chopped Redemption, NBC’s Food Fighters, and has appeared on Fox News and the Hallmark Channel. In 2015, he published a best-selling cookbook, A Taste of Cowboy.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

Pigeon Forge Celebrates the American West at 16th Annual Saddle Up

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – Music, storytelling, poetry, dancing and chuck wagon cooking are just a few of the activities that will take place at the 16th Annual Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The event is Feb. 17-21, 2016, and will be headquartered at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

Saddle Up is a mixture of stage concerts, dinner shows, a competitive chuck wagon cookoff, a cowboy dance and other activities. Also on the calendar are a number of workshops and seminars. Most of the music programs are ticketed, while several other activities are offered free of charge.

R.W. Hampton

R.W. Hampton

Dave Stamey, R.W. Hampton, Western Flyers, T. Scot Wilburn & the Shut Up -N- Playboys, Sourdough Slim and Brigid Reedy will provide the music for the 2016 event, while Andy Nelson, Kent Rollins, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs and Jay Snider will share cowboy poetry, stories and humor.

The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff is Saturday, Feb. 20, at Clabough’s Campground. Chuck wagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Tickets for the noon lunch are $12.50. Beginning at 9 a.m., visitors can hear Saddle Up entertainers and participate in cowboy-themed activities free of charge.

The weekend concludes with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the LeConte Event Center.

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Ticket prices and a detailed schedule are at MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup. Tickets are available online and also will be sold at the event.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

 

Pigeon Forge Receives 20 International Events Awards

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2015) – The Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) Department of Tourism claimed a record 20 Pinnacle Awards, including six gold, from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

Wilderness Wildlife Week received nine Pinnacle Awards, including gold for the best educational program and the best community outreach program in the category for projects with budgets less than $250,000. This marks the sixth year the event has received gold for best educational program.

The outdoor-focused event, which moves from January to May in 2016, won silver awards for best green program, best children’s programming, best hat and best new attendee service, as well as bronze awards for best promotional poster, best miscellaneous clothing and best event within an event to benefit a cause.

Gold Pinnacle Awards also were received for best event program and best cover design for the Saddle Up 2015 program guide, best hat for Dolly’s Homecoming Parade and best organizational website for MyPigeonForge.com.

“Having our events recognized year after year by the IFEA is humbling,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, “especially when you realize that we are competing against major events from all over the world. Our special events staff and family of volunteers are to be congratulated for their work. They are the reason the Pigeon Forge name is associated with award-winning events.”

Additional silver Pinnacle awards were received for best TV promotion and best commemorative poster for Saddle Up. Other bronze Pinnacle awards were for best radio promotion for Patriot Festival, best promotional brochure, best single magazine display ad and best new merchandise for Saddle Up, and best educational program for A Mountain Quiltfest.

“It’s a challenge to keep our special events growing. We literally have to out-do ourselves each year. Pigeon Forge has a reputation for producing outstanding events, and we take a lot of pride in the fact that IFEA recognizes our work,” said Butch Helton, special events manager.

Other winners at the 2015 convention included the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago; the Portland Rose Festival, Portland, Ore., and the Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, Calif.

International events vying for Pinnacle awards included Servus Heritage Festival in Edmonton Alberta, Canada; Geumsan Insam Festival in Geumsan, South Korea; and Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival, Krakow, Poland.

This year’s IFEA awards presentation was Sept. 21 in Tucson, Ariz., during the organization’s 60th anniversary convention.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

 

Pigeon Forge Collects 14 International Events Awards

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (October 2014) – With five major awards leading the way, the Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) Department of Tourism claimed a near-record 14 Pinnacle Awards from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

Wilderness Wildlife Week received gold Pinnacle Awards as the best green program in the category for events with budgets less than $250,000 and the best children’s programming in the category for projects with budgets less than $1.5 million.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major focus of Wilderness Wildlife Week.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major focus of Wilderness Wildlife Week.

The nature-oriented week also won silver awards for the best community outreach program, best new merchandise and best hat, and a bronze award for best outdoor billboard.

Three other gold Pinnacle Awards were received for best new attendee service, best radio promotion and best organizational website for MyPigeonForge.com.

“It’s always gratifying to be recognized by the IFEA Pinnacle Awards, because our events are in contention with some of the biggest and best from around the world,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “These awards are a true testament to the time and effort put in by the tourism department’s special events staff and our community of volunteers.”

Other silver Pinnacle awards were received for best cover design for the Saddle Up 2014 program guide and best outdoor billboard for Saddle Up 2014. Additional bronze Pinnacle awards were for best event within an existing event for Saddle Up Stories & Strings, best commemorative poster for Saddle Up and best hat for Dolly’s Homecoming Parade.

“Our special events continue to grow and improve with each passing year, and that’s because of a dedicated staff, a loyal family of volunteers and the support of our city’s administration. When IFEA notices and rewards our efforts, that’s something that really makes us proud,” said Butch Helton, manager of the special events office.

Other winners this year included the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, Ky., the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio.

International events contending for Pinnacle awards included Sentosa Spooktacular in Sentosa, Singapore, the Ulsan Whale Festival in Ulsan, South Korea, and Canada Day at Canada Place in Vancouver, B.C.

This year’s IFEA awards presentation was Sept. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Contact:
Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

Pigeon Forge’s Wilderness Wildlife Week Eyes 25th Celebration of the Smokies

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (October 2014) – Preparations are underway for the 25th presentation of Wilderness Wildlife Week, Pigeon Forge’s annual salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and numerous outdoor recreation topics. Dates are Jan. 24-31, 2015.

East Tennessee wildlife photographer Ken Jenkins had no idea his suggestion for a winter program about the Great Smoky Mountains would become a much-loved winter event that draws visitors from across the U.S.

The first year of what became Wilderness Wildlife Week was a half-day of programs on a Saturday. It was so successful that it blossomed into a weeklong event in its second year.

It now features 400 programs spread over eight days, including a series of hikes and excursions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wilderness Wildlife Week hikes range from easy to strenuous.

Wilderness Wildlife Week hikes range from easy to strenuous.

Wilderness Wildlife Week 2014 had attendees from 41 states. Hawaii wasn’t represented, but Alaska was, event organizers noted.

Total program attendance was 27,800, and almost 550 hikers logged 2,588 miles. New for 2014 was the Southern Trout Fly Fishing Fair, a day of programs about mountain trout, fly-fishing and fly-tying put on by the online magazine Southern Trout, an online magazine. The second Southern Trout Fly Fishing Fair is set for Jan. 31.

Each year offers photography workshops, wildlife lectures, mountain music mini-concerts, crafts classes and special sessions for children.

More than 200 experts – nature photographers, biologists, raptor rehabilitators, social historians, musicians and just plain folks who grew up in the Smokies – donate their time to lead the programs.

Raptors always are a big hit at Wilderness Wildlife Week.

Raptors always are a big hit at Wilderness Wildlife Week.

The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism organizes the week, and admission is free. Most of the events are indoors at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, a city-owned special events facility.

Wilderness Wildlife Week, named 10 times as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event, is a part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest, which starts in November and goes through February.

Pigeon Forge completes Winterfest with Saddle Up, a celebration of cowboy poetry, western music and chuck wagon cooking, Feb. 18-22.

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

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

 

 

‘Saddle Up’ Draws Cowboy Fans from 22 States to Pigeon Forge

Salute to cowboy music, poetry, cooking notches 14th year

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2013) – Visitors from at least 22 states attended Saddle Up, a cowboy culture special event that Pigeon Forge organizes as its last major component of Pigeon Forge Winterfest.

Red Steagall at Saddle Up 2014

Red Steagall at Saddle Up 2014

The five-day celebration in late February featured concerts by top cowboy and cowgirl musicians and poets, a chuck wagon cookoff and other western-themed activities. The event, now 14 years old, has been named a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

“Saddle Up had two major accomplishments – it entertained people royally, and it attracted visitors from a wide area, including from states not usually in our visitor data, especially in winter,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

Visitors came from as far away as Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Idaho and Massachusetts, Downey reported, in addition to Pigeon Forge’s usual market area of states in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

“I spoke to one gentleman at the chuck wagon cookoff who had made the trip from Raleigh just because he’d seen a TV feature about chuck wagon cooking and searched for the closest one to him,” Downey said.

Most Saddle Up events in 2014 were in the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, and event organizers were pleased with the venue.

“We had two small-scale dinner shows that we called ‘Intimate Evenings’ and multiple large-scale concerts. All worked well, and our guests and performers were pleased,” said Butch Helton, special events manager for the tourism department.

Performers this year were Don Edwards, Red Steagall and the Boys in the Bunkhouse, Hot Club of Cowtown, Belinda Gail, Andy Nelson, Ray Doyle, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys, and Joyce Woodson.

Helton said discussions already are underway for the 2015 lineup.

Pigeon Forge’s next city-sponsored special event is Dolly’s Homecoming Parade, a salute to Dolly Parton, on May 2.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff Set for Nov. 12 at Patriot Park

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 24, 2013) – Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will launch its 24th annual Winterfest celebration Nov. 12 with festivities in Patriot Park that conclude with the illumination of five million Winterfest lights throughout the city and a fireworks display.

The lead-up to the evening’s activities will be the city’s third annual Salute to Veterans Parade on the Parkway.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest is a mixture of holiday celebrations, themed special events and millions of decorative lights. That combination created a new visitor season for Pigeon Forge when Winterfest started in 1990.

After the Winterfest Kickoff, businesses throughout the city offer special activities, theaters add a Christmas flair to their shows for two months and the city itself presents two major special events in January and February – Wilderness Wildlife Week and Saddle Up.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest continues through Feb. 28, 2014, offering winter activity throughout this gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Among the events on the calendar:

  • Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 9-Dec. 30), with a variety of Christmas shows, holiday foods, crafts and a park-wide display of another four million holiday lights to complement those in the city;
  • Watch for snow to fall over the Titanic Museum Attraction through November and December.
  • Trolley Tour of Lights (Monday-Friday nights from Nov. 12-Dec. 31), narrated rides through Pigeon Forge on the Fun Time Trolley system to see all of the major Winterfest light displays
  • Wilderness Wildlife Week (Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2014), a city-sponsored week of special programs about Great Smoky Mountains National Park and numerous other outdoor topics at the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge;
  • Saddle Up! (Feb. 19-23), a city-sponsored celebration of cowboy poetry, western music and the American West at the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

Complete visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at www.MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 1-800-251-9100.

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Contact:
Tom Adkinson, APR
tadkinson@bohanideas.com
615-341-8796

 

‘Saddle Up’ Brings Cowboy Fun to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2013) – Cowboy singers, cowboy poets and chuck wagon cooks are on the trail to Pigeon Forge for the 13th annual Saddle Up, Feb. 21-24, 2013.

The four-day event, a tip of the hat to the American West, features concerts, a chuck wagon cookoff and other activities designed to entertain the entire family.

Saddle Up helps wrap up Pigeon Forge Winterfest, a four-month season of activities that began last November.

Cobbler is part of every lunch at Saddle Up's chuck wagon cookoff.

Cobbler is part of every lunch at Saddle Up’s chuck wagon cookoff.

Performers for Saddle Up include cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell and Chris Isaacs, along with musicians Brenn Hill, the Quebe Sisters Band, Sourdough Slim, Dave Stamey, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up -N- Playboys, and Wylie & the Wild West.

There are theater concerts on Feb. 22 and 23 ($15) and two Intimate Evening dinner shows ($50) on Feb. 21. Wylie & the Wild West will perform after a four-course meal at the Partridge & Pear Restaurant, and the Quebe Sisters Band will entertain at Mama’s Farmhouse Restaurant following a family-style meal prepared by the Red River Ranch chuck wagon team from Texas.

Stories & Strings ($15) is a special show on Feb. 22 at Smoky Mountain Guitars by a select group of Saddle Up musicians who will talk about personal musical influences and share favorite tunes and stories. Stories & Strings won a Pinnacle award from the International Festivals & Events Association.

A chuck wagon cookoff, sponsored by Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, is Feb. 23 at Clabough’s Campground. Chuck wagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Lunch begins at noon, and tickets are $10.

Learning to lasso is one activity at the Buckeroo Roundup.

Learning to lasso is one activity at the Buckeroo Roundup.

Buckeroo Roundup starts at 9 a.m. at the same location, offering a variety of free musical entertainment and cowboy-themed activities for family fun.

A Cowboy Dance ($5) is Feb. 23 at Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge Ballroom. Cowboy Church, a non-denominational service at Stages West, is Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. It is preceded by a chuck wagon breakfast that begins at 8:30. Breakfast is $5; Cowboy Church is free.

Saddle Up details are online at MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup.

‘Cowgirl Caravan’ Targets Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2012) – Fifty adventure-loving cowgirls and their caravan of 30 Western-decorated travel trailers, some more than a half-century old, will add a special flair to Saddle Up, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.’s, Feb. 23-26 tribute to the Old West.

The cowgirls are members of Sisters on the Fly, a national organization of women who enjoy outdoor activities. The Saddle Up caravan members are from at least 13 states, stretching from Florida and Mississippi to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

They will set up camp at Clabough’s Campground and will be an extra component of a chuckwagon cookoff and Buckaroo Roundup on Feb. 25 (Saturday).

Their 12- to 24-foot-long travel trailers, which owners describe as decorated in “a Western kitschy style,” will be open for inspection that day.

The Stages West western wear store, a major supporter of Saddle Up, invited the group to Pigeon Forge.

“The Sisters on the Fly and Saddle Up go together like rodeos and wranglers,” said Marlene Houser of Stages West. “The Sisters will have a great time, and they’ll add to the overall Western atmosphere of Saddle Up.”

Sisters on the Fly was created by two real-life sisters, Becky Clarke and Maurrie Sussman, in 1999 while on a Montana fly-fishing trip. Their love of the outdoors has led to a 1,700-member group ranging in age from 20-somethings to women almost 90.

Saddle Up offers a variety of concerts with entertainers such as R.W. Hampton, Stephanie Davis & the Roadrunners, Cowboy Celtic, Saddle Cats, Andy Nelson, Chuck Pyle, Ray Doyle and Kent Rollins. There is a Cowboy Dance on Feb. 25, and a non-denominational Cowboy Church service follows a chuckwagon breakfast on Feb. 26.

Saddle Up ticket information and a schedule of activities are at MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup.