Posts Tagged ‘Smoky Mountains’

America’s Favorite Christmas Event Begins at Dollywood on Nov. 4

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, November 1, 2017) — Earlier this season, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana celebrated its tenth consecutive victory in Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards. Once guests experience the park’s festive holiday atmosphere for themselves, they understand why Dollywood has earned the award for the last decade.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 4, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018) kicks off the holiday season with its signature light displays, family-favorite shows, delectable food and warm Christmas spirit. The awe-inspiring Parade of Many Colors returns for its second season, while traditional holiday performances—including Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life—and four million festive lights delight guests during this lively festival.

“There is no time of the year that is more special to me than Christmas,” Dolly Parton explained. “Some of the best memories of my life are from my time spent with family and friends celebrating Christmas together. It’s when we all come together to enjoy sweet traditions and the warm love of family and to have those special experiences we’ll always remember.

“Now when we were growing up, we never could have imagined millions of Christmas lights or even a life-size Rudolph. But I know the families who come to visit my Dollywood this Christmas will leave with wonderful memories they’ll treasure forever—just like me and my family.”

Dollywood—which earned its ninth consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows—continues to provide guests with classic Christmas entertainment which brings the holidays to life! Based on the timeless holiday story of love and generosity, It’s a Wonderful Life follows small town businessman George Bailey as he discovers the true value of life, family and friends with a little help from his guardian angel, Clarence. One of Dollywood’s greatest entertainment offerings, Christmas in the Smokies, returns to D.P.’s Celebrity Theater and serves as the headline show for the festival. Guests can celebrate the joy of the season while a cast of singers and dancers performs hometown holiday favorites accompanied by a band of live musicians!

After a successful debut season in 2016, the crowd-favorite Parade of Many Colors returns to celebrate the fun, faith, family and harmony of the holiday season. The parade features whimsical floats, interactive characters and a heart-warming, cheerful message for Dollywood guests to enjoy.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the beloved Christmas television special, again comes to life at Dollywood this season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph’s Holly Jolly ™ Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits. After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice’s kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games!

Dollywood’s entertainment features several other beloved shows this season, including An Appalachian Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, O’ Holy Night, My People and Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs. Guests also can experience Santa Land, a whimsical workshop where the smallest guests can share their wish list with Kris Kringle.

Families can finish their visit with a traditional Christmas meal as several of Dollywood’s menus feature holiday-themed items. Among the new offerings this year is the Thanksgiving Feast sandwich—a ciabatta roll filled with cornbread dressing, slices of oven-roasted turkey breast, topped with cranberry sauce and served with sweet potato tater tots. Returning favorites include turkey and dressing, Christmas ham, chicken and dumplings, Cornish hens, center cut pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, hot flavored drinks like wassail, Mayfield hot chocolate and cider, and much more. Holiday desserts available throughout the park include gingerbread man cookies, red velvet and pumpkin spice funnel cakes.

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2018 season pass for as low as $30 (plus tax when buying four or more). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket ($69) toward the purchase of a 2018 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2018 season. Additionally, for each child’s season pass purchased, families will receive a copy of Parton’s newest children’s album, “I Believe in You.” (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.)

Visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD for more information, including operating days and hours, daily show schedule and more helpful tips to help plan a visit.

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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 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 at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

Magic Beyond Belief starring Darren Romeo Moves to Smoky Mountain Opry for Fee/Hedrick’s 2018 Season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., Oct. 27, 2017 The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group’s 2018 season will include the return of “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo,” but the show will move back to The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in the matinee time slot. Romeo, an internationally acclaimed magician, has been the star of Fee/Hedrick’s “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo” show for the past three years.  The move is to enable Romeo to perform larger illusions on a bigger stage and allows for the return of a Bengal tiger to the show.  The last show in the current Magic Beyond Belief Darren Romeo Theater location at 2135 Parkway will be Oct. 28 and the show will reopen  February 10, 2018, at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater at 2046 Parkway.

For ticket information for the final show this season at The Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo Theater call (865) 428-5600 and for ticket information for next spring in the new location, call the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater’s box office 865-428-7469 or 1-800-768-1170 or visit www.pigeonforgemagic.com.

Romeo is the only protégé of Master Illusionists Siegfried and Roy.  He is the only magician in the world allowed to perform Harry Blackstone’s famous legacy of the floating light bulb!

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces many other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including “The Comedy Barn®”, “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™,” “The Smoky Mountain Opry™” Show, and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”  The company features seasonal holiday shows in November and December including “A Comedy Barn Christmas®,” “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™,“ “The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud™,” and “The Smith Morning Christmas Show” featuring the Charlie Bob Smith.

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Contact:  Deborah Fee Newsom

(865) 414-6887 (cell)

(865) 774-8877

Deborah@FeeHedrick.co

 

 

 

Comedy Barn Theater® in Pigeon Forge Offers Free Show Tickets to Hurricane Irma Evacuees from Florida

Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Sept. 10, 2017 – The Comedy Barn Theater® in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is offering free show tickets to Florida residents fleeing Hurricane Irma. The offer is for a limited time only and begins on Sunday, Sept. 10 and runs through Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

“We know this is a difficult time for many, and we hope a little laughter will take people’s minds off their troubles for a couple of hours,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group. “We want to help our extended family and friends make happy memories during a time when they are displaced from their homes.  Since we sell FUN – we want to make a difference in people’s lives and let them have fun!  We have some very passionate performers and employees who want to share the laughter of The Comedy Barn with those in need.”

Irma evacuees should call The Comedy Barn Theater® to reserve their complimentary tickets. Call (865) 428-5222 or Toll Free 1-800-29 LAUGH. This special offer extends to residents of Florida only.  When Florida residents come to pick up their tickets at the theater’s box office (2775 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863), they will need to show some type of Florida photo identification with their address on it.

“Any time people come to the Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, they can be guaranteed one thing: they will laugh till their sides hurt,” Fee said.  “The Comedy Barn provides a wholesome fun show for the entire family – young and old.”

Now in its twenty third season, the multi-million-dollar Comedy Barn Theater® continues to make audiences roar with its nationally-known entertainers, family-friendly comedians, ventriloquists, magicians, jugglers, and musicians. The show also includes a trained animal act featuring a rotation of mini pigs, housecats, dogs, parrots, a mini donkey, and a star-spangled finale.

“Not only are we the funniest show in town, but we are also the largest and most successful clean comedy theater in the world with incredibly enthusiastic fans,” said co-owner David Fee. “We also have one of the funniest video clips on YouTube that features an act of our show entitled, ‘Dad at the Comedy Barn.’ This video clip has been viewed by more than 48 million people and counting,” Fee said.

The video segment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Y4keqTV6w features Comedy Barn® Comedian Eric Lambert and an audience member who can’t stop laughing with his incredibly unique laugh. Fee said, “If people love to laugh and love great music, they will love this show.”

The Comedy Barn® is proud that it has repeatedly been known as the “Funniest Show in Town” by its fans for 23 seasons in a row. This year features some new cast and band members, new routines, new jokes and new country, gospel and patriotic music. Fee said, “One thing that never changes is the laughter that fills The Comedy Barn auditorium night after night as people from all over the country come to enjoy the most successful and most attended clean comedy theater in the world!”

Cast members of The Comedy Barn® include: Danny Devaney, a former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown; Comedian Perry Edenburn as “Harley Worthit” who previously worked in Branson at the “Down Home Country” and “Comedy Jamboree” shows at Grand Country; Greg Franklin, a magician/comedian who plays the country magician “Farmer Clem” and previously worked at the Carolina Nights Dinner Theater in Maggie Valley; Stephen Knowles, an award winning ventriloquist, comedian and man of many voices; Eric Lambert, a comedian who has appeared on “David Letterman,” “Showtime” and an “Evening at Improve”; and Anthony King and Alena Quilanova and their trained animal act who previously worked at “The Comedy Pet Variety Show” in Lakeland, Fla., and has appeared on “Jay Leno” and “Animal Planet.”  New to the Comedy Barn this year is Niels Duinker, international comedy juggler from Holland, who is a 6 time Guinness World Record holder in juggling.  Musicians include: Steve Curry and Ron Jeffery, members of the original Archie Campbell “Heehaw” band; drummer, Buddy Cline; and guitar player, Clyde Foley Cummins.  Cloggers include: Kati Anne Taylor and Autumn Peacock.

Fee said, “The main focus of our show is clean country comedy; however, we have some pretty spectacular magic, juggling and music too. This is a variety show that the whole family can enjoy.  We combine laughter with lots of fun and talented performers to delight people of all ages.”

Open year round, The Comedy Barn® has two shows nightly in season as well as some scheduled matinees throughout the season. For more information, visit www.comedybarn.com.

The Comedy Barn® show is part of the Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group that also includes: the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™;” “The Smoky Mountain Opry™,” “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo, and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”

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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

 

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

 

 

The Ripken Experience Hits Home Run for Season One in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 24, 2017) – Marking its first anniversary in the Smoky Mountains, The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is batting a thousand with baseball fans and city officials alike.

Since opening its doors in March 2016, more than 800 youth baseball teams and 70 high school softball teams have taken the fields at The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge for competition in 30 tournaments. In total, more than 12,000 players and coaches have traveled to play ball on fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains, with an additional 600 teams expected to travel to the complex for competition this summer.

“Not only did thousands of players, coaches and their families enjoy The Ripken Experience, but they also took advantage of our family-friendly vacation destination, which resulted in visitor spending of $30 million in Pigeon Forge,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager.

The appeal of Pigeon Forge as a family vacation destination was a major reason the city built the $22.5 million complex and contracted with Ripken Baseball to operate it.

In its first year, participants traveled to Pigeon Forge from 25 states and Canada, hailing from as far away as Alaska, California, Massachusetts, and Texas. Other states represented are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“America’s favorite pastime, baseball, and Pigeon Forge are a perfect combination,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge has given many folks a reason to visit Pigeon Forge for the first time, and once they see all that we have to offer, they want to return year after year.”

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge youth complex is located on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design inspiration from current and former ballparks highlighting the professional player progression from the Minor to Major Leagues, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

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

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge hosts tournaments nine months out of the year and offers year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse. Tournaments are free to spectators, and parking is free at the complex.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and toll-free at 800-251-9100. To learn more Ripken Baseball and for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge tournament schedule, visit RipkenBaseball.com.

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Media Contacts:

Trish McGee for the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189 ext. 327

 

Katy Ford for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

katy@maroonpr.com

443-864-4246

 

Visiting Pigeon Forge? 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Alcatraz East

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (May 23, 2017) – Each year, around 10 million people visit the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Whether vacationing with their children or enjoying time on their own, most are searching for unforgettable memories while visiting the area. One place that should be at the top of everyone’s list is Alcatraz East Crime Museum, a new attraction on the Parkway that provides both an educational and entertaining time, and includes information and activities for the whole family.

“We’ve had an amazing response since opening our doors in December,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “We have something for all ages, and most families spend 2-3 hours going through the exhibits. Guests walk away saying they knew they would love it, but it was better than expected, and that makes us feel very proud.”

While visitors to the area enjoy taking a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains while visiting this vacation destination, Alcatraz East offers a break from the outdoor activities. Here are 5 things everyone should know about Alcatraz East Crime Museum when visiting the Pigeon Forge area:

1   America’s Favorite Subject. With all the movies and TV shows related to the topic of crime, this is a must see. The museum features five themes that give visitors a glimpse into notorious crime history, forensic science, law enforcement, our justice system and pop culture. There are over 100 interactives throughout the museum, providing visitors with a hands-on experience.

2   It’s Not About Alcatraz. Although it’s part of the name and the famous prison inspired this attractionAlcatraz East is a crime museum, featuring an in depth look at American crime history, with artifacts from different eras and topics. The one-of-kind building was designed as a combination of Tennessee’s first state prison from 1898, and guard towers inspired by the Alcatraz lighthouse in California. The two-story building offers over 25,000 square feet of exhibit space.

3   One-of-a-Kind Artifacts. From white-collar crimes to Old West gunslingers, the museum features original artifacts from Jesse James to Whitey Bulger. Things to watch for include the famous O.J. Simpson chase white Bronco, John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a submachine gun from the movie Scarface, Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle. Tennessee is well represented, with objects such as the Old Smoky electric chair and moonshine stills as well as notable Dr. William Bass, highlighting his achievements- which advanced forensic anthropology.

4   Interact with the Museum. Kids (and their parents) can have fun and learn at the same time through the museum’s Top Detective Challenge. Follow clues throughout the museum to solve the crime of a stolen artifact, and receive a prize if you crack the case! There is also an opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy the thrill of The Heist Laser Maze (think Thomas Crown Affair!).

5   Temporary Exhibits. Beginning mid-May, Alcatraz East debuted the first of its temporary exhibit programs, which will be an annual rotation in two areas of the museum. Through April 2018, “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth About Wildlife Trafficking will reveal how endangered species are effected by poaching and what the public can do to help end the practice.

“Every year, families make lifetime memories here in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area,” states Vaccarello, “We are happy to now be a part of those memories, giving them a look at history, crime prevention, while having an interactive experience.”

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

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

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