As 2016 comes to a close, it is fun to look back and see all that contributed to this amazing year in Pigeon Forge, the Center of Fun in the Smokies.
*The 16th annual Saddle Up was February 17-21. Cowboys and cowgirls from across the country came together to celebrate the American West life, including plenty of storytelling, music, and of course, good food cooked right from the chuckwagons.
*The Ripken Experience opened on March 9th and has brought to town a unique experience for youth baseball and softball players. This facility offers 6 fields modeled after well-known professional ballparks and a state of the art clubhouse for spectators. Ballpark fun has never been so good!
*The 22nd annual Quiltfest was March 21-25. Quilters came to town and had the opportunity to have their quilts displayed and judged in the quilt show as well as attend many different classes and learn from some of the best in the trade. It was a great week of fun for the quilting community!
*Dolly’s 31st annual Homecoming parade was May 6. Dolly, herself, was grand marshal of the parade and many festive floats and marching bands followed her, making for an overall fun family experience.
*Wilderness Wildlife Week was held May 18-22. The beautiful LeConte Center was home base for the events of the week. From educational seminars and workshops to some planned hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, participants got to learn all about the great outdoors.
*Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest and first launching wooden roller coaster opened at Dollywood on June 13. Dollywood is always changing and evolving to stay at the top of theme park entertainment.
*Patriot Festival was July 4 in Patriot Park. It was a day of family fun with a kids carnival, musical entertainment that included headliner Joe Diffie, and a fireworks extravaganza. It was a great celebration of Independence Day!
*The 13th Annual Old Mill Heritage Day was held September 24 in Old Mill Square. It included guided tours of the historic Old Mill and of course, plenty of activities for the whole family. This event was a fun way to celebrate the Appalachian history.
*The National Quartet Convention was in town September 25- October 1. There were both daytime and evening events with great artists like Kingdom Heirs, Mark Trammell Quartet, and the Hoppers. This gospel music event will be back in 2017.
*Fall in Pigeon Forge. From viewing the fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Fall Harvest and a Halloween celebration at the Island, it was a great transition into this beautiful time of year.
*The 27th annual Winterfest kicked off in early November and the city is decked out with over 5 million lights for the holiday season. The Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights is on the “must do” list if you are in Pigeon Forge during the holidays.
*Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is another annual event that gets better every year. This year Rudolph and his friends are there making the rounds and the nightly Parade of Many Colors is a perfect ending to a Christmas day of fun.
2016 was a good one in Pigeon Forge! The 2017 Calendar of Events is boasting another year full of great family-friendly events. Start planning now!!