Posts Tagged ‘family vacations’

Festival of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 15, 2019)-Dollywood’s thrilling 2019 season begins with one of the park’s greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which runs now-April 14, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Foods and special cooking demonstrations, including opportunities to see world-renowned Chef Pepin whip up his favorite dishes.

Guests can experience the spirit of the Smokies at Dollywood while also taking a trip around the globe thanks to authentic glimpses into a number of fascinating cultures. It’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate spring break!

Guests can start their globetrotting adventure by enjoying the great new headline shows visiting this season. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. Considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba, the group has been together for more than 25 years and has entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience, Drumstruck leaves families laughing and creating memories to remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they will find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the performance. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.

Guests also can let their taste buds travel the world thanks to the new Passport to Food. This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries, including grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth.

Chef Pepin, a well-known celebrity chef from Cuba, hosts several cooking demonstrations during the opening weekend of the festival, while additional chefs share their secrets each subsequent weekend during Festival of Nations. Cooking demonstrations currently are scheduled to take place each Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. in Dollywood’s Market Square area.

Dollywood’s 2019 Festival of Nations lineup also includes the following shows and acts:

Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away.  Location: The Valley Theater (Performing March 20-April 14)

Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo

De Temps Antan- Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. This talented trio combines contemporary music, uncontrolled laughter, deep-routed couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts for memorable songs that speak to the familiar rhythms of yesteryear. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24)

Les Grands Hurleurs- Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Paying respect to their traditional roots while creating original music, this trio flirts with classical, Manouche, electronica and folk music for shows that bring audiences alive. Prepare to experience a musical journey with groovy, energetic and swing styles. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)

GoGaucho Duo- GoGaucho Duo is an exciting, fast-paced show which blends the traditional folk dancing of Argentina with the thrill of modern showmanship. This duo wows audiences with unique and entertaining dances, music and the mesmerizing skills of champion boleadoras dancers. Location: The Valley Theater (Performing March 16-18)

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations begins what is to become the park’s biggest season ever. The largest expansion in the park’s history, Wildwood Grove, opens this spring to provide families with thrilling new experiences and attractions for guests to explore together. Summer kicks off with Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 24- June 2), while the park’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features later hours and the first chance to experience the wonder of Wildwood Grove at night. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2019 season concludes with the 11-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 9-Jan. 4, 2020.

If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and a vast amount of entertainment and festivals (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2019.

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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The Island in Pigeon Forge Announces Plans for New Flying Theater Ride

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee  (Feb. 18, 2019)— The Island in Pigeon Forge, recently named the country’s sixth best amusement park by TripAdvisor, will soon soar to new heights with the addition of a world class flying theater experience.

The $20 million investment will combine a state-of-the-art ride system and a custom film featuring some of the nation’s most beautiful natural wonders and iconic landmarks. Riders will experience the movements, sounds, scents, and mists of a breathtaking aerial adventure across the United States.

“We are very excited to bring another premier attraction to The Island in Pigeon Forge,” said President Bob McManus. “This flying theater will truly be a one-of-a-kind, immersive entertainment experience.  From The Island, guests will be transported to places that they otherwise may never have the opportunity to see, and experience the beauty of America in a unique and unforgettable way.”

The Island selected the flying theater from industry-leader Dynamic Attractions, who has built some of the most popular rides in the world for theme park leaders including Disney and Universal Studios.

The Island in Pigeon Forge is a 23-acre eat, shop, play, and stay entertainment destination offering affordable fun for families, night and day, with free parking and free admission. The Island is a must-see tourist destination in the region, located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which draws over 11 million annual visitors.

The new flying theater will be located adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot observation wheel, and The Island’s multi-million dollar show fountain. The Island also provides the area’s newest shopping options with over 250,000 square feet of retail space, unique dining experiences including Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, and on-site lodging at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Island Hotel and Margaritaville Island Inn.

The new flying theater attraction is in the final stages of planning and is expected to open in early 2020.  For more information about The Island in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, visit islandinpigeonforge.com or call 865-286-0119.

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Media Contact: Caitlin Gouge, caitlin@islandinpigeonforge.com      

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Alcatraz East

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

 

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CONTACT:

Cher Murphy

Cher@chermurphypr.com

571-263-2128

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

Dolly Parton’s Nov. 15 ‘Pure & Simple’ Concert in Pigeon Forge Sold Out

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 1, 2016) — Pointing to the immense popularity of East Tennessee’s favorite entertainment icon, tickets for Dolly Parton’s  Nov. 15 Pure & Simple concert at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge have sold out. Tickets went on sale to Dollywood season passholders on June 15. Remaining tickets were made available to the general public this morning.

Parton currently is in the midst of the Pure & Simple tour, her first major North American concert tour in more than 25 years. Parton has crisscrossed the country performing to sold-out venues, but it is the trip home to Sevier County which may be the most special. Proceeds from the concert benefit Parton’s Imagination Library, a literacy program which provides free books to children from birth to age five.

Parking is free at the LeConte Center, however, concert goers should plan to arrive early for the best available parking. The show begins at 7 p.m.; doors open two hours prior to the start.

Parton is as busy as ever, and with the Pure & Simple tour, a new CD and much more in the works, she doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Parton’s set-list during the tour includes a number of hit songs, with a few new offerings from her double-disc album Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits. She also is playing a number of hits that have not been heard live for decades.

Parton’s Imagination Library is administered through the Dollywood Foundation which partners with local sponsors to provide an age appropriate book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. To date, the Imagination Library has provided more than 80 million books in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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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 nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 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.

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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

 

Three Months of Ripken Experience: 363 Teams, 23 States, $6.7 Million

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2016) – The first three months of youth baseball tournaments at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge have been everything the city expected – and perhaps more.

“Baseball lives on statistics, and the numbers coming out of the Ripken Experience are awesome. Visitor spending of $6.7 million in Pigeon Forge is simply wonderful,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager, who worked closely on development of the $22.5 million project.

Cal Ripken Jr., a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball, cut the ribbon on the six-field complex on March 9. The first tournament was March 12-13. Ripken Baseball has a 10-year contract to manage the facility.

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

Cal Ripken Jr. with young player

From mid-March through the third week of June, there have been 11 tournaments that drew 363 teams from 23 states. The Alaska Quakes from Anchorage traveled the greatest distance to play on the fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

“The 363 teams and their followers, almost 18,000 people, benefit Pigeon Forge in many ways. They stay in our hotels, they dine in our restaurants and they have fun at our attractions and theaters,” Brackins said, noting that tournament scheduling gives them plenty of recreational time.

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

“We were confident Ripken Baseball could attract teams, and we were equally confident Pigeon Forge would appeal to the players’ families. We’re attracting new people to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies, and we know that new visitors are almost certain to return for future vacations,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

The Southeast, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic produced the greatest number of teams in the first three months. There were 144 teams from Tennessee, 43 from Georgia, 37 from North Carolina and 24 from Ohio.

In addition to Alaska, other distant states that produced teams included Wisconsin, Texas and Massachusetts.

A tournament with 44 teams from 16 states and Canada in the last days of June will push the team total to more than 400.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, 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”; Engle Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will host tournaments nine months out of the year and offer year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and toll-free at 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

 

Pigeon Forge’s July 4 Patriot Festival To Feature Joe Diffie, Fireworks Spectacular

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2016) – Grand Ole Opry member and Grammy Award winner Joe Diffie will rock Patriot Festival, Pigeon Forge’s annual blowout to celebrate July 4, immediately before a spectacular fireworks show brightens the sky over this Great Smoky Mountains resort city.

Activity begins at noon, and onstage entertainment begins at 1:30 p.m. for guests at Patriot Park.  Admission is free.

Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie

In addition to a variety of local entertainers, music will come from Emily Ann Roberts, who placed second on NBC’s “The Voice,” and Tribute, a celebration of the Allman Brothers Band.

Patriot Festival guests will recognize Diffie’s songs that will come from his 20 Top 10 hits and his 13 albums. Count on sing-alongs to “John Deere Green,” “ Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox” and “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets).”

Food and family games are part of the day’s activities, and guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Free parking will be at Patriot Park and the city’s Teaster Lane parking lot. A free shuttle will run from the Teaster Lane lot.

Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m., and WIVK-FM in Knoxville will simulcast the fireworks show’s patriotic soundtrack.

Patriot Festival in Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge

Patriot Festival in Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

 

 

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts ‘Music in the American Wild’ Events

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with Music in the American Wild for two live performances of music from eleven composers and seven performers, all affiliated with Eastman School of Music in upstate New York. The group is traveling to various National Parks in the country and will play two concerts in the park on June 14 and June 15.BearAmerican Wild

On June 14, the performance will be at Purchase Knob near Maggie Valley, N.C., at 6 p.m. Parking is limited, so reservations are required at https://musicinthesmokies2016.eventbrite.com.

On June 15, the performance will be at the Cades Cove Amphitheater at 7 p.m. and does not require a reservation. Both programs are free. These concerts are the premiere of music being played in the places that inspired the compositions. The seven performers play flute, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello and percussion.

“We are excited to celebrate the NPS Centennial with Music in the American Wild,” said Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “National Parks have inspired many artists over their 100 year history, and listening to original compositions inspired by places like Great Smoky Mountains National Park surrounded by natural beauty is a unique opportunity.”

Music in the American Wild is part of the Imagine Your Parks grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts created in partnership with the National Park Service to support projects that use the arts to engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System. More information about the project is at www.musicintheamericanwild.com.

-NPS-

 

Contact:

Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207

Jamie Sanders, Jamie_Sanders@nps.gov, 865-436-1203