Posts Tagged ‘Pigeon Forge’

The Comedy Barn Theater Celebrates 25 Seasons of Laughs in 2019

Special Anniversary Show on July 30 Highlights Family Fun, Years of Creating Memories

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, July 31, 2019) – Twenty-five years of laughs, family fun and clean comedy are being celebrated at The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge this year, and a special show on Tuesday night, July 30 commemorated this special entertainment milestone.

Here are the basics if you’ve never experienced what has been awarded the title of Pigeon Forge’s Funniest Show year after year.  This hilarious show combines the talents and fun antics of magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and even members of the audience in a variety of fun routines that offer surprises and laughs galore. Lovable animals take the stage for more family fun, while live country and gospel music as well as Smoky Mountain clogging also take center stage with memorable performances that everyone in attendance will enjoy.

Four original cast members have been entertaining young and old at The Comedy Barn Theater since the first show in 1994, and they each have favorite memories and parts of the act that they find special and offer some of the many reasons why people come to this show – and even more why they keep coming back year after year. Ron Jeffery came to the area 35 years ago to play bass for Hee Haw legend Archie Campbell’s show, then joined the original Comedy Barn cast. Eric Lambert was one of the original comedians, Buddy Cline has been the band’s drummer since that first night, and Charlie King has provided the band with its guitar melodies for all 25 years.  Kathy Kearney, now Executive Assistant to the General Manager at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, also came on board – first selling tickets for the show and then joining the cast in the magician and animal acts.

Jeffery says he knows what makes the Comedy Barn so special.  “The whole place is a family, and everyone has been here so long, everyone gets along. People come in here to see (comedian) Danny (Devaney), to see me and Eric. It’s just such a unique situation that keeps people coming back.” Kearney noted that it’s two very simple ingredients that set this show apart: “Good clean comedy and laughter are what has made it such a favorite throughout the years.”

Cline added that while the show has played for two and a half decades, each night is a different experience. “The audience makes the show so special, because it’s different every night. The people you have up on stage, like Eric, you never know what he is going to do. Even though we have been doing it for 25 years, some person could come on stage (in the audience participation segments) and do it totally different and do something we have never seen before.”

While this show celebrates its 25th anniversary of entertaining Smoky Mountain visitors, the troupe at The Comedy Barn knows that each show is an opportunity to provide special memories for those in attendance. Jeffery says he remembers one couple who came 15 times in one year. “You get to know the guests by name, you get to know their kids, and 25 years later, you get to know their grandkids. It is just amazing how generations of families come to Comedy Barn.” King echoed those comments. “It is awesome to be a part of something this life-changing as far as lots of customers coming back year after year after year after year. We see the same folks come back from Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California just to name a few places. What we have here is very special; it is like no other.”

The cast enjoys their jobs, and it shows on stage – to the audience and to their fellow entertainers. “My favorite thing that I get to do is improvisation (with the audience),” Lambert said, “that freedom to say something that will make everyone laugh from ages three to 90 is what makes this a wonderful, challenging and rewarding job.” King says he just loves doing what he does – playing the guitar – and loves to hear Kendall Manning sing. “And of course, I love Danny and Eric. Those two are absolutely unbelievable – just fantastic comedians.” Cline loves the interaction with fellow original Ron Jeffery on the Hank Snow classic “I’ve Been Everywhere.” “Even though we’ve done the number so much, it’s still fun to play every show (after 25 years).”

This award-winning comedy variety adventure shows no signs of slowing down as it heads into its next 25 years. “I knew that (we) would be here 25 years later,” Lambert said. “The reason is that we always intended for this to be something that took a stand; we built the Comedy Barn on the principles of clean family comedy and audience interactions; those things are eternal.” His co-star Charlie King summed it up similarly. “The night of the first show just seemed like everything worked. Everybody was just happy performing with each other, and we still are. Throughout the years, it’s been easy for us to accept new cast members as they become part of the family. The people that I work with have been so amazing – we are like family.” Jeffery added, “After one week, I had a feeling this was something pretty special.” Kearney summed up why she is still part of The Comedy Barn family after 25 years: “It’s home.”

Millions of new laughs can be heard just ahead as the Comedy Barns heads into its next decades of good clean fun. “It’s our job to make our guests laugh,” Lambert said, “and in 25 years, we have learned very well how to make families laugh.”

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About Great Choice Investments:  Great Choice Investments, LLC, doing business as Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Smoky Mountain Opry, The Comedy Barn Theater, and Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café, operates dinner show venues, theaters, and restaurants for family fun and adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Our dinner shows feature special effects, musical productions, live animals and a four-course family feast.

 

Media Contacts:

Ellen Liston: (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

Tennille McElroy: (865) 429-7183, ext. 320, (865) 809-0292 or tennille@gcipf.com

Dollywood Searches for Next Panel of Dollywood Insiders

Applications Available As Park Looks For 15 Brand Experts 

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, July 8, 2019) — It’s time again for Dollywood to find its next panel of park insiders who share experiences and tips through online content. For the past three seasons, park guests have found helpful information on Dollywood blogs and social channels thanks to this group of seasoned Dollywood veterans. Now applications for the fourth panel of Dollywood Insiders are available at https://www.dollywood.com/lpg/insider.

From best-value suggestions to traffic tips, and where to eat recommendations to what not-to-miss, Dollywood Insiders provide expert guest perspective to aid others in trip planning. Content is shared via blog, pictures and video.

“As we have grown our Dollywood Insider program, we have added value to our guests’ experience—elevating regular guests to experts who trade best-practice secrets when it comes to spending a day at our park,” said Pete Owens, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. “These people who serve on our panel are relatable. They don’t get a pay check to say what they’re saying and that resonates with other guests. We give Insiders a platform; other guests benefit from the tips they share.”

Past Insiders include moms, dads, grandmas, single parents, professionals, bloggers, theme park enthusiasts and other influencers. Dollywood intentionally selects panelists from diverse walks of life to best represent Dollywood park visitors. These Insiders hail from communities across the Southeast—from Knoxville, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte and beyond.

Dollywood Insiders are tasked with pitching and executing creative blogs and videos that help others learn about Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. The Insiders serve on the panel for a one-year term and re-apply, if interested. Perks of the role include behind-the-scenes access, tickets and invitations to media events.

Applications must be submitted by Monday, July 22. After interviews, panelists will be selected and notified by July 29.

 

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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 Spa; 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 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, 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.

Dollywood Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Senior Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Senior Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: New Media and Digital Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9660, (865) 323-7584 or jwebb@dollywood.com

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

Alcatraz East Crime Museum to Host Conversation with True Crime Investigative Journalist Billy Jensen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Billy Jensen, renowned true crime journalist, will be speaking in a rare opportunity at Alcatraz East Crime Museum 

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (July 3, 2019) – He’s been called the Facebook detective and a citizen sleuth and has built a solid reputation for helping to solve true crimes. For the last two decades, Billy Jensen has become a household name within the true crime genre. Fans now have a chance to hear from the “consulting digital detective” in an intimate setting at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Jensen will be speaking at a special event on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. The event is free with the paid general admission to the museum, but advance reservations are required to attend.

“We are honored to have Billy Jensen visit the museum and share his experiences and expertise with our visitors,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “He is doing important work and is so open with the true crime community about his journey.”

Those attending will be treated to hearing him speak about such things as the Golden State Killer Case, his podcast, his new book that is coming out, how he got started in the field, and what he’s currently working on. The small group setting will also provide an opportunity to ask questions.

A true crime journalist focused squarely on unsolved murders and missing persons, after 17 years of writing hundreds of stories with no endings, he was fed up and decided to try and solve the murders himself using radical social media techniques. And it worked. Billy has solved or helped solve ten homicides. Law enforcement agencies now reach out to Billy to help in cases that have them stumped, using him as a “consulting digital detective.” His new book, “Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders,” is currently available for pre-order, and comes out on August, 13, 2019: http://www.chasedarknesswithme.com/.

Jensen is known for his involvement with the Golden State Killer Case, in which the serial killer committed at least 13 murders, over 50 rapes, and more than 100 burglaries in California. The crimes took place between 1974 and 1986, with the suspected killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, being arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, and abduction in April 2018.

“This is a rare opportunity for East Tennessee to have this kind of access to a real mover in the field,” added Penman. “It’s a chance to go a bit behind the scenes with Jensen’s process and struggles.”

The event is free with the paid general admission to the museum, but advance reservations are required to attend. Attendees must be at least 10 years old. Seating is limited and is on a first come basis. Museum tickets only will not be admitted. To get more information about the museum, or to purchase tickets, visit the site at: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/temporary-exhibits/speaker-programs/billy-jensen/.

There are also two special exhibits on display during the summer, both aimed at providing visitors with information about headline-grabbing cases from decades ago, and of recent years. The special summer exhibits focus on the 25th anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder, as well as the sexual assault crimes that involved the USA Gymnastics team doctor, with over 200 women accusing him of the crimes.

The museum is always adding to its collection and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily 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 Billy Jensen

A true crime investigator, Billy Jensen has helped to solve 10 cases and is frequently contacted by law enforcement to assist on cases. He focuses on unsolved murders and missing person cases. He has spent over 20 years writing about and investigating true crime stories. He is also a writer and book author. Jensen has also written crime stories for Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Magazine and the Long Island Press, and was most recently a producer and investigator on the Warner Bros. show Crime Watch Daily, where he covered the Allenstown 4 murders, the Humboldt 5, the gap in the system when it comes to missing persons and unidentified remains and the unique talents of citizen detectives. His investigation into the wrongful conviction of Kimberly Long helped earn her release from prison. To learn more about Billy, visit his site at: http://billyjensen.com/.

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Cher Murphy

President

Cher Murphy PR

T: 571-263-2128

Frankfort Resident Grayson Thurman Wins 2019 Pigeon Forge Path To Fame Grand Championship

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (June 26, 2019)—Frankfort, Kentucky, resident Grayson Thurman won the 2019 Pigeon Forge Path To Fame talent competition grand championship on Saturday, June 22. Thurman competed against 13 other performers at the Smoky Mountain Opry theater.

Thurman, 18, was one of four semi-finalists selected from 34 Path To Fame contestants at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington on March 30. He performed “Honesty” to earn his semi-finalist spot.

Joining Thurman in the top four performance slots were Kassey King, 20, from Kokomo, Indiana; Emma Lovett, 23, from Alabaster, Alabama; and Gabriel Winn, 17, from Tipton, Indiana.

During the final competition, Thurman once again performed “Honesty,” a song made popular by Billy Joel. The performance garnered the judges’ attention, and Thurman returned to the stage to sing “How Many Kings.”

Thurman began singing four years ago in school and church. He performed the national anthem for the 2019 state basketball tournament and has sung at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He is a three-time (2016-18) participant in Belmont University’s vocal camp and has attended the GRAMMY/National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Music Camp, both in Nashville. His musical influences range from the Beatles and Glen Campbell to Aerosmith and Johnny Cash.

Thurman is a recent graduate of Franklin County High School in Frankfort, Kentucky. He will attend Belmont University this fall where he plans to major in commercial music.

Thurman immediately captured the attention of Nashville talent executive and Path To Fame professional mentor John Alexander, co-founder and CEO of BandTwango. “Grayson wowed us in Lexington with a spectacular version of the song ‘Honesty’, and he stepped up at the finals with a rendition that was even more powerful than before,” Alexander said. “I look forward to working with Grayson over the next year to help him realize his dreams and grow as a performer.” Alexander discovered country stars Kelsea Ballerini and Patty Loveless, among others.

As the Pigeon Forge Path To Fame talent competition grand champion, Thurman wins a year of monthly consultations with Alexander as well as a career consultation with country artist Carly Pearce. Professional photography and videography sessions, media training and introductions to other entertainment industry executives complete the grand prize package which includes tools to help Thurman advance his career.

“The performers represented in the Pigeon Forge Path To Fame championship are representative of the great talent we saw in Birmingham, Lexington and Indianapolis this year,” said Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism Executive Director Leon Downey. “We’re eager to see where each performer’s path to fame takes them but, hopefully, back to Pigeon Forge.”

Home to a variety of musical productions and dinner shows, Pigeon Forge’s theatre community has helped launch the careers of Pearce, who performed at Dollywood theme park and Country Tonite theater, American Idol alum Janelle Arthur, singer/songwriter/actress Diana DeGarmo, Grand Ole Opry member Craig Morgan and soap star Eric Martsolf.

More information about the Pigeon Forge Path To Fame talent competition is available at PFFame.com.

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Thurman photos available for download here.

 

 

Park and DLiA Host Smokies Species Day

Release Date: June 26, 2019

Contact:          Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207
Todd Witcher, todd@dlia.org, 865-430-4757

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) are celebrating the diversity of life in the park by hosting “Smokies Species Day” at Sugarlands Visitor Center on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendees can learn about fungi, slime molds, beetles, moths, butterflies, and other creatures of the Smokies at this free, family-friendly event!

The event will be held outdoors on the patio area in front of the visitor center providing opportunities for people to tour the pollinator garden and participate in a hands-on citizen science program called Species SnapIt & MapIt which allows everyone to help gather scientific data about species encountered in the park. Researchers will also share how the ecosystem in fire-affected areas are recovering from the 2016 wildfires.

Smokies Species Day is centered on the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), a partnership between the park and DLiA, which has been taking place in the park for more than 20 years. The ATBI is a concerted effort to discover and understand all the species inhabiting the 522,000-acre park habitat, including plants, fungi, birds, amphibians, insects, bacteria, and more. Over the life of the ATBI, there have been a variety of organisms discovered that are new records for the park, as well as over 1,000 species that are new to science.

This event and research efforts are partially supported by Friends of the Smokies. For more information about DLiA, please visitwww.dlia.org or www.facebook.com/DLIAorg.

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www.nps.gov/grsm

www.Facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainsNPS

www.Twitter.com/GreatSmokyNPS

www.Instagram.com/GreatSmokyNPS

www.flickr.com/photos/greatsmokymountainsnationalpark

 

Public Affairs Office

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, TN  37738

Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207 (office), 865-712-4928 (mobile)

Jamie Sanders, 865-436-1203 (office), 865-410-2405 (mobile)

Park Hosts “Smokies Service Days”

Release Date: June 20, 2019

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

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to participate in “Smokies Service Days” beginning June 29 to help complete much needed work across the park. Park staff will lead these single-day volunteer opportunities that are ideal for people of all ages interested in learning more about the park through hands-on service.

Individuals, families, and groups are invited to sign up for any of the scheduled service projects that interest them including unique opportunities to help care for park campgrounds, native plant gardens, and a variety of natural and cultural resources. The program is ideal for those seeking to fulfill community service requirements including high school and college students, scout groups, and civic organizations. Volunteer projects will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Each project will be followed by an optional enrichment adventure to immerse participants in the abundant natural and cultural resources of the park.

Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by park staff. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes and should bring water and snacks. Volunteers planning to stay for the optional enrichment activity must also bring a sack lunch.

Those interested in volunteering must contact Project Coordinator, Andrew Mentrup, at 865-436-1278 orandrew_mentrup@partner.nps.gov, prior to the scheduled event date to register. Space may be limited.

Current service opportunities include:

June 29:            Cosby Campground Clean-Up
July 13:             Chimneys Picnic Area Clean-Up
July 27:             Elkmont Campground Clean-Up
August 17:       Cosby Horse Trail:  Clean-Up
September 14: Oconaluftee Visitor Center Flower Bed Maintenance
September 21: Sugarlands Visitor Center Non-Native Honeysuckle Removal
October 5:        Elkmont’s Daisy Town Clean-Up

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Public Affairs Office

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN  37738
Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207 (office), 865-712-4928 (mobile)
Jamie Sanders, 865-436-1203 (office), 865-410-2405 (mobile)

Dollywood Hosts a “Summer Celebration” Everyone Will Enjoy

Wildwood Grove, nightly fireworks, extended hours highlight summer at Dollywood

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, June 17, 2019)— With summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to enjoy the biggest season in Dollywood’s history, as the award-winning vacation destination has a sensational celebration that provides families more time to enjoy together. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features extended park hours—10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily—as well as a nightly fireworks spectacular, thrilling new entertainment and the fun of Dollywood after dark!

For the first time, families can enjoy the beauty of Wildwood Grove in the evening. As the sun sinks in the sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the green, leafy canopy of the Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime experience that features nearly 650 lighted butterflies dancing playfully in the warm evening breeze.

Summer Celebration also is full of new entertainment offerings, including an exciting production from Dollywood’s talented entertainment team called “Summer Feels…” Taking place in DP’s Celebrity Theater June 22- Aug. 4, “Summer Feels…” is highlighted by 10 talented performers and six world-class musicians who take audiences on a musical journey through today’s hits with a few surprising old favorites mixed in!

Several special entertainment guests visit Dollywood this summer as well. In partnership with Humana, Dollywood hosts the Tennessee Air National Guard Band of the South—which features a concert band, a classic rock and country rock band, and a brass quintet—on Monday, June 24. The group performs multiple concerts at three different performance venues in the park and inspires patriotism by fostering a deep appreciation of the rich history and legacy of the Air Force. One of the group’s missions is to increase the public’s understanding of the importance of air power, the missions and programs of the Air Force and Air National Guard and the bravery, sacrifice and dedication of Airmen across the globe.

On select Thursday’s throughout the summer, WIVK and Dollywood team up to present the New Faces of Country concert series. These concerts at Back Porch Theater offer an intimate setting for fans to hear from some of the genre’s next big stars. Be sure to catch them as they begin their rise up the charts! Artists currently scheduled to appear include Adam Craig, Caylee Hammack and King Callaway.

Each evening during Summer Celebration ends with Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a thrilling fireworks extravaganza synchronized to music. There is no better way to finish a day with family than by enjoying the moment together.

It’s story time again as The Little Engine Playhouse showcases three favorite books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, including Coat of Many Colors, based on Parton’s children’s book. Coat of Many Colors and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (new for 2019), feature sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. Everyone’s favorite, The Little Engine That Could, also comes to the stage with a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination.

While Dollywood guests have an amazing amount of entertainment options to enjoy during their visit, they also can experience the park’s award-winning rides in a completely different environment. Once the sun sets, Dollywood’s trademark attractions, like Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod and Thunderhead, provide a unique experience for those who climb aboard. These rides thrill guests who race through the summer night with no idea which way the track will turn next!

For more information about Dollywood’s Summer Celebration, visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. For show schedules, park maps and more, download the Dollywood App.

 

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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 Spa; 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 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, 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.

Dollywood Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Senior Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Senior Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: New Media and Digital Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9660, (865) 323-7584 or jwebb@dollywood.com

 

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

 

Celebrating Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Release Date:  June 12, 2019
Contact:           Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to attend “Celebrating Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” community programs on Fridays beginning June 14 through August 2 at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater. The programs honor the rich cultural and natural history of the Cosby area through music, storytelling, and history walks.

“These programs offer incredible opportunities for visitors to discover Cosby by experiencing it firsthand with the people who live and work here,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We are grateful to our friends from the local community who are leading these unique experiences.”

Programs feature local musicians, storytellers, craftsmen, and former residents who once lived in the park. Visitors are invited to step back in time during these summer programs to experience the music and mountain ways of people living in the Cosby area both then and now.

“We are so happy that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is bringing this program to our Cosby Campground,” said Cocke Country Partnership Tourist Director, Linda Lewanski. “We all know how talented our Cocke County folks are and we are delighted to be able to showcase them.”

All programs will be held at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater unless otherwise specified. In the event of rain, “Celebrating Cosby” programs will move to the covered picnic pavilion adjacent to Cosby Campground. Programs will be held rain or shine. Visitors are welcome to find seating in the amphitheater or bring their own chairs or blankets.

For more information, please contact Park Ranger Katie Corrigan at 865-436-1257 or katherine_corrigan@nps.gov.

Program Schedule:

• June 14, 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Flag Day Ceremony at the Cosby Picnic Pavilion

Join William Cocke, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 102, Parrottsville Quilts of Valor Foundation, American Veterans Post 75, and American Legion Post 41 for a moving tribute to veterans buried at Tritt Cemetery including the placement of flags and roll call.

 

• June 14, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mountain Edge Band

Enjoy traditional bluegrass music featuring Judge Carter Moore, Andy Williams, Jamie Clark, and Limmie Workman.

 

 • June 21, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Moonshiners

Learn about making moonshine in the mountains featuring Mark Ramsey, Digger Manes, and Kelly Williamson.

 

• June 28, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Children of Cosby Yesterday and Today

Join Park Ranger Katie Corrigan and Ginger Sue Cantrell as they introduce visitors to hands-on learning experiences from the past to now with a visit to Mountain Rest School.

 

• July 5 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Celebrating Ella V. Costner

Enjoy stories of the famed “Poet Laureate of the Smokies,” Ella Costner, who grew up in Cosby before joining the army as a nurse and becoming a prolific writer. This evening will include a Presentation of Quilts of Valor.

 

• July 12 at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A Walk Down Memory Lane

Join Imogene Wilson and Olie Williamson as they take on a walk remembering what the area looked like before the creation of the national park.

 

• July 19 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cherokee Storytelling and Dance

Learn about the Cherokee culture stories through dance and storytelling featuring members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian.

 

• July 26 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. An Evening of Artifacts

Join Park Archaeologist Allison Harvey and local experts to dive into local history including discussions on hunting and firearms by Randall Bradly; spinning wheels by Shane McGaha and Judy McGaha; and the making of lye soap by Imogene Wilson.

 

• August 2 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Old-Timey Music with Richard Bennett
Enjoy traditional old-timey music with Richard Bennett who once played with Bill Monroe.

 

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www.nps.gov/grsm

www.Facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainsNPS

www.Twitter.com/GreatSmokyNPS

www.Instagram.com/GreatSmokyNPS

www.flickr.com/photos/greatsmokymountainsnationalpark

Media Opportunity:

What:    Program leaders are available to conduct interviews, either in studio or on site, to provide more information about upcoming programs.

When:   The media are welcome to attend any of the programs or to conduct pre-interviews before the program dates.

Contact: Please contact Park Ranger Katie Corrigan at 865-436-1257 or Cocke County Partnership Director Linda Lewankski at 423-625-9675 to coordinate interviews.

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Public Affairs Office

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, TN  37738

Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207 (office), 865-712-4928 (mobile)

Jamie Sanders, 865-436-1203 (office), 865-410-2405 (mobile)

Dollywood’s Splash Country Continues Water Safety Day with Decade of Swim Lessons

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson and Prizes Offered

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, June 12, 2019) – Though drowning is preventable, it’s one of the leading causes of death among children. Dollywood’s Splash Country wants to change that. For ten years now, the water park has set aside a day to educate the community about water safety.

This year, swim instructors and community leaders will come together Thursday, June 20 to provide a free 30-minute lesson in the morning and offer education throughout the day. Area partners LeConte Medical Center, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, WVLT Local 8 News and WIVK 107.7 join Splash Country to host the event.

“As a family water park, we believe it is incumbent upon us to join arm-in-arm with our community and raise awareness about the benefits of teaching kids to swim,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This is the tenth year that we’ve participated in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. We’ve made this an important day in our season because research shows that formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children who are four and younger. We believe this simple event can save lives.”

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson happens at pools and water parks around the world on June 20. Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the participating venues. Last year, nearly 42,000 kids and adults participated in 27 countries.

Due to popular demand, Olympic gold medalist Jenna Johnson and legendary swim coach Jackie Bertucci are teaming up for a second consecutive year to lead the lesson at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

“LeConte Medical Center is honored to be a part of raising awareness concerning safety on or near water,” said LeConte Medical Center President and CAO Gaye Jolly. “The event is important to our community and we are proud to have great partners like the Dr. Robert F Thomas Foundation and Dollywood’s Splash County for Water Safety Day.”

The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. at Mountain Waves wave pool. Vendor booths are open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests who visit the vendor booths receive a Splash Pass, allowing them to receive a prize at each booth. Once the participants have visited all vendors, they may turn their pass in for the chance to win two season passes to Dollywood’s Splash Country!

Water Safety Day and WLSL registration begins Thursday, June 20 at 9 a.m. at Dollywood’s Splash Country. The park opens to guests at 9:30 a.m. Guests should arrive early to register before the swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. Dollywood’s Splash Country admission is required to participate in Water Safety Day and may be purchased on-site or online at Dollywood.com.

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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 Spa; 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 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, 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: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Senior Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Senior Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: New Media and Digital Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9660, (865) 323-7584 or jwebb@dollywood.com

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

 

About LeConte Medical Center (LCMC): Proudly serving Sevier County LeConte Medical Center offers a full array of medical specialties and outstanding medical technology! The Dolly Parton Birthing Unit offers family-centered maternity care in beautiful rooms, complete with views of the Smoky Mountains. The spacious Emergency Department provides excellent emergency care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The Surgery department features 4 Surgical Suites, and 2 Endoscopy suites. LCMC offers outstanding diagnostic services including Laboratory Services, Cardiac Cath Lab, and Imaging Services such as MRI, Ultrasound, and CT Scan. The Dolly Parton Center for Women’s Services features the Breast Center where women can have their annual mammograms, biopsies if needed, as well as bone density exams. Why travel elsewhere, when the care you need is available in your hometown. Come see why you and your family should Count on LeConte!

 
About The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation: Named in honor of a beloved Sevier County physician and minister, the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established in 1983 to help expand the range and quality of health care services available in Sevier County. Dolly Parton, one of the many babies Dr. Thomas delivered, serves as honorary chairperson of the Foundation. The Foundation solicits contributions from individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations to achieve its goal of helping Sevier County meet the continuing challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare field.

National Park Hosts Women’s Work Festival

Release Date: June 10, 2019
Contact:          Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, June 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival honors the vast contributions made by the women of Southern Appalachia. Park staff and volunteers will showcase mountain lifeways and customs that women practiced to care for their families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

As part of the celebration, demonstrations among the historic buildings will include hearth cooking, soap making, cornshuck crafts, and use of plants for home remedies. Exhibits of artifacts and historic photographs will also provide a glimpse into the many and varied roles of rural women. The Davis-Queen house will be open for visitors to walk through with an audio exhibit featuring the last child born in the house.

In addition to the Women’s Work Festival activities, visitors will also be treated to a music jam session on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Music jam sessions are held every first and third Saturday of the month from May through October on the porch from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All activities are free to the public. The Mountain Farm Museum is located on Newfound Gap Road adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, 2 miles north of Cherokee, North Carolina. For additional information call the visitor center at 828-497-1904.

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www.twitter.com/GreatSmokyMountainsNPS

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Public Affairs Office

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, TN  37738

Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207 (office), 865-712-4928 (mobile)

Jamie Sanders, 865-436-1203 (office), 865-410-2405 (mobile)