Posts Tagged ‘Smoky Mountains’

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.

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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

 

 

 

Pigeon Forge Receives Eight Kaleidoscope Awards for Special Events

Pigeon Forge Special Events Dept. Coordinator (left) and Pigeon Forge Special Events Manager Butch Helton (right) carried home eight awards from the Southeast Festivals and Events Association awards ceremony in Lexington, Ky., in recognition of the city’s special events.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2017) – The Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) Department of Tourism claimed eight Kaleidoscope Awards in recognition of the city’s special events during the 14th annual Southeast Festivals and Events Association (SFEA) conference in Lexington, Ky., in February.

Pigeon Forge’s 2016 Saddle Up festival, a celebration of the Western lifestyle, claimed four Silver Awards and one Bronze Award. Saddle Up’s Chuck Wagon Cookoff was recognized with one of the Silver Awards for best event within an event. The outdoor-focused Wilderness Wildlife Week was recognized with one Silver Award and a Bronze Award for best event within an event for Appalachian Homecoming’s Cades Cove Preservation Association Picnic Dinner fundraiser. A Mountain Quiltfest, which features displays and dozens of classes, earned a Bronze Award.

“The quality of submissions continues to increase each year making it more difficult for the judges to select the winners,” noted Brenda Pierce, SFEA executive director.

“Pigeon Forge’s special events are entertaining and educational and give our guests even more reasons to visit,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “We are certainly appreciative of SFEA’s award-winning recognition.”

Pigeon Forge’s 2017 Wilderness Wildlife Week takes place May 9-13. For more information, visit www.MyPigeonForge.com.

SFEA is a 501 (c) 6 membership-based organization comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers. It was founded in 2009 to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeastern U.S. by hosting educational sessions, networking opportunities, award recognition, and additional events throughout the year; thus, allowing for continued professional growth within the festivals and events industry.

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Media Contact:

Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189

More than 500 Artful Quilts Expected at ‘A Mountain Quiltfest’ in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2017) – More than 500 artfully designed and carefully stitched quilts will compete for more than $20,000 in prize money at the 23rd A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge next spring. The five-day event, one of biggest of its kind in the U.S., is March 21-25, 2017.

A Mountain Quiltfest will feature more than 60 classes and lectures about America’s popular folk art taught by world-class instructors. There is a fee for classes, but admission to the quilt displays and a vendor mall is free.

New in 2017, award-winning cowgirl poet Yvonne Hollenbeck and “the first lady of Western music” Jean Prescott will present five classes at A Mountain Quiltfest. Performing together, Hollenbeck and Prescott share the history of the Western prairie through song and poetry alongside historic photographs of quilters as well as generations-old quilts, including Hollenbeck’s collection of family quilts that spans 140 years. A free session hosted by the duo on March 23 at noon features Hollenbeck’s collection of aprons made from vintage feed sacks.

“A Mountain Quiltfest showcases how quilts were born of necessity and pieced from scrap fabric and feed sacks and have evolved into decorative masterpieces that are artfully designed, displayed and collected today,” said Butch Helton, manager of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism’s special events office, which organizes the activity along with the Piecemakers and Sevier Valley Quilters guilds.

Twenty quilt categories will be displayed, including ones with this year’s special theme – two fabrics.

Displays and the festival’s classes, demonstrations and special activities are in the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, the city’s 232,000-square-foot events facility.

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

Candace St. Lawrence, an American Quilter’s Society certified appraiser, will appraise quilts on March 21, 23, 24 and 25 by appointment. (Make appointments by contacting Lana Bowes at 865-429-7350 or lbowes@CityOfPigeonForge.com.)

Several antique quilt bed turnings are scheduled during the event. These are sessions where local quilters and guild members offer detailed information about collections of quilts made before 1966.

Information about visiting Pigeon Forge is at MyPigeonForge.com. Details of A Mountain Quiltfest are at MyPigeonForge.com/events/quiltfest.

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Media Contact:

Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189

 

All New 2017 Smoky Mountain Opry™ show opens with “Feel the Music”

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., March 14, 2017 –The “Smoky Mountain Opry™,” renowned as the must-see variety show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has opened for its grand finale farewell season with “Feel the Music,” an all-new original show, with many new cast members and what Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is promising to be their biggest and best production show in Pigeon Forge to date.  “Our new show is all about the wow,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group.   The show has earned the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row for having a 5-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. Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is planning to re-brand the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” show and re-name the theater in 2018.

Hosted by Hugh Warren, the brand-new “Smoky Mountain Opry™ Feel the Music” show is the largest and most attended musical variety show in the Smokies and is marking its sixth season.  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.  The song and dance performances are showcased in a variety of genres and styles ranging from ballroom to tap to country western and everything in between.  “Combine all of this with the special effects of this beautiful theater – and you are in for an incredible musical journey that you will never forget,” Fee said.

Back by popular demand are the high-flying silk aerialists Duo Artis’ Leann Farley and Semyon Gruzdev and the juggling artistry and comedy of David Hirschi, better known as “Slim Chance.”   Farley has been performing since the age of 15 all over the world.  Gruzdev graduated from one of the most prestigious dance academies in Russia and was a member of the Russian National Theater Dance Group. Chance previously performed in Las Vegas and in Branson, Mo.  He juggles a bowling ball, a rubber chicken, a ping-pong ball, saw blades and many other unusual items in his act, mixed with lots of humor and audience interaction.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new cast members and our returning cast members this year,” Fee said. “Our audiences are always amazed to see Leann and Semyon gracefully fly through the air, but they also love their quick-change act, where you barely blink and they have changed costumes.  Slim Chance is well-known for his unbelievable skillful juggling and he is heartwarming and hilarious too!

“To call The Smoky Mountain Opry show the largest and most exciting variety show in the Smokies is an understatement,” Fee said.  “We are bringing a variety of new production numbers to the stage this season, and we want to especially thank all of our fans who have seen the Smoky Mountain Opry show over the years and invite new visitors to a spectacular new show.

“Our Smoky Mountain Opry show this year features songs that our guests will remember and love all over again, with a remarkable live band,” Fee said.  “Our exceptional cast of singers, dancers and musicians bring back some great memories for our guests with genres that have truly impacted the evolution of music.”

The acclaimed “Smoky Mountain Opry™” show, in the 1400 seat Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater, is known for its diverse musical variety acts and special effects such as lasers, pyrotechnics, flying musicians, water elements and giant video screens.

Singer Charlie Bob Smith performs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the “Smoky Mountain Opry™” show this year.  Smith, well known as the man of a thousand voices, was winner of The Mountain Press Readers’ People’s Choice Award seven times and “Entertainer of the Year” in 2009.  He also performs in “The Smith Morning Variety Show” at The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

Other cast and musicians in this year’s Smoky Mountain Opry Theater’s “Feel the Music” Show™” include:  Talibah Ashe, Kara Bergman, Alison Bray, Mowava Bucciero, Summer Collins-Wright, Michael DeJesus, Kevin Eknes, Matt George, Timothy Goins, Mark Holbrook, Daniel Longacre, Sally Mementowski, Tim McManus, Cody Parisi, Jeremy Phillips, Kelsey Rae Reinsfelder, Luke Sanderford, Hugh Warren, Jared Willson and Kaleb Wright.

Michael Headla, general manager of The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater and entertainment director for Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, is the producer of the 2017 Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater’s “Feel the Music” show.  The production team includes:  David Fee and Jim Hedrick, executive producers; Regina Laughlin, choreographer; Marshall Whaley, technical director; Joel Bruce, production manager; and Sunny Ware and Carol Culp, costume designers.

The show runs at 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday with matinees on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. There will be occasional Sunday shows and on holiday weekends at 3:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The theater is located at 2046 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  Ticket prices are $39.95 plus tax for adults and $19.95 plus tax for children ages 3 to 11. For more information, visit http://www.smokymountainopry.com/ or call The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater box office at 865-428-7469 or 1-800-768-1170.

Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group offers a combo show deal for only $19.95 plus tax for adult tickets to The “Smoky Mountain Opry™” when guests buy a ticket to the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” for $56.95 plus tax. With this combo deal, children are $24.95 plus tax to the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” and free to The “Smoky Mountain Opry™” (one child per paying adult).

After this year’s regular season closes, The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater will open its “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™” show on Nov. 1.  After the Christmas show closes in January, the theater will undergo a significant upgrade with details to be announced later this year.

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. 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.

In the Dec. 2014 edition of “Southern Living” magazine The “Smoky Mountain Opry™” was named the “Don’t Miss Variety Show” in Pigeon Forge.

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Contact:  Deborah Fee Newsom

(865) 774-8877; (865) 414-6887 (cell)

Deborah@feehedrick.com

 

 

 

 

Bluegrass Artists Headline Two-Night Concert Feb. 10-11 To Benefit Dollywood Foundation Wildfire Scholarship Fund

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Jan 10, 2017)—A lineup of bluegrass music’s top artists is scheduled to perform Feb. 10-11 in Pigeon Forge with proceeds from ticket sales to benefit the Dollywood Foundation Wildfire Scholarship Fund.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Grascals, Flatt Lonesome, and Volume 5 will take the stage on Friday, Feb. 10. The Lonesome River Band, Barry Bales & Friends, Newtown, Dave Adkins Band, and Jimbo Whaley & Greenbriar perform on Saturday, Feb. 11, during a two-night bluegrass celebration to benefit those affected by recent wildfires in East Tennessee.

“For these stellar artists to step up and donate their time and talents to support Sevier County families is beyond belief,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “This two-night music event will help ensure that Sevier County students receive scholarship funds and that’s an important investment in the students’ future—and ours.”

“As an East Tennessee native, I’ve been especially moved by the mountain tough spirit of my neighbors in the aftermath of this event,” said Lawson. “I am excited and humbled to participate in this two-night bluegrass celebration offering relief and support for some well-deserving folks.” Lawson was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, and resides in Bristol, Tennessee. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Hall of Fame, seven–time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year Award winner and has four Grammy Award nominations for best bluegrass album.

General admission tickets are $30 per person for each concert, or a two-concert ticket is available for $50 per person (ticketing service and handling fees not included). Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 18, at knoxvilletickets.com or at the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism offices (open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) located at the LeConte Center (135 Jake Thomas Road). For more information, please visit http://mypf.social/smokymtnstrongbluegrasscelebration.

Dolly Parton established the Dollywood Foundation Scholarship Fund to provide support for Sevier County students to attend the university of their choice. The scholarship fund includes the Dolly Parton Scholarship, awarded annually to a student at each of Parton’s native Sevier County’s five high schools. In November 2016, the fund presented the One Million Children Scholarship, a special $30,000 scholarship awarded to a two-year-old Imagination Library participant to commemorate the literacy program’s achievement of a monthly enrollment of one million children. The Wildfire Scholarship will provide financial aid to students whose homes were lost to the fires.

Sevier County firefighters and first responders along with families currently participating in the My People Fund distribution will be special guests at the concerts.

Friday’s concert begins at 5 p.m.; Saturday’s show starts at 4 p.m. (doors open an hour prior to each concert).

The concert is sponsored by the City of Pigeon Forge and the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge with talent provided by Moonstruck Management. Sound and lighting is donated by Blue Ridge Sound; Stellar Visions and Sound is donation staging. Catering is provided by Bullfish Grill. Other sponsors include the Sevier County Economic Development Council. WDVX radio is the official media sponsor.

Media contact:         Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189

 

Lyrics & Lore Weekend At Dollywood’s Dreammore Resort Showcases Songwriters And Storytellers

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 3, 2017) — Songs and stories blend with the beauty and inspiration of the Great Smoky Mountains for a weekend of Lyrics & Lore at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, an event held Jan. 26-29 in conjunction with The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival (SMSWF) and The International Storytelling Center (ISC).

Lyrics & Lore brings together some of the country’s most talented storytellers and musicians to celebrate the rich traditions of songwriting and storytelling in the Appalachian region. The weekend allows the public to interact with storytellers and songwriters who will teach participants ways to tell their family’s unique stories. Additionally, songwriters participating in the event will work in small groups to pen songs to be performed during Saturday’s activities, offering those in attendance the opportunity to experience the process of story developing into song.

Throughout the event, nationally-recognized storytellers and hit songwriters from country, bluegrass and gospel perform for Lyrics & Lore guests. On Friday, a country songwriters’ showcase and a concert featuring Bryan White and Brady Seals from the country group Little Texas highlight the evening’s activities. Sunday morning brunch and an inspirational gospel hour with Grammy Award winner Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle and Jerry Salley round out the special weekend event. Some of the music concerts are separately ticketed events.

The International Storytelling Center, based in Jonesborough, Tennessee, will award its inaugural Seal of Excellence to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort during the weekend event.  ISC created the Seal of Excellence program to recognize storytelling-related sites of superior quality across a variety of cultural institutions, heritage sites, tourist attractions and communities.

“We created the seal as a way to recognize excellence in different organizations that are using storytelling to enhance their own core mission, whatever that may be,” said Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the International Storytelling Center. “I think anyone who’s been there (to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort) could tell you that this designation has been richly earned.”

A full schedule for Lyrics & Lore is available at www.dollywood.com. To stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort for the event, visit www.dollywood.com or call (800) DOLLYWOOD.

 -dollywood2017-

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.

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

 

“Twas the Fight Before Christmas” at the “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud!” ™

Tim Harkleroad Hatfield and McCoy Christmas

Pigeon Forge, Tenn., (Nov. 1, 2016) – At the “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud”™ in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the bitter conflict between the two families continues as neither family stops their  feudin’ for Christmas.

Back for a sixth season, The “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud” ™  kicked off Nov. 1 and runs every day until Jan. 3, 2017 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. nightly, with occasional 2 p.m. matinees.  The audience follows the lives of the two clashing mountain clans with their vibrant dancing, foot stomping music and a backwoods decorating contest!

“’Twas the Fight before Christmas’ and it is bigger and better than ever with a brand new set with multiple levels for added craziness,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group. “We have put $500,000 into our new set this year and we have feudin’ feastin’ holiday fun at ‘The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud’,” he said. “If you think your family fights during the holidays, come spend the holidays with the Hatfield and McCoys.  It is a hilarious holiday disaster and things are bound to go wrong.  Guests will be cheering for the Hatfields or the McCoys.  We have lively new characters, plenty of new laughs and upbeat Christmas music.  It is lots of good, clean, family Christmas fun!”

Unscrupulous Mayor Timothy O’Reilly (played by Tim Harkleroad) is plotting to steal the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s land in order to build some time-share property. When the two families discover his plans they drop their feud and band together to get him to come to his senses. The Mayor’s encounter with the Ghost of Christmas past helps him to discover the true meaning of Christmas.  Situations include a barn party, a Christmas lighting contest, and some ghost costumes!

“The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud”™ tells a hilarious story of fussin’ and fightin’ inspired by real life tragic events.  The musical clogging show is full of family friendly comedy with many holiday twists.   There are many favorites Christmas carols and traditional spiritual songs of Christmas in the show such as, “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” “O Holy Night,” and “Joy to the World.”

This approximately two-hour live show offers guests extraordinary country, bluegrass and gospel music.  It also features award winning hillbilly musicians, cloggers, and an abundance of country cooking.

“This show is something the whole family can enjoy,” Fee said.  “Our delicious home-style Christmas feast cooked by Granny includes all-you-can-eat Feudin’ Fried Chicken, Open Pit Pulled-to-Pieces Pork Barbecue, Granny’s Creamy Chicken Soup, Smashed Mashed Taters, Buttery Corn on The Cob, Ma’s Homemade Bread, No Tellin’ What’s In It Coleslaw and  Specialty Desserts. A vegetarian option is also available upon request.  It is the best dinner in town.

“We have two talented families who will bring you all the sweetness and craziness of this beautiful season,” Fee said.  “Whether you are city-folk or country cuzins, you will love the holiday mayhem, lots of singing and dancing, jaw dropping stunts and sidesplitting comedy.  We hope you will come spend some time with us this holiday season. We have lots of holiday havoc and plenty of action and excitement.”

Fee stated that guests are treated to a pre-show full of musical Christmas fun before the real show starts.  The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s invite each side of the audience to support “their kin” at the “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud”™ in the legendary hillbilly feud of rival families.

For more information about the show, visit www.HatfieldMcCoyDinnerFeud.com or call (865) 908-7469 (SHOW).  The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theater is located at 119 Music Road between traffic lights 0 and 1 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge next to the Titanic.

Ticket prices for “The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud”™ are $54.95 plus tax and children are $24.95 plus tax.  Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.   Fee/Hedrick offers a special combination show deal that gives adult customers the opportunity to pay only $19.95 plus tax for “Christmas at The Smoky Mountain Opry”™ when they buy the world-famous “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud” ™ at the regular price of $54.95 plus tax.  With this combo deal, children are $24.95 plus tax for the “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud”™ (up to age 11) and children are free to the “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry” ™.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is one of the largest show production companies in the southeast.  The company also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including: “A Comedy Barn Christmas®”, “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™, “ “The Smith Morning Christmas Show” featuring the Charlie Bob Smith and “Magic Beyond Belief”™ starring Darren Romeo, (which will reopen in March).  In addition, the company also owns Chef’s Catering.

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 CONTACT:  Deborah Fee Newsom, (865) 414-6887 or (865) 774-8877; Deborah@FeeHedrick.com

Photo:  Mayor Timothy O’Reilly (played by Tim Harkleroad) on banjo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dollywood Set To Celebrate “Best And Brightest” Christmas Ever

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (November 1, 2016) — As the only theme park in the world to win Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket award for Best Christmas Event, it is fair to say Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 5- Jan. 1) can be considered a gold standard for Christmas festivals. This year, however, the park is outdoing itself with the best and brightest Christmas event in Dollywood’s history.

Guests can expect a multitude of merriment this year with the awe-inspiring new Parade of Many Colors, the remastered Christmas in the Smokies, the all-new It’s a Wonderful Life, four million festive lights and a joyous holiday atmosphere guests have come to enjoy during this lively festival.

“Christmas is such a special time of year for me because some of my most precious memories are the wonderful times I had with my family during the holidays as a kid,” Dolly Parton said. “It’s the time of year when our traditions, along with our faith and the love of family, combine to create those sweet experiences we always remember. After all of the things I’ve been able to see and do in my life, it’s the times from those Christmases with my family I still hold most dear.

“I know the families who come to visit my Dollywood during this beautiful time of year will leave with some of those same moments they’ll treasure forever.”

Like her new NBC holiday movie, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, Parton’s new parade celebrates the fun, faith, family and harmony of the holiday season. The new parade, which begins mid-November, includes whimsical floats, interactive characters and a heart-warming, cheerful message for Dollywood guests to enjoy.

Dollywood’s entertainment team brings a Christmas classic to life with the debut of It’s a Wonderful Life. Based on the timeless holiday story of love and generosity, small town businessman George Bailey discovers the true value of life, family and friends with a little help from his guardian angel, Clarence. Additionally, one of Dollywood’s greatest entertainment offerings is remastered in 2016, as Christmas in the Smokies returns to its traditional home at D.P.’s Celebrity Theater. Guests can celebrate the joy of the season while a cast of singers and dancers performs hometown holiday favorites while accompanied by a band of live musicians!

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, which in 2016 earned its eighth consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, 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 are a Cornish hen, complete with sweet potato casserole and green beans, and a hot chocolate station. Returning favorites include turkey and dressing, Christmas ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, hot flavored drinks like wassail, and much more. Holiday desserts available throughout the park include pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, and pumpkin spice funnel cakes.

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2017 season pass for as low as $27 (plus tax when buying four or more). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket ($65) toward the purchase of a 2017 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2017 season. (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.) Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park’s next operating day.

Please 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 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.

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