Posts Tagged ‘special events’

250 Free Seminars, Concerts, Outdoor Excursions Highlight Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge May 8-12

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 24, 2018)—Featuring more than 250 free sessions and activities spanning five days, Pigeon Forge’s award-winning Wilderness Wildlife Week is set for May 8-12. The event is headquartered at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

In its 28th year, Wilderness Wildlife Week offers a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts, hikes and other activities designed to introduce or reacquaint participants of all ages with the great outdoors.

“Wilderness Wildlife Week showcases a diverse range of speakers and experts who share their vast knowledge of life in the Great Smoky Mountains,” said Pigeon Forge Executive Director of Tourism Leon Downey. “From a fishing tournament for kids to an 11-mile hike to Mt. Cammerer, Wilderness Wildlife Week offers something for everyone.”

The Southeast Tourism Society named Wilderness Wildlife Week one of its Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May 2018. Wilderness Wildlife Week also claimed a Gold Kaleidoscope Award—top honors—in the 2018 Southeast Festival and Events Association’s Best Event Program category.

The event’s headline session includes Ken Jenkins, Judy Felts and Friends in a program entitled Heaven and Nature Sing (May 8 at 7 p.m.). Forensics experts Dr. Bill Bass and Art Bohanan (May 9 at 8:30 p.m.) return to discuss forensic cases throughout the Smoky Mountains region, while several historic Sevier County houses of worship are the focus of two outings led by Kathy Gwinn.

Outdoors enthusiasts, nature lovers or those who simply want to learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park can choose from lectures about topics ranging from the area’s rich heritage to conservation. Outdoor demonstrations include back country and Dutch oven cooking while workshops focus on basket weaving, photography, fishing, wildflowers and more.

Among the new sessions this year are My Wild Life: From Bears, Panthers and Pandas to People with Ken Johnson, Frontier Life: Women’s Role in Western Frontier Living in North Carolina with the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, The Ragmen of Appalachia featuring Joseph Williams, Ranger Recollections of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1960s with Joe Kelley, The White Caps: The Great Unmasking presented by Don Williams, and a Great Smoky Mountains Association film series.

Hikers of all experience levels can choose from several excursions each day. Highlights include an 11-plus-mile hike to the Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower located less than a mile off the Appalachian Trail (May 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), a six-hour hike highlighting the People and Places of Cades Cove (May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a nearly five-mile Hen Wallow Falls trek that takes hikers through a hemlock and rhododendron forest (May 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), and, for the second year in a row, the 2.5-mile Cades Cove Loop Road Night Hike (May 10 from 8-10:30 p.m.).

A special kids’ track is offered for younger outdoors enthusiasts where participants can learn more about topics ranging from composting, snakes, and photography. Jenkins, an acclaimed photographer, leads a first-time session entitled Connecting to Nature in which he examines how to engage wildlife and experience first-hand some of the ways to connect to nature and capture its beauty. A children’s Old-Time Scavenger Hunt (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Kids’ Trout Tournament (8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for children ages seven to 12) both take place on Saturday, May 12.

More than 50 exhibits and vendors, including the not-for-profit Cades Cove Preservation Association and Onsite Heritage Museum, East Tennessee Historical Society, Keep Sevier Beautiful, and Tennessee Trail of Tears, are open daily during the conference beginning at 10 a.m. in LeConte Hall.

This spring celebration of the great outdoors is free and open to the public. For more information, a complete schedule and registration details, visit MyPigeonForge.com.

Pigeon Forge Special Events Garner Recognition from Two Southeastern Organizations

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2018)—Two Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) events—Wilderness Wildlife Week 2018 and A Mountain Quiltfest 2017—were recently recognized with regional awards by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) and the Southeast Festival and Events Association (SFEA).

STS selected Wilderness Wildlife Week as one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May 2018. Wilderness Wildlife Week and A Mountain Quiltfest tied for top honors in SFEA’s Best Event Program category with each earning a Gold Kaleidoscope Award. A Mountain Quiltfest also received the Kaleidoscope Award for Best Event Within an Event (bronze) for the silent quilt auction to benefit the My People Fund and the Best Other Merchandise Award (gold) for the event thimble.

A Mountain Quiltfest takes place March 20-24, and features a free quilt show and vendor mall. Classes and lectures are offered for all levels of quilting skills (fees apply). Wilderness Wildlife Week, May 8-12, offers workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts, hikes and other activities that introduce and reacquaint participants with the great outdoors; all are free. Both are headquartered at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

“Members of both the Southeast Tourism Society and Southeast Festival and Events Association are authorities on special events, and they recognize the value of these events to our tourism industry,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The awards are certainly appreciated, but we are also grateful to both STS and SFEA for their efforts to promote Wilderness Wildlife Week and A Mountain Quiltfest to their audiences.”

Events considered for STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published at Southeast Tourism Society.

“The Southeast is home to unique and memorable events throughout the year. In spotlighting the Top 20 festivals and events each month, STS is not only giving these events the recognition they deserve but we’re also creating a quick reference guide to some of the best festivals in the Southeast,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of STS. “These events are important to the economic vitality of our communities and this is a way for us to acknowledge the time and resources organizers have tirelessly spent to create memories for their attendees.”

The Kaleidoscope Awards ceremony was Feb. 26 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in conjunction with the 15th Annual SFEA conference. Top festivals and events throughout the Southeast were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the events industry. A panel of experts in event planning, marketing and tourism spent an entire day reviewing entries from eight states. The judges looked for originality, creativity, media impact, volunteer programs, and the overall impact to the community. The categories are also diverse, ranging from Best Marketing Campaign to Best T-Shirt to Best Festival or Event.

“The quality of submissions continues to increase each year making it more difficult for the judges to select the winners,” noted Brenda Pierce, executive director for SFEA.  “Of course, to ‘win gold,’ becomes all the sweeter when there is additional competition and the recognition a festival receives for winning is priceless.”

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Media Contact:

Trish McGee for the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189 ext. 327

About the Southeast Tourism Society (STS):

STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

About the Southeast Festivals & Events Association (SFEA):

The Southeast Festivals & Events Association (SFEA) is a 501 (c) 6 membership-based organization comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers. SFEA was founded in 2009 to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States 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. Membership is open to those in the festivals and events industry as well as those wanting to get their start and learn more about this exciting profession.

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