Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Dollywood Begins Season-long Celebration of Biggest Year in Park History

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 15, 2019)—Dollywood’s 34th season—and undoubtedly the park’s biggest ever—opened today with a special preview day for season passholders and a surprise visit from Dolly Parton. In a year that also includes the opening of the largest addition in Dollywood history later this season—the $37 million Wildwood Grove—the award-winning park’s range of unique festival offerings, spectacular shows and memorable experiences make this the best year yet to experience the spirit of the Smokies.

Veteran Dollywood guests know each season offers a completely new atmosphere for families to enjoy. With Wildwood Grove’s thrilling new attractions, award-winning entertainment and fabulous festivals, 2019 is the perfect year to take advantage of a Dollywood season pass or multi-day ticket.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (now-April 14) allows guests to travel the world without leaving the Smokies. Cultures from around the globe come together in this festive event which offers the excitement of traditional music, dance, food and art from a wide array of countries. A number of internationally-recognized performing groups come to Dollywood for the first time in 2019. Headliners Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drum Struck bring unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood’s stages, while a number of returning favorites allow guests to reconnect with old friends. Festival of Nations is a fun, educational and uplifting experience for families to enjoy. The Passport to Food features authentic international cuisine, while daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide an exceptional escape to another world.

Bluegrass fans know Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 24-June 2) provides them with 10 days of toe tappin’ music served up alongside some of the tastiest pulled pork, barbequed chicken and traditional sides anywhere! This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Dailey & Vincent are just a few of the headliners who make this annual tradition music to the ears! With the tantalizing treats from Dollywood’s award-winning chefs and the sweet sounds of bluegrass, Dollywood guests have the perfect recipe to kick off the summer!

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22-Aug. 4) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! With the opening of Wildwood Grove, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life when the sun sets. Each evening ends with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza that lights up the night sky. High-energy music and shows like Dreamland Drive-In make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is a great reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with the new Smoky Mountain tradition, Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every evening allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. Several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists make the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s largest event in America. Grammy nominees The Isaacs and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound already are set to perform. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Named the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide for more than a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 9- Jan. 4, 2020) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in to the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than five million holiday lights, enjoy the festive holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Glacier Ridge returns to transport guests to the arctic with the Northern Lights, the Arctic Passage and a 50-ft. tall animated tree. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in this merry environment. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.

For more information about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.

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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