Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Festival of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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National Enquirer Live Opens Late Spring 2019 in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 5, 2019)– National Enquirer, the crown jewel of America’s supermarket tabloid read by millions, is coming to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this summer in the form of a new, interactive family attraction National Enquirer Live.

The sensational tabloid magazine at the center of some of the most exciting untold stories of the past 100 years – from O.J. Simpson to John Edwards to President Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos – will bring its most famous and controversial stories to life because Enquiring Minds Want to Know!

The two new National Enquirer Live attractions represent a $25 million combined investment in Pigeon Forge and Branson (a National Enquirer Live attraction also opens in Branson this year) and will create more than 100 new jobs (50 at each location by the time the attractions open) according to FrontPage Attractions, the company behind National Enquirer Live.

National Enquirer Live will deliver the story behind the story of the tabloid that created an industry. From being the first on the scene, having the first news helicopter in the sky, and being the first in the supermarket, they will continue that history as the first tabloid with an immersive museum attraction. Visitors of all ages will explore new National Enquirer exclusives on the stories that changed the course of history. Dive into the JFK conspiracy, get the scoop on the British Royal Family, explore the biggest crimes of the past century and experience the life of celebrities in Hollywood.

“While print publications across the country are downsizing, the National Enquirer brand is as strong as ever,” said Robin Turner, a partner in FrontPage Attractions. “People have shown that for nearly 100 years, they just can’t get enough of the storytelling in the National Enquirer – they know what their readers want – and we’re excited to take those stories off the page and bring them to life.”

Turner said, “National Enquirer Live in Pigeon Forge will open this May and the Branson location will open shortly after.”

FrontPage Attractions includes Turner and partners Bill Sims and Steve Nichols. All three have long histories in the Orlando, Branson, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach tourism markets. Turner is co-founder of WonderWorks, an edutainment attraction that operates in Pigeon Forge, Orlando, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach and Syracuse. Turner started his career with Disney Entertainment. Sims is a former Chairman of the Board of the most prestigious and largest trade association in the world, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

In Pigeon Forge, the new 20,000 square-foot National Enquirer Live will be located at 2115 Parkway (in the Pigeon Forge Attraction District). The new 30,000 square-foot Branson location is at 3115 W 76 Country Blvd. (in the former Starlite Theatre).

FrontPage Attractions is currently exploring other possible new attractions and expansions based on the National Enquirer Live model. Turner says, “It is entirely conceivable that other major media outlets could be brought to life in a similar manner. We would welcome these discussions as we continue to expand our Entertainment company.”

For more information, visit www.NationalEnquirerLive.com.

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Media contact: Rick Laney
(865) 300-4538 or

Rick@RickLaneyMarketing.com

Dollywood’s Aunt Granny’s Restaurant Recast with New Look, Menu Items

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, March 21, 2018)— One of Dollywood’s best-known restaurants has been recast in 2018 with a little help from another iconic Tennessee brand, Lodge Manufacturing Company. Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet, which earned its name from the loving nickname Dolly Parton’s nieces and nephews have called her for years, receives a fresh look this season complete with new menu items which will have guests ready to pull a seat up to the table.

Now named Aunt Granny’s Restaurant presented by Lodge, the eatery features a number of changes designed to create a bright and airy space to serve as a comfortable respite for guests to slow down and enjoy a meal together. Interior renovations include action stations, like a new carving station, where guests can watch Dollywood chefs create a number of delightful delicacies.

“Dollywood is known for its quality southern food offerings, and a visit to the buffet at Aunt Granny’s certainly should be on the list for any foodie,” said Dollywood Vice-President Phil Bernard. “With our continuing focus on great food, we felt the time was right to recast the restaurant and add new menu items, while also keeping many of the old favorites.

“The opportunity to partner with Lodge, which is another iconic Tennessee brand, also made perfect sense. When you think of traditional southern foods like fried chicken, cornbread, or apple cobbler, you think of cast iron cookware. And when you think of cast iron cookware, there’s only one company that comes to mind—Lodge.”

The unique partnership with South Pittsburg, Tennessee-based Lodge brings a selection of the company’s famous cast iron cookware into the dining experience. The iconic cookware adorns displays throughout the restaurant, while food on the buffet line will be served from Lodge products.

“We are extremely excited about the collaboration between these two great Tennessee companies,” said Mike Otterman, President of Lodge Manufacturing Company. “We share company values, consumers, location and brand similarities that should allow us to grow together for many years.”

With more than 130 different items, Lodge Cast Iron produces the largest selection of cast iron cookware on the market, including skillets, griddles, grill pans, Dutch Ovens and restaurant serving pieces.

Founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896, Lodge is the oldest continuously operating cast iron cookware foundry in the U.S. The company is also the oldest family-owned cookware company in the country. Henry Lodge, CEO, and Lee Riddle, Vice President of Sales, are fourth and fifth generation descendants of Joseph Lodge.

Located in Dollywood’s Rivertown Junction, Aunt Granny’s was constructed in 1986 and opened during the park’s inaugural season. It has been a favorite spot for guests, as its all-you-can-eat format offers up a wide selection of the southern staples Dollywood’s foods team has cooked up for years.

Fresh off winning Amusement Today’s 2017 Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Food, the foods team has refreshed the menu with a number of items that will surely become new guest favorites. Among those new offerings are Southwestern herb baked chicken, country chicken & dumplings, roasted red-skinned potatoes with cheddar cheese & bacon, corn puddin’, and much more. Stone Soup, inspired by Parton’s famous story about how her mother would use the classic fable to encourage her children when they might be discouraged, also finds its way on to the buffet. Those with a sweet tooth have plenty to select from including apple cobbler, various cupcakes, brownies and more.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2018 Season of Showstoppers, please visit www.dollywood.comor call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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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 30 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, which celebrated record attendance in 2017. Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today in 2014 and 2017, 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 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. The 300-room 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: 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

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

Magic Beyond Belief starring Darren Romeo Moves to Smoky Mountain Opry for Fee/Hedrick’s 2018 Season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., Oct. 27, 2017 The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group’s 2018 season will include the return of “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo,” but the show will move back to The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in the matinee time slot. Romeo, an internationally acclaimed magician, has been the star of Fee/Hedrick’s “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo” show for the past three years.  The move is to enable Romeo to perform larger illusions on a bigger stage and allows for the return of a Bengal tiger to the show.  The last show in the current Magic Beyond Belief Darren Romeo Theater location at 2135 Parkway will be Oct. 28 and the show will reopen  February 10, 2018, at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater at 2046 Parkway.

For ticket information for the final show this season at The Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo Theater call (865) 428-5600 and for ticket information for next spring in the new location, call the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater’s box office 865-428-7469 or 1-800-768-1170 or visit www.pigeonforgemagic.com.

Romeo is the only protégé of Master Illusionists Siegfried and Roy.  He is the only magician in the world allowed to perform Harry Blackstone’s famous legacy of the floating light bulb!

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces many other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including “The Comedy Barn®”, “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™,” “The Smoky Mountain Opry™” Show, and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”  The company features seasonal holiday shows in November and December including “A Comedy Barn Christmas®,” “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry™,“ “The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Feud™,” and “The Smith Morning Christmas Show” featuring the Charlie Bob Smith.

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Contact:  Deborah Fee Newsom

(865) 414-6887 (cell)

(865) 774-8877

Deborah@FeeHedrick.co

 

 

 

Comedy Barn Theater® in Pigeon Forge Offers Free Show Tickets to Hurricane Irma Evacuees from Florida

Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Sept. 10, 2017 – The Comedy Barn Theater® in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is offering free show tickets to Florida residents fleeing Hurricane Irma. The offer is for a limited time only and begins on Sunday, Sept. 10 and runs through Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

“We know this is a difficult time for many, and we hope a little laughter will take people’s minds off their troubles for a couple of hours,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group. “We want to help our extended family and friends make happy memories during a time when they are displaced from their homes.  Since we sell FUN – we want to make a difference in people’s lives and let them have fun!  We have some very passionate performers and employees who want to share the laughter of The Comedy Barn with those in need.”

Irma evacuees should call The Comedy Barn Theater® to reserve their complimentary tickets. Call (865) 428-5222 or Toll Free 1-800-29 LAUGH. This special offer extends to residents of Florida only.  When Florida residents come to pick up their tickets at the theater’s box office (2775 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863), they will need to show some type of Florida photo identification with their address on it.

“Any time people come to the Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, they can be guaranteed one thing: they will laugh till their sides hurt,” Fee said.  “The Comedy Barn provides a wholesome fun show for the entire family – young and old.”

Now in its twenty third season, the multi-million-dollar Comedy Barn Theater® continues to make audiences roar with its nationally-known entertainers, family-friendly comedians, ventriloquists, magicians, jugglers, and musicians. The show also includes a trained animal act featuring a rotation of mini pigs, housecats, dogs, parrots, a mini donkey, and a star-spangled finale.

“Not only are we the funniest show in town, but we are also the largest and most successful clean comedy theater in the world with incredibly enthusiastic fans,” said co-owner David Fee. “We also have one of the funniest video clips on YouTube that features an act of our show entitled, ‘Dad at the Comedy Barn.’ This video clip has been viewed by more than 48 million people and counting,” Fee said.

The video segment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Y4keqTV6w features Comedy Barn® Comedian Eric Lambert and an audience member who can’t stop laughing with his incredibly unique laugh. Fee said, “If people love to laugh and love great music, they will love this show.”

The Comedy Barn® is proud that it has repeatedly been known as the “Funniest Show in Town” by its fans for 23 seasons in a row. This year features some new cast and band members, new routines, new jokes and new country, gospel and patriotic music. Fee said, “One thing that never changes is the laughter that fills The Comedy Barn auditorium night after night as people from all over the country come to enjoy the most successful and most attended clean comedy theater in the world!”

Cast members of The Comedy Barn® include: Danny Devaney, a former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown; Comedian Perry Edenburn as “Harley Worthit” who previously worked in Branson at the “Down Home Country” and “Comedy Jamboree” shows at Grand Country; Greg Franklin, a magician/comedian who plays the country magician “Farmer Clem” and previously worked at the Carolina Nights Dinner Theater in Maggie Valley; Stephen Knowles, an award winning ventriloquist, comedian and man of many voices; Eric Lambert, a comedian who has appeared on “David Letterman,” “Showtime” and an “Evening at Improve”; and Anthony King and Alena Quilanova and their trained animal act who previously worked at “The Comedy Pet Variety Show” in Lakeland, Fla., and has appeared on “Jay Leno” and “Animal Planet.”  New to the Comedy Barn this year is Niels Duinker, international comedy juggler from Holland, who is a 6 time Guinness World Record holder in juggling.  Musicians include: Steve Curry and Ron Jeffery, members of the original Archie Campbell “Heehaw” band; drummer, Buddy Cline; and guitar player, Clyde Foley Cummins.  Cloggers include: Kati Anne Taylor and Autumn Peacock.

Fee said, “The main focus of our show is clean country comedy; however, we have some pretty spectacular magic, juggling and music too. This is a variety show that the whole family can enjoy.  We combine laughter with lots of fun and talented performers to delight people of all ages.”

Open year round, The Comedy Barn® has two shows nightly in season as well as some scheduled matinees throughout the season. For more information, visit www.comedybarn.com.

The Comedy Barn® show is part of the Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group that also includes: the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™;” “The Smoky Mountain Opry™,” “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo, and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”

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Conquering the Con: How Seniors Can Avoid Being Swindled and Scammed

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (August 22, 2017) — Anyone, at any age, can fall victim to a scam. However, con artists most often set their sights on older adults. Seniors in the U.S. are swindled out of an estimated $37 billion per year, according to a report by True Link Financial, mainly through financial exploitation, criminal fraud and caregiver abuse. In an effort to call attention to fraud that particularly targets older adults, Alcatraz East Crime Museum has collaborated with AARP Foundation on a temporary exhibit to help seniors recognize, refuse and report scams.

“We all want to protect our aging parents and loved ones,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “The more people understand how victims are targeted, the more we can do to protect ourselves from these crimes.”

Created by AARP Foundation’s fraud experts and hosted by Alcatraz East, the year-long exhibit, “Scamalot: Conquering the Con,” opens September 21, 2017. Visitors will encounter fraud in its various forms, including impostor scams, investment fraud and lottery scams. The exhibit will also feature stories of notable fraudsters, such as Charles Ponzi, and information on how the public can protect themselves from scams.

“Scamalot” will explore common scams and how to avoid them, including:

  • IRS scams, in which a caller posing as an Internal Revenue Service agent threatens the victim with arrest if they don’t pay.
  • Tech support scams, in which fraudsters gain access to personal information by offering to “fix” a nonexistent computer virus.
  • Sweepstakes scams, which promise a large cash prize in return for a “claim fee.”

“Con artists have their sights set on older adults,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president of programs for AARP Foundation. “Seniors are likely to have accumulated savings, own their home and have good credit — making them attractive targets. We developed ‘Scamalot: Conquering the Con’ to build awareness and understanding of the different types of fraud.”

Among the exhibit’s features will be objects related to infamous fraudsters Bernie Madoff, Lou Pearlman and David Hampton. Visitors will also be able to test their scam spotting skills through interactive displays.

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 museum offers a wide array of exhibits on notorious crimes, law enforcement, and CSI, with historic artifacts and interactives. The Bronco from the famous OJ Simpson chase is currently on display at the museum, along with displays on the Unabomber, Ted Bundy, and Whitey Bulger.

The museum is open 365 days a year, 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 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, Tenn. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works to increase economic opportunity and social connections that help prevent and reduce senior poverty. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

 

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Sources:

The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015https://truelink-wordpress-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/True-Link-Report-On-Elder-Financial-Abuse-012815.pdf

Cher Murphy

President

Cher Murphy PR

T: 571-263-2128

cher@chermurphypr.com

www.CherMurphyPR.com

 

Explore Rare Crime Artifacts from Tennessee, Across the Country at Alcatraz East Crime Museum

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (July 2017) –Those living in and visiting the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area will find a wide range of rare crime and law enforcement artifacts on display at the new Alcatraz East Crime Museum. The variety of objects on display offer an up close and personal look at the stories of some of the most notorious people and crimes in American and Tennessee history, located practically in your own backyard.

“For those looking for something new, different, and interesting, Alcatraz East Crime Museum is the perfect place to visit,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “Our guests enjoy learning about infamous crimes, the people involved, and how they can help prevent crime themselves. There’s something for everyone at the museum, from children learning about safety tips to adults seeing how good their aim is.”

The museum is the home to artifacts, which include firearms, CSI equipment, prison art, and automobiles, come from hundreds of justice and law enforcement divisions nationwide, including several from the state of Tennessee. This includes Tennessee police badges, the polygraph machine used on Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, items belonging to outlaw Jesse James, confiscated moonshine stills, a display on Dr. William M. Bass of the Body Farm, and the museum’s newest addition, the original CBC (super glue) machine and patent, designed to lift fingerprints from bodies, invented by Sevier County native Arthur M. Bohanan. One of the centerpieces of the new museum is Tennessee’s electric chair, “Old Smokey,” that was used in 125 executions from 1916-1960.

Additionally, the museum features numerous Tennessee stories, such as the Scopes Monkey Trial, legendary lawman Sheriff Buford Pusser, Machine Gun Kelly’s Memphis capture, local presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, and the shootings in Chattanooga. The collection also includes prison art from the Tennessee State Prison, leatherwork from the Brushy Mountain State Prison, a Sevier County Sheriff’s Office patrol car, and a Pigeon Forge Police uniform. There are also rotating temporary exhibits, currently including one on wildlife trafficking, which explores how species, including local black bears, are affected by poaching and what citizens can do to help address the problem.

“Whether your interests are to see the famous O.J. Simpson white Bronco or the Natalee Holloway dedication, there is a wide variety of stories to explore,” states Vaccarello, “Visitors from across the country come to visit the museum and always find something that is personal to them or their state; Alcatraz East Crime Museum has quickly become a must-see attraction!”

Alcatraz East officially joined the ranks of fun and family friendly Sevier County options on 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. Guests can also enjoy free parking available at The Island during their visit.

The museum 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.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily 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 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. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

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CONTACT:
Cher Murphy
Cher@chermurphypr.com
571-263-2128

Visiting Pigeon Forge? 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Alcatraz East

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (May 23, 2017) – Each year, around 10 million people visit the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Whether vacationing with their children or enjoying time on their own, most are searching for unforgettable memories while visiting the area. One place that should be at the top of everyone’s list is Alcatraz East Crime Museum, a new attraction on the Parkway that provides both an educational and entertaining time, and includes information and activities for the whole family.

“We’ve had an amazing response since opening our doors in December,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “We have something for all ages, and most families spend 2-3 hours going through the exhibits. Guests walk away saying they knew they would love it, but it was better than expected, and that makes us feel very proud.”

While visitors to the area enjoy taking a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains while visiting this vacation destination, Alcatraz East offers a break from the outdoor activities. Here are 5 things everyone should know about Alcatraz East Crime Museum when visiting the Pigeon Forge area:

1   America’s Favorite Subject. With all the movies and TV shows related to the topic of crime, this is a must see. The museum features five themes that give visitors a glimpse into notorious crime history, forensic science, law enforcement, our justice system and pop culture. There are over 100 interactives throughout the museum, providing visitors with a hands-on experience.

2   It’s Not About Alcatraz. Although it’s part of the name and the famous prison inspired this attractionAlcatraz East is a crime museum, featuring an in depth look at American crime history, with artifacts from different eras and topics. The one-of-kind building was designed as a combination of Tennessee’s first state prison from 1898, and guard towers inspired by the Alcatraz lighthouse in California. The two-story building offers over 25,000 square feet of exhibit space.

3   One-of-a-Kind Artifacts. From white-collar crimes to Old West gunslingers, the museum features original artifacts from Jesse James to Whitey Bulger. Things to watch for include the famous O.J. Simpson chase white Bronco, John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a submachine gun from the movie Scarface, Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle. Tennessee is well represented, with objects such as the Old Smoky electric chair and moonshine stills as well as notable Dr. William Bass, highlighting his achievements- which advanced forensic anthropology.

4   Interact with the Museum. Kids (and their parents) can have fun and learn at the same time through the museum’s Top Detective Challenge. Follow clues throughout the museum to solve the crime of a stolen artifact, and receive a prize if you crack the case! There is also an opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy the thrill of The Heist Laser Maze (think Thomas Crown Affair!).

5   Temporary Exhibits. Beginning mid-May, Alcatraz East debuted the first of its temporary exhibit programs, which will be an annual rotation in two areas of the museum. Through April 2018, “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth About Wildlife Trafficking will reveal how endangered species are effected by poaching and what the public can do to help end the practice.

“Every year, families make lifetime memories here in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area,” states Vaccarello, “We are happy to now be a part of those memories, giving them a look at history, crime prevention, while having an interactive experience.”

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

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

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

About Alcatraz East

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

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CONTACT:

Cher Murphy

Cher@chermurphypr.com

571-263-2128

Country Tonite Opens for 20th Year!

PIGEON FORGE, TN (March 20, 2017) – Celebrating its 20th year, Country Tonite rises to new heights in 2017 with a new show opening on March 30 that showcases new elements and changes along with fan favorites from past seasons. This year’s show yet again promises the unique entertainment experience and award winning identity that sets Country Tonite apart. Where faith, family, and freedom are themes that resonate throughout.  Spectacular production numbers, great new video accompaniment, superb live musicians, a moving Veterans Tribute, and dazzling new costumes and choreography that have won numerous awards throughout the years makes Country Tonite the “Must See” show in Pigeon Forge.   You will enjoy music ranging from old country favorites and gospel, to modern hits and patriotic playlists. You will experience the best singers, dancers and musicians in the business. From the strong talent of our youth performers, to the experienced veterans of stage and song, no matter what your age, Country Tonite is THE SHOW you are going to love! Whether it is your first visit, or you’re a Country Tonite veteran, you are sure to enjoy the show repeatedly voted the “Best Show in the Smokies”.

“Country Tonite is grounded on a foundation of family values, the same values that have made this show a tremendous success. We’re excited and blessed to be opening for our 20th year and we owe it all to the strong support we have received from the community, our guests, families and friends, ” says sales & marketing director Laurie Taylor.  “Country Tonite will continue to do what they have done best over the past 19 years, delighting families with an unforgettable show at the best overall entertainment value.”

The first show of 2017 is scheduled for Thursday, March 30th.  In addition to its regular show, which will run most nights at 8 pm and selected afternoons at 3 pm, Country Tonite Theatre presents a celebrity concert series starring some of the biggest names in country music. In 2017, look for headliners like Tanya Tucker, The Oak Ridge Boys, Neal McCoy, The Bellamy Brothers, and Tracy Lawrence to name a few.  For reservations and information about any of the shows at Country Tonite, call 865-453-2003 or visit www.countrytonitepf.com. The Country Tonite Christmas show runs November and December. You don’t want to miss this Pigeon Forge Show!

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