Biltmore Estate Chihuly Glass Exhibit

Chihuly Biltmore Exhibit

Biltmore Estate must be experienced to be believed! Photo credit – Biltmore Estate.

Biltmore Estate Chihuly Glass Exhibit. Chihuly glass creations brighten the day and light up the night during Chihuly at Biltmore.
Famed glass artist Dale Chihuly brings his incredible sculptures to Biltmore Estate during May – October.

Chihuly’s fabulous glass creations, Biltmore’s first ever outdoor art exhibit, are displayed throughout Biltmore House and the surrounding gardens – providing a perfect complement to Biltmore’s Winter Garden, Italian Garden and Walled Garden. “The display has been in the planning stage for more than a year,” said Travis Tatham, director of entertainment and event programming at Biltmore. Each large scale structure is composed of numerous pieces and each required a base and power access. Lighting the delicate displays proved quite a challenge, according to Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture at Biltmore, who added that Biltmore’s landscaping team collaborated with the Chihuly team to arrange intricate designs, to complement each piece. The massive creations are spectacular by day but on Thursday through Sunday evenings, the amazing sculptures are carefully lit to provide a dazzling dimension to this fabulous exhibit dubbed, Chihuly Nights at Biltmore, and marks the first time Biltmore is hosting evening hours for an outdoor exhibit. On those nights, attendees can also enjoy a wine bar and live music in the gardens.
Daytime viewing of the exhibit is included in general admission to Biltmore Estate while nighttime viewing requires a separate ticket which ranges in price from $57-$65. For more information call 800-411-3812 or go to Biltmore.

Asheville’s North Carolina Glass artisans celebrate the Chihuly exhibit with Summer of Glass. Asheville’s North Carolina Glass Center

Biltmore Estate Chihuly Exhibit

Tour these magical gardens day or night for the visual experience of a lifetime! Photo credit – Biltmore Estate.

announces a six-month celebration of Western North Carolina’s glass artisans during the Summer of Glass. In conjunction with Chihuly at Biltmore, regional glass artists are offering several major events and exhibits. “The celebration kicked off with the Downtown Asheville Arts District First Friday gallery stroll and continues with four VIP weekends throughout the summer that include studio tours, hands-on opportunities, tickets to Chihuly at Biltmore, and a few collector home visits,” said Sherry Masters, owner of Art Connections tours.

For more information about Summer of Glass, visit GLASS.

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam

Boogertown Gap

Local artists Boogertown Gap will tell y’all these mountains can inspire anyone to make music!

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. June 16th; July 7th and 21st; August 4th and 18th; and September 1st and 15th, 2018.

Musicians of every skill level are encouraged to string up their favorite acoustic instrument and join the fun. This is your chance to pick with world class music lovers in the beautiful Oconaluftee valley. The raised roof porch is the perfect venue for some old time mountain music that is quintessential to the Smoky Mountains!

Pickers and their families come from far and wide to scrub a rug in Oconaluftee. Music ranges from traditional Scotch-Irish tunes to more contemporary fare including bands such as the Dillards, Old Crow Medicine Show, Flatt & Scruggs and more. Of course they will be pickin’ both kinds of music, Country and Bluegrass!

One of the great things about this event is the entire family can enjoy the music in the cool shade of the porch. Another option is to let the tunes waft down to you on a summers breeze while touring the historic Mountain Farm Museum. They say music hath charm and has been known to soothe the savage beast so don’t be surprised to see an elk or two toe tapping along with the tunes. Speaking of toes, dipping yours in the cool waters of the scenic Oconaluftee river is a sure cure for a hot summer day!

Join us at the Oconaluftee Back Porch for some music and fun. You just might learn something before it is done!

National Park Hosts Appalachian Women’s Work Event

Join the fun at Oconaluftee Visitors Center and help us honor the hard work and sacrifices of the women of Appalachia!

National Park Hosts Appalachian Women’s Work Event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Event at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Mountain Farm Museum next to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The visitors center is located two miles north of Cherokee, North Carolina on highway 441. The event honors the service and sacrifice made by the women of Appalachia.

Park staff and volunteers will showcase the toils of mountain life and the customs practiced by women and their families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Demonstrations among the historic buildings include hearth cooking, soap making, cornshuck crafts, and using plants for home remedies. Artifacts and historic photographs will be exhibited providing a glimpse into the varied roles of mountain women. The Davis-Queen house will be open for visitors to tour and will feature an audio exhibit of the last child born in the house. The event gives families a

Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Oconaluftee Visitors Center is always a great place to discover secrets of the Smokies!

chance to see into the past  and also participate in hands-on activities of traditional southern Appalachia.

Visitors will also be treated to an old timey music jam  on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Porch jam sessions are held every first and third Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. All activities are free to the public. For additional information call the visitor center at 828-497-1904 or visit

Stars shine bright in Dollywood during 2018 Season of Showstoppers

Go international in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Stars shine bright in Dollywood during 2018 Season of Showstoppers.
Dollywood’s 33rd season kicked off with an amazing array of entertainment entitled “Season of Showstoppers.

Dollywood has won Amusement Today’s Golden ticket Award for Best Theme Park Entertainment for the past nine years and, given the more than $1 million additional investment in this year’s offering, looks to lead the way to the award for the tenth year. Each season at Dollywood provides a new and exciting experience for the entire family; both for season pass holders or those opting to purchase the new multi-day ticket.

The year began March 17-April 9 with a Festival of Nations that honored the traditional music, dance and food and crafts from countries across the globe. It continued with Spring Mix Music series April 11-29 that spotlighted classic country talent. The park’s popular Barbecue & Bluegrass began May 25 and ran through June 10. This event provided more that 350 concerts during the festival.

The upcoming Summer Celebration, June 16-Aug. 5, featuring extended park hours, 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. daily, provides an opportunity for families to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions well into the night. Entertainment includes America’s got Talent finalist’s iLuminate performing June 16-July 4. This inventive group in their electrified glow-in-the-dark costumes performs dynamic dance routines and illusions. From July 7-July 24, DRUMline Live! provides synchronized music based on the hit 2002 movie Drumline. The evenings climax with an amazing fireworks extravaganza set to lively music.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, presented by Humana Sept. 28-Nov.3., includes an expansion of the favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights

The LumiNights are a “Spooktacularly” fun time!

and also features the largest Southern gospel event in America. More than 600 performances by award-winning southern gospel acts takes place during the festival and thousands of carved pumpkins will illuminate the evening with an eerie glow. Visitors will also enjoy the artistry of visiting crafters from across the country and will have a chance to sample the harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award winning food teams.

Christmas is special at Dollywood, honored as the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide, where more than four million holiday lights and nostalgic performances provide a holiday atmosphere that is perfect for your family. Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors and traditional shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies are guaranteed to put your entire family in the holiday spirit!

Smoky Mountain Service Day Volunteers Needed

Smoky Mountain service days

Lend a hand and make a difference in Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Smoky Mountain Service Day Volunteers Needed.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are excited to announce the popular “Smokies Service Days” volunteer program resumes this month.

This is your chance to lend a hand in much needed national park restoration projects. Park staff will lead service opportunities beginning June 9. Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for the scheduled service projects that interest them. Service Days will provide opportunities to help care for park campgrounds, native plant gardens, and other natural and cultural resources in the Smokies.

The goal of these programs is to complete much needed work across the park and is ideal for those seeking to fulfill community service requirements. High school and college students, scout troops, civic organizations, visitors, families, and working adults are all encouraged to participate! Each project will provide tasks appropriate for a wide range of ages and skill levels. Volunteer projects begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until noon on Saturday mornings. Each project will conclude with an optional enrichment adventure to immerse participants in the natural and cultural resources of the park.

Park staff will provide tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests. Wearing closed-toe shoes is a requirement and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be provided as necessary.  You will definitely want to bring a sack lunch if you plan to stay for the optional enrichment activity.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Project Coordinator, Logan Boldon, at 865-436-1278 prior to the scheduled event date to register. Space may be limited.

Current service opportunities include:
June  9  : Campground Clean-Up at Elkmont
June 16  : Campground Clean-Up at Smokemont
June 30 : Gardening at Oconaluftee
July    7 : Picnic Area & Campground Clean-Up at Deep Creek
July  21  : Campground Clean-Up at Cosby