Make your fortune in Smoky Mountain-opoly!

Make your fortune in Smoky Mountain-opoly! Relay for Life of Sevier County acquired exclusive rights to create a Smoky Mountain version of the beloved board game to help raise funds for cancer research. Filled with the iconic amusements and attractions in the Smoky Mountain region, your family and friends will have mountains of fun playing Smoky Mountain-opoly!


Choose from six different game pieces! The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at The Island in Pigeon Forge, the Helicopter from Scenic Tours, a Wine Bottle from Rocky Top Wine Trail, a Pick from Pigeon Forge Gem Mine, the Cable Car from Ober Gatlinburg’s Aerial Tramway, or the cuddliest Bear from Three Bears General Store.

Proceeds from sales of the board game will benefit American Cancer Society and our fight to end cancer,” says Relay for Life of Sevier County Chairman, Sophia Conerly, “We are so excited about Smoky Mountain-opoly because it is something that both locals and visitors can enjoy.”

Get a Smoky Mountain-opoly Game and make someone’s birthday or holiday and help in the fight against cancer!

The game is available at these fine establishments.

Coffee & Co. @the Village Shops

Pigeon Forge
Red Roof Inn
Emery’s 5 & 10
Norma Dan Motel
3 Bears General Store

Atlantic Bay Mortgage
Charlotte Wear Gallery
Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Tennessee Smokies Stadium, Kodak
Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Our Place, Your Favorite shop in the Smokies

Bush Beans Visitors Center

American Cancer Society Office


Celebrating Fall During Ober Gatlinburg’s 8th Annual Oktoberfest September 22, – October 29, 2017

Ober Gatlinburg Oktoberfest is a delicious day of fun for the whole family!

Celebrating Fall During Ober Gatlinburg’s 8th Annual Oktoberfest September 22, – October 29, 2017 will be a “beery” good time! Take an amazing scenic ride to the summit of Ski Mountain via Ober’s Ariel Tramway to find all the daily outdoor games and fun at Oktoberfest. A short drive will bring you to the top but riding the famous, green gondolas for an amazing view of Mount LeConte, the Smoky Mountains and the hamlet of Gatlinburg can’t be beat.

The whole family will love the authentic German food offered at Ober. Take your

Tasty treats will twang your buds! Photo credit – windmu

pick from schnitzels, sausages, and even mouth watering strudel. If German food does not twang your buds there are plenty of other tasty treats available at the food court.

Those 21 and over can wash down the schnitzel with a frothy beer from the Outdoor Bier Garden. Each weekend will have a featured brewery and Saturdays will have a featured brewery representative on hand to share a brewmeister secret or two. The Bier Garden will be open daily Noon till 6:00 p.m. and Noon till 7:00  on Saturdays.

The Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band will raise your spirits while you raise your glasses! The band dresses in authentic lederhosen while performing traditional Bavarian folk dances, oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels, and more!

Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band performs:

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday at 1:00pm and 5:00pm

Tuesday at 1:00, 3:00 and 5:00pm

Friday through Sunday at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00pm

Recommended seating 30 minutes before performance

The event is held outdoors at high altitude so be sure and dress appropriately. Photo credit – Fotolia

This family-friendly event also features outdoor games, and two inflatables will be open Noon till 6:00 p.m. Sunday thru Friday and Noon till 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The kids will love the free face painting on Saturdays.

Ober Gatlinburg also has all their regular great attractions to enjoy as well. Race down the mountain on the new Ski Mountain Coaster or the alpine slide; strap on your skates in the indoor Ice Skating Rink; take a ride on the chairlift; hit the links on the Amaze’n Mini-Golf course; save the world again in the full arcade or get back to nature in the Wildlife Encounter.

Make your plans today for this annual event and don’t forget to grab your ski pass while you’re here. Ski season is just around the corner!

For more information on Oktoberfest, visit Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park or call 800-251-9202.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts Star Gazing Event at Cades Cove

Cades Cove Stargazing must be seen to be believed! Bring the family and explore the universe! (Photo credit – ESB Professional/Shutterstock.)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts Star Gazing Event at Cades Cove. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in cooperation with the Smoky Mountains Astronomical Society, will offer a stargazing program in Cades Cove on Saturday, September 23, 2017 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Experienced astronomers and numerous telescopes will be on hand to provide a discovery of the spring sky’s position of stars, galaxies, and constellations, including the Milky Way. In case of rain or cloud cover where night skies are not visible, the program will be cancelled.

It’s a great opportunity to gaze at the star-studded sky without the obstruction of artificial light as seen in developed areas outside the park,” said Park Ranger Mike Maslona. “People will be amazed at the vast depths of this planetary world and all that they can see in the complete darkness. This program mixes astronomy, legends, and the beauty of the stars to create a worthwhile exploration into the wonders of the heavens.

Participants for the program will be directed to park near the orientation shelter at the entrance to the Cades Cove Loop Road. A park ranger will walk with the group one-third of a mile to a nearby field to the viewing location. No vehicles are allowed to drive to the site.

Those planning to attend should dress warm and bring a flashlight. Participants might also like to bring a lawn chair or blanket for sitting, along with binoculars which can be used for stargazing. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

The program is subject to postponement due to rain or cloud cover. Call the day of the event to confirm that the program will take place at 865-448-4104.

4th Annual Wears Valley Fall Festival October 20th-22nd, 2017

4th Annual Wears Valley Fall Festival is fun for the entire family! Sixteen acres of family fun including crafters, storytelling, interactive activities, entertainment, children’s events and great food awaits all in attendance October 20 – 22, 2017 at the 4th Annual Wears Valley Fall Festival coordinated by Keep Sevier Beautiful.  The wide array of activities at this year’s event will give families a great way to make memories, experience a variety of fun activities and enjoy the incredible beauty of fall in the Smokies.

This year’s event begins on Friday, October 20 and continues through Sunday, October 22.  Hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  The festival site is next to Tennessee State Bank off Route 321 in Wears Valley in Sevier County.

This Fall Festival truly offers something for everyone,” said Lisa Bryant, Executive Director of

Carve up some memories at the Wears Valley Fall Fest 2017!

Keep Sevier Beautiful.  “Anyone wanting to enjoy the true Smoky Mountain Heritage can find it here.  The most unique element is something only Keep Sevier Beautiful can do – teaching how to be more sustainable at every turn.

The Wears Valley Fall Festival is the biggest annual fundraiser for Keep Sevier Beautiful (KSB).  KSB is

currently taking applications for vendor space.  If you would like to showcase your business at this year’s event, please email, call (865) 774-6677 or visit

Keep Sevier Beautiful, a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, is a volunteer-based organization here in Sevier County focusing on waste reduction/recycling, litter prevention and beautifying public spaces through education and community based programs.  KSB’s goal is to protect the natural beauty of the area that millions of visitors come to see each year.

All aboard the fun train to Wears Valley Fall Fest!

Smoky Mountain Ironweed

Giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea) is one of the most striking and beautiful wildflowers in the region!

Smoky Mountain Ironweed is a beautiful flowering plant commonly found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If a hike takes you through a sunny meadow in the Smokies during the late summer or autumn, you are likely to see a tall graceful wildflower with a head of deep purple flowers and bright green spear-shaped leaves growing along the meadow’s wet margins, often accompanied by goldenrod. This will be ironweed. You might also see it growing along roadsides and in pastures in Cades Cove, largely unnoticed until it begins to bloom in late July, with flowers continuing into late October. Orange and brown skipper butterflies are also likely to be flitting about the plant’s flowers, feeding on its nectar, which they greatly favor. But as you approach ironweed and look more closely, you’ll find that its beauty disguises its truly tough nature.

First, ironweed is tall. The most common variety in the Smokies, giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), grows up to 9 feet in height, though 7 feet is more normal. Next, it has a coarse, stiff, rather thick stem, reddish in color, that easily supports the plant’s great height and gives it its name. At its base, the plant forms a clump of stems that hold tenaciously to the soil mostly by way of a long tap root, making it difficult for farmers to eradicate the plant from their pastures, where its toxicity poses a threat to livestock. (Native Americans, however, used the dried tap root in a bitter drink to combat fevers and purify the blood.) The plant propagates itself over an extensive area through the thousands of seeds it produces each autumn. A single plant can produce up to 19,000 seeds.

While farmers view ironweed as a pest, gardeners favor it as a background plant for butterfly and native plant gardens, especially when partnered with sunflowers, milkweed, or hollyhocks. It is relatively easy to grow in East Tennessee, requiring a sunny spot, some compost to amend the clay soil, regular watering until established, and mulch to prevent drying out. Gardeners may wish to consider New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) as their ornamental of choice instead of giant ironweed since it is a more prolific bloomer.

Ironweed is easy to find this time of year no matter what part of the Smokies you visit. Keep your eyes peeled for it’s showy blooms in Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, Cataloochee, Greenbrier, Cosby, Smokemont, and Tremont. is honored to have Carl Parsons as a contributing writer. Carl is Deputy Editor for Storyteller Magazine, a member of the Writers’ Guild of Sevier County, TN, and a Tennessee Master Gardener.


Sources: GardenKnowhow,

Ironweed, and Ohio State.