HeySmokies.com blog owner puts spare change to good use!

                                    Shelter gains $10,000.00 to help area animals.

HeySmokies.com blog owner puts spare change to good use! Brad Knight, the owner of HeySmokies.com recently presented Pets Without Parents a donation check bringing the amount donated by HeySmokies.com up to $10,000.00. For the past two years the Sevierville company placed donation boxes inside Sevier County businesses to collect spare change from locals and visitors who generously contributed to help reach this milestone.

That spare change has been put to good use at the animal shelter which offers a refuge to many pets who otherwise would be homeless. Pets Without Parents is Sevier Counties only no kill animal facility.

“I am honored to help Pets Without Parents,” said Brad Knight, “this donation program helps with a portion of the shelters monthly expenses which can exceed $10,000.00.”

Sevier County Relay for Life slated for Friday, June 2, 2017.

Sevier County Relay for Life slated for Friday, June 2, 2017. The Annual Sevier County Relay for Life, which celebrates cancer survivors and honors those who have lost the battle, will be held from 4 p.m.-midnight, at Patriot Park on Friday June, 2 2017. This free, family-friendly event also raises money to fund research that will someday find a cure for the disease that ranks as one of the nation’s biggest health problems. Come cheer those who have been affected by cancer whether they have been diagnosed 10 days or 10 years. A survivors lap will honor and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis, and a caregivers lap will recognize the selfless act of those caring for cancer victims.

Help the fight to find a cure June 2, 2017 at Patriot Park!

A ceremony featuring luminary bags representing loved ones lost to cancer will provide an opportunity to grieve while offering comfort. Participants will walk continuously to signify that cancer never sleeps. Campsites are available around the park and food and beverage vendors are also scheduled to help with fundraising. Activities, music and entertainment is scheduled throughout the event.

Appalachian Bear Fest promises to be a “Beary Good Time!”

Appalachian Bear Fest promises to be a “Beary Good Time!”  A good time is waiting for your entire family at the Appalachian Bear Rescue’s first “Appalachian Bear Fest” on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 2pm-7pm at Trillium Cove Shops (121 Trillium Way) in Townsend, Tennessee. Admission to the event, concerts and parking are all free!

Entertainment will include Laurel Wright (from Maryville) of The Young Fables, and the musical talents of Eli Fox, Jared Hard, Chris Long, Lucy Rose George, Pacer Fisher and Joe Ferguson.
Local authors, Richard Way, Sonja Hill, and Mark and Fran Smith will be on hand to sign copies of their books, and area artists and artisans will offer unique hand-made merchandise for sale.

Kids will love the opportunity to meet Charles the famous pig, appearing at his first book signing event, and learn the amazing story of how he survived the Gatlinburg wildfires. Charles will be available for photos and kids can also take home a “hoofsigned” copy of his inspirational book of survival.

A bear den hike with Joey Holt begins at 9 a.m. You may pre-register for this event by visiting abrTN.org. Information on bears and other wildlife found in the Great Smokey Mountains will be available at booths manned by staff from the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and Appalachian Bear Rescue.

You never know who will join you at the Appalachian Bear Fest!

Youngsters, ages 7-12, can earn a Junior Curator badge from ABR curators and take home an ABR ear-tagged cub by participating in one of two Junior Curator classes scheduled at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Pre-register for these classes (which requires a $20 donation to ABR cubs) by visiting abrTN.org.

A kids carnival will offer a variety of games for youngsters and adults can enjoy an antique tractor display.
Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and spend the afternoon and learn all the “bare facts” about bears while listening to great music and enjoying food provided by some of Knoxville’s finest food trucks.

Firefly Campout at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Feel like a kid again at the Firefly Campout with your youngsters at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Photo credit – Kirk H. Neely

Firefly Campout at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. A firefly campout is designed for youngsters whose early bedtimes might make it difficult for them to stay up late enough to see the amazing twinkling display of hundreds of synchronous fireflies which typically don’t appear until well after 8 p.m.

The event is the brainchild of the staff at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, a nature and conservation school that has hosted the camp for the past three years. Education Director John Didiego said the event, designed for 4-9 year olds and their parents, offers the flexibility of one to three night stays, and the option of a parent remaining with the child at camp which is slated July 4-7 2017 . Only a few slots remain open on July 4, 2017.
The overnight camp for a child (ages 4-9) and one parent is $96 and each additional person is $48. For more info on the camp and a complete list of other Tremont child and adult programs, visit www.gssmit, or cll 865-448-6709.

Sevierville hosts 13th Annual Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass

Come enjoy some pickin’ and good eats at the Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass festival! Artwork/photo credit – Shelby Coutu.

Sevierville hosts 13th Annual Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass. Pack up the family and head to downtown Sevierville May 19-20 for the 13th annual Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival. More than 50 barbecue teams from as far away as Nebraska, Florida, Ohio, Georgia and Virginia will vie for the winning trophy in this official Tennessee State Barbecue championship. A $15 ticket allows visitors to sample and vote for their favorite pulled pork in the People’s Choice Tasting Contest. Advance tickets are available by calling the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at 865-453-6411.

Come for the ‘cue and stay for world-class bluegrass headlined this year by 14-time Grammy-Award winner Ricky Skaggs who was also named Entertainer of the Year in 1985 by the Country Music Association. Admission to the event and all the concerts is free. A late night jam on Friday May 19th, scheduled from 10 p.m to 2 a.m. and presented by The Dixie Stampede, will be held at Courthouse Donuts in downtown Sevierville. Led by four-time National Banjo Champion Gary “Biscuit” Davis, the jam will provide bluegrass musicians a chance to “show their stuff.”
Special children’s events are also planned, and a Mountain Soul Competition will feature contestants (in two categories-13 and up and 12 and under) performing some of the more than 3,000 songs penned by Sevierville’s favorite daughter, Dolly Parton.

More than 37,000 visitors attended the last two festivals which was awarded the Grand Pinnacle Award in 2015 by the International Festival and Events.

Continue reading…