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

Eight Smoky Mountain Fall Events

Smoky Mountain Fall Events

Smoky Mountain Fall Events Promise Food, Drink & Fun!

Eight Smoky Mountain Fall Events. Fall is a special, beautiful time in the Great Smoky Mountains! The leaves are changing and the air is crisp. It is the perfect time to check out some fantastic Smoky Mountain Special Events!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

Gatlinburg is one of the Smoky Mountains’ center of arts and crafts. This is a natural place to host the Craftsmen’s Fair.  The two-week-plus fall schedule boasts nearly 200 independent artisans from all over the country creating, displaying and selling their exquisite works.  You’ll find original paintings, photography, ceramics and much more, as well as live bluegrass and country music concerts every day.

Annual Chili Cookoff & Car Show

The Chili cook off in Bryson City definitely won’t leave you hungry.  You’ll get to try fantastic competition chili recipes that range from mild to extra-spicy, with beans and without, meaty to meatless. Live music, artisan booths and other foods will also be on the schedule. Be sure and don’t miss the display of cool vintage automobiles.

Smoky Mountain Harvest Fest

Sevierville hosts their annual harvest fest which runs through the month of October.  This celebration is packed with fall decorations, events and arts and crafts displays.  Check out the HeySmokies daily calendar for an updated schedule, and explore the town made famous by country superstar Dolly Parton.

Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg has a lock on Octoberfest in the Smokies.  This festival takes place at Ober Gatlinburg, the local ski and summer activity resort.  Each September and October Ober becomes a Bavarian party place.  Enjoy old country foods like schnitzel, bratwursts, strudel and more, live polka music and dancing, games and naturally giant steins of beer from different breweries around the Smokies.

LEAF Festival

Asheville is a must stop for any visit to the Smokies.  If you’re a music lover who’s looking for something different, head to the LEAF festival just outside of town near Black Mountain. The three-day festival offers music, dance, art and cultural displays from Africa, Latin America, Americana and Appalachia and has become one of the premier fall happenings in western North Carolina.

Grains & Grits Festival

If you love southern cooking paired with a cool beverage to wash it down this Smoky Moutain event is for you!  Then you won’t want to miss this gathering in Townsend. Taste some of the best gourmet creations and craft spirit makers in the Smokies during this one-day event.  The schedule features educational seminars on distilling, live entertainment and tastings from both local restaurants and dozens of small distilleries who produce gin, whiskey, vodka and of course moonshine.

Fall Harvest at the Island

Pigeon Forge’s premier destination, The Island, provides plenty of fun year round, but for a few weeks in autumn, it dresses up in a harvest theme.  You’ll enjoy taking pictures, sampling seasonal foods and listening to live music.  Near the end of October, the annual Halloween event is held and provides some ghoulish fun for everyone!

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