CANCELLED: Stargazing Event on Purchase Knob on Oct 2nd at Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center


Stargazing Event on Purchase Knob on October 2, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in Haywood County, North Carolina.


The Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in North Carolina at Purchase Knob.

There’s another amazing opportunity for stargazing under the Milky Way in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, October 2, 2015 on Purchase Knob at the Appalachian Highlands Science and Learning Center. The program is free and limited to 80 people. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 828-926-6251. Rain or shine the event begins at 7:00 p.m.

Dark and remote Purchase Knob is the ideal location for the Asheville Astronomy Club to set up awesome telescopes for viewing the galaxy, globular clusters, planets, and more! At 5,086 ft. elevation, the Science Center offers a 260 degree view to the southeast that is not marred by power lines or other obstructions.

“National Park areas offer a wonderful opportunity to stargaze,” says Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Visitors are often amazed at the amount of stars that can be seen simply by entering into the natural darkness of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

PLANNING TIP: Participants can expect cold temperatures at the high altitude of Purchase Knob so dress appropriately. It will be dark at the event so bring a flashlight. A lawn chair and blanket will add to your comfort while enjoying the event.

The Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center is located on Hemphill Road in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. It’s open by appointment May through October. For more info, call (828) 926-6251.

Only About 5 Weeks Left! It’s All Freshy Fresh at Local Farmers Markets in the Smokies


Fresh Air, Fresh Food, and Fresh Fun – that’s what we’re all about in the Great Smoky Mountains! And we now have four Farmers Markets in the area so you can get your fresh on while you’re here! There’s only about 5 weeks left – so be sure to visit your local markets before it’s too late!

Gatlinburg Farmers Market @ Covered Bridge in the Glades
Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
May 16, 2016 through October 17, 2015

Sevierville Commons Farmers Market @ Sevierville Downtown Gazebo
Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
June 5, 2015 through October 9, 2015

Sevierville Farmers Market @ Sevier Farmers Co-op
Saturday at 8:00 a.m. to 12:000 noon
June 6, 2015 through October 10, 2015

Seymour Farmers Market @ First Baptist Church of Seymour
Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
June 6, 2015 through October 10, 2015

Grab your cup of coffee, head out the door, and get your weekend mornings started off with freshness! Each of these Farmers Markets offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with the food you eat. You can chat with local farmers and growers who are happy to share their growing methods, techniques and information on farm life. Or you can meet with a local baker and probably share a couple of tasty recipes. Or you can pick up some great herbs and flowers to plant in your own garden at home. Take home some local honey, handmade jellies and jams, handcrafted soaps and more. The options of fresh happiness are just endless at a Farmers Market in the Great Smoky Mountains!


Meet friendly and knowledgeable vendors at Farmers Markets in the Smokies.

And seriously, you can’t have a group of folks get together for any amount of time in the Smoky Mountains without some live music breaking out. So chances are that on that Friday or Saturday you wander over to the Farmers Market you’re bound to hear a fiddle or two along with some tall tales! Visit a Farmers Market in the Smokies and you’re sure to enjoy yourself thoroughly, and you might make a few new friends while you’re there!


Halloween Bash at The Island in Pigeon Forge! Eat, Play and Be Scary on Saturday, October 31st

What better place in Pigeon Forge to Eat, Play and Be Scary on Saturday, October 31, 2015 than the Halloween Bash at The Island in Pigeon Forge! Gather up all your monsters and head over because all the fun begins at 4:00 p.m.


Get creative with your family and friends because there’ll be a Costume Parade at 6:00 p.m. and Costume Contest at the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage at 6:30 p.m.

Dick’s Last Resort will also offer an after-hours costume party of their own…that one may be a little too scary for the younger set.

Entertainment abounds at The Island’s famous Show Fountains, with lots of lively acts strolling the grounds to spook up your evening in a fun way.

And for the most important part of Halloween…duh? Trick or Treating! Well, all the retail shops, restaurants, and attractions at The Island in Pigeon Forge will be answering the age-old holiday question with lots of treats of course!

As always, there is Free Admission and Free Parking at The Island in Pigeon Forge. For more information on the Halloween Bash, please visit

Smokies Stadium October Events Feature Lynyrd Skynyrd with Bret Michaels Concert and Novice Autocross School

Smokies Stadium October Special Events Feature Lynyrd Skynyrd with Bret Michaels Concert and the East Tennessee Region Sports Car Club of America’s Novice Autocross School!


Lynyrd Skynyrd with Bret Michaels at Smokies Stadium October 1, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Vaunted rock band legend Lynyrd Skynyrd will take the stage at Smokies Stadium with a little help from rock icon and former Poison front man, Bret Michaels on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Smokies stadium in Kodak is the perfect open-air venue for some kickin’ Southern classic rock tunes like Sweet Home Alabama, Freebird, Call Me the Breeze, What’s Your Name, Tuesday’s Gone, and more! 

General Admission tickets are $49.50 + tax. No chairs will be allowed behind or beside the reserved VIP on-field seating. Reserved Seating tickets are $42.50 + tax. The seats are regular baseball seats. A limited number of VIP Reserved Seats may still be available at $100 + tax. On-field General Admission ticket holders are welcome to bring a blanket and enjoy the show as stadium policy does not allow outside chairs. Only “VIP Reserved Field” and “GA Field” ticket holders will be allowed onto the field.

Tickets available online at Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show.

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Bat Week Events at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on October 30 Halloween Eve!

bat week in great smoky mountains national park

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat is one of the endangered species of bats. (Photo: Brian Carver, Plateau Ecological)

Bat Week Events will be held at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, October 30, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, North Carolina.

What better time than on Halloween Eve to learn all about the 12 species of bats found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the important role they play in maintaining our ecological balance. Park Rangers will be available at hands-on information stations for fun and educational activities about bats and their importance to our world and the current threat of white-nose syndrome to bats in the National Park and throughout the U.S.

“We first confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome in the park in 2010,” said National Park Wildlife Biologist Bill Stiver, “The impact has been devastating. We estimate that some of our cave-dwelling bat populations have already declined by 80% and we are doing everything we can to both slow the spread of the disease and protect the remaining animals by closing caves and areas near caves to the public.”

Whiteoak Sink Area Closed Until Late Spring 2015

All of the Parks 16 caves were closed to the public in 2009 and in September 2015 the Whiteoak Sink area was closed to public. The area may reopen in late spring 2015 depending on the results of Park scientists findings as they monitor the site throughout the winter hibernation period to help develop a plan to deal with white-nose syndrome. More than 5.7 million bats in the United States have died leaving more than 40% of the bat species at risk or endangered.

Most hikers access Whiteoak Sink via Schoolhouse Gap Trail near Cades Cove. The closure includes the area between Cades Cove and Townsend within Schoolhouse Gap Trail and Turkeypen Ridge Trail west to the National Park boundary. Turkeypen Ridge and Schoolhouse Gap trails will remain open.

Bat Facts

  • Scientists estimate that a single bat can eat between 3,000 to 6,000 insects (mosquitoes, moths, and beetles) nightly.
  • Humans are not affected by white-nose syndrome; the fungus requires a cold body temp to survive. However, never touch or handle a bat. Bats are the only mammal species in the Smoky Mountains that have tested positive for rabies.
  • For more information on bats in the Smokies, visit GSMNP Cave Bats in Crisis.