Rafting & Rhythm Festival on June 6 at USA Raft Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River

rafting-rhythm-festival-heysmokiesIt’s the 2nd Annual Rafting & Rhythm Festival on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at USA Raft Smoky Mountains in Hartford on the beautiful Pigeon River!

Enjoy a fun-filled day on the water listening to great music and all for a worthy cause! All proceeds from the day will benefit Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic in Sevierville.

Festival activities include white water rafting for ages 3 and up, an inflatable water slide and children’s challenge course, archery, vendors with children’s arts and craft activities, storytelling, contests and competitions, great food vendors and live music!

For those interested in a white water rafting trip on the Pigeon River, book your trip for Saturday, June 6 and receive a free wristband for all festival activities and a free festival t-shirt! To reserve your trip, call USA Raft Smoky Mountains at 423-487-4303.

If you don’t want to raft that’s okay too; just come on down to the river, soak up the sun and enjoy the fun! A $5 donation gets you a wristband for all festival activities and a $10 donation gets you the festival t-shirt (while supplies last). All-day music is free to the public!


Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge to perform at Rafting & Rhythm Festival.

So put on your fun pants, grab your lawn chairs, blankets, a dry change of clothes if you plan to get wet, and plan for a great day in the beautiful outdoors at the Pigeon River!

Join Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge, Kirk Fleta, and other music friends at the Rafting & Rhythm Festival for some of the best Americana, Bluegrass and Country music on the river!

Here’s the lineup of great entertainment:
11:00 am Northern Lights
12:00 noon Colby Greene and Fourth Generation
1:00 pm Wires and Wood
2:00 pm Kirk Fleta
3:00 pm Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge
4:00 pm Robinella
6:00 pm Josh Dillon

For more info, check out their event page on Rafting & Rhythm Festival on Facebook!

About Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic has been providing medical and dental care to the uninsured residents and workers of Sevier County for 16 years. Mountain Hope currently has 20,000 patients of record. The Clinic is contacted by hundreds more patients each month in search of care they can afford.  Because patients are only asked to pay what they can afford based on income, the Clinic operates at a deficit for each patient seen. Your support helps keep Mountain Hope open to the children and adults who desperately need their services.

4 Fun Ways to Fight Cancer in the Smokies! The Countdown is on to Relay for Life on May 30

The countdown is on for Sevier County’s 16th Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge on Saturday, May 30, 2015. And as we count down the days to the big event to celebrate, remember and fight back, we want you to know about four fun ways that you can help fight cancer in the Smokies


1. Attend Wine on the Lawn from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22 at Hillside Winery in Sevierville. Bring your blanket, listen to some great live music, play some lawn games and enjoy a delicious pig roast with all the fixings for $15 per plate that includes a wine glass so you can sip on some great wines. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life of Sevier County. For more info, contact Hillside Winery at 865-389-9490.

2. Have dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Sevierville on Sunday, May 26 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and they’ll donate 10% to Relay for Life. Visit the Relay for Life Facebook for more info.

3. Sign up for the Running Cancer Out of Town 5K Glow Run/Walk on Friday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Register online at runsignup.com or sign up on race day starting at 6:30 p.m.

4. Come out and enjoy all the fun Relay for Life events on Saturday, May 30 at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Here is a schedule of  events for the day:

7:30 – 9:30 a.m.   $5 Pancake Breakfast at Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grill
10:00 a.m.  Opening Ceremony
11:00 a.m.   Survivor and Caregiver Celebration Ceremony
11:30 a.m.   Live Entertainment, Great Food Concessions, Kids Fun Zone with Games & Inflatables and More
8:45 p.m.    Luminaria Ceremony
9:00 p.m.    Live Auction
9:15 p.m.     Womanless Beauty Pageant

Many individuals and businesses in our community join together to make Relay for Life Sevier County one of the top Relay events in the country! For more information visit www.relayforlife.org/seviertn.

How did the worldwide Relay for Life movement get started?relay-for-life-why-not-heysmokies
Back in May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt of Tacoma, Washington ran and walked a local track for 24 hours straight helping to raise $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The next year over 340 supporters joined Dr. Klatt for another overnight event. Since that time Relay for Life has grown into worldwide movement raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

Looking to Catch Some Waves for Spring Break? Check Out the Pigeon River!

Looking for something different this spring break? Look no further. The secret is out on the excitement of whitewater rafting in the Great Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River. It’s Spring Break 2015 Smoky Mountains Style!

spring-break-2015-girls-heysmokiesEvery year thousands descend on the Pigeon River for whitewater fun and adventure. The American Outdoor Association recently rated the Pigeon River as the third most popular whitewater rafting river in the country!

Also known as the “Big Pigeon,” the river boasts two sections for rafting with each offering a great experience on the river. The Upper Whitewater Section challenges boaters with Class I through Class IV rapids. The Lower Section is a slower paced, float trip the entire family will enjoy! The Lower run has Class I through Class II rapids with a Class III thrown in at the end for good measure.

Almost a dozen professional rafting outfitters provide everything you need from gear and safety training to bus transportation from the river outpost to the put-in at the Tennessee / North Carolina state line. Don’t worry if it’s a bit chilly, the outfitters offer dry suits to keep your warm! Be sure to bring a change of clothes and wear shoes that are strapped to your feet; no flip flops are allowed.

The Pigeon River is the closest whitewater rafting to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Knoxville. The outfitters are conveniently located in Hartford TN just off Interstate 40 at exit 447. The Pigeon River rafting season opened March 1 and will run through mid-October.

Two other awesome rivers nearby also won accolades:

Most Popular Whitewater Rafting Rivers ranked by America Outdoors Association:
1) Ocoee River, near Cleveland/Chattanooga TN
2) Arkansas River, CO
3) Pigeon River, Hartford TN
4) Nantahala River, near Bryson City NC
5) Lehigh River, PA

Don’t let another spring break pass your class by without taking the mountain challenge of running the rapids in 2015!

Dolly Parton Does More Than Just Dream In The Smokies

As Parton’s theme park, Dollywood celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year, the entertainment icon continues to turn her big dreams into reality in her beloved Smoky Mountains.


Dolly’s Homecoming Parade on May 1, 2015 officially kicks off the tourist season and the superstar has a lot of new and exciting things going on to celebrate.

Thousands will gather along the Parkway for the parade in Pigeon Forge and eagerly anticipate what over-the-top, extravagant outfit Dolly will be sporting for the special event. As always, she will be chock full of laughs and smiles for her legions of fans who come from around the world to see  her. The parade begins at 6:00 p.m. on River Road in Pigeon Forge near traffic light #7 and will head north on the Parkway and end at traffic light #3.

Dollywood opens for the season on March 21 with Festival of Nations, the largest International Festival in the South, which runs through April 20. This year Festival of Nations will feature music, dance, food and art from Ireland, Argentina, Trinidad, Germany, Equador and more. Beginning on May 21, Dollywood switches gears for its Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival that celebrates all things southern Americana. Through June 7, you can tap your feet at over 250 concerts from some of the best roots musicians in the country and sample authentic, hickory-smoked goodness at this award-winning festival.

New this year is Rock the Smokies, a Christian rock event scheduled for Labor Day weekend in May with popular bands Third Day and For King and Country as headliners. Dollywood is bringing back the Showcase of Stars Concert Series for August and September. Dolly will perform four concerts August 8 & 9 and her good friend Kenny Rogers will perform the final concert of the series. Check back to see the rest of the lineup when it’s announced.


Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort Opening Summer 2015!

The much anticipated opening of Dolly’s new DreamMore Resort is scheduled for August 18. Room rates start at $179 per night and come theme park specials and benefits. The $300 million luxury resort will offer 307 guest rooms in nine different layouts. Amenities include a restaurant and a 4,000 sq. ft. zero entry outdoor pool with waterfalls and a lazy stream.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede continues to be a favorite among vacationers and now there’s even more reason to love it. In celebration of Dixie’s 28th Anniversary this year, they’ve unveiled a brand-new show complete with state-of-the-art lighting and special effects. Don’t worry, there’s still a lot of horses, great food, music, fun and games that have made dinner at Dixie Stampede a favorite family tradition. Just get ready for a wonderful new journey into the magical nighttime forest of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Dollywood’s Splash Country will open for the season on May 16. Splash Country has more than 23 water adventure slides and thrill rides with the newest being RiverRush which is Tennessee’s first and only watercoaster.
Other exciting news for Dolly include a recent deal struck with NBC to produce a series of TV movies based on her songs, stories and life. She’s also launched a new website DollyParton.com that is a one-stop shop for all things Dolly.

Wine Lovers Events in Gatlinburg on April 10 & 11

Don’t Miss the Gatlinburg Wine, Dine & Art Crawl on Friday, April 10 and the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Festival on Saturday, April 11.gatlinburg-smoky-mountain-wine-fest-heysmokies

The Gatlinburg Wine, Dine & Art Crawl will be in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10.

The Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest will be held at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11.

On Friday night head out to The Glades to explore the historic Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. You’ll enjoy meeting personally with local craftsmen while having a private gallery tours. Of course, there will be delicious wines and small bites provided by local wineries and restaurants.

Then on Saturday night, you can taste and enjoy a variety of wines from almost a dozen wineries from across Tennessee. Also as part of Wine Fest, you’ll delight in learning about wine pairings, the art of wine making, and cigar appreciation.  Great wines and small dish fare from the area’s top restaurants all come together for a wonderful weekend of filled with good times and laughter in the Smokies.

gatlinburg-smoky-mountain-wine-fest-logo-heysmokiesBoth events are for guests 21 and older. Purchase a combo ticket for both events for $55 per person. Art Crawl tickets are $45 per person. Wine Fest tickets are $20 per person. Tickets can be purchased  at www.gatlinburg.com.

Wine Fest ticket holders will receive a wrist band and special commemorative wine glass for samplings. Wineries will provide wine in 1 ounce samples to everyone with a wrist band. Bottles of Tennessee wine will be available for purchase.

pick-tennessee-products-heysmokiesSome participating wineries include Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, Apple Barn Winery, Beans Creek Winery, Cades Cove Cellars, Eagle Springs Winery, Goodwater Vineyards, Grinder’s Switch Winery, Hillside Winery, Keg Springs Winery, Mountain Valley Winery, Paris Winery, Reedy Creek, Sugarland Cellars, Sumner Crest Winery, and Tennessee Valley.

A portion of proceeds from Wine Fest will benefit the Gatlinburg Hospitality Association Scholarship Fund and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.