It’s Fun Times and Fabulous Food at the Food Ministry Fiesta on April 27 at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies


food-ministry-fiesta-2015-heysmokiesIt’s always a fun time with fabulous food at the annual Food Ministry Fiesta on April 27. 2015 at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. Festivities kick off at 6:00 p.m. and will end at 9:00 p.m.

You’ll enjoy a great spread of delicious Mexican food with music and entertainment. And it’s all for a great cause with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Sevier County Food Ministries.

Tickets for adults are $50 each, 2 for $75 or 3 for $100. Tickets for children ages 3 to 11 are $10 each. RSVP today to the Sevier County Food Ministries at 865-428-5182.

Sevier County Food Ministries simple mission is to feed the hungry in our community. They are a voluntary interfaith ministry founded in 1992 to serve as an emergency food resource for persons experiencing a food shortage. Those who need assistance can go to the food pantry once a week for as long as they need. The ministry offers support, prayer and counseling for those who request it.


Sevier County Food Ministries relies on the contributions of individuals, businesses, churches, clubs and organizations to provide for the ever growing need in our community. Please support them and learn more by visiting or on Facebook at

65th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage April 21-25

Celebrate spring in the mountains with a fascinating 5-day event focusing on all things Smoky Mountain nature! Revel in the beauty and complexity of the area’s natural phenomena by immersing yourself in the many offerings of the 65th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage April 21-25, scheduled in the heart of the flowering season in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Beautiful Bluets in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo credit: Jack Thyen

The 65th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage offers a spate of exciting opportunities ranging from wildflower walks and birding excursions (bring your binoculars and a sense of adventure) to a tree identification tour and a guided hunt for edible mushrooms among many, many other interesting outdoor experiences. These walks on breathtakingly beautiful trails will be led by experts who will be sure to fill your mind to capacity with the wonders here in “God’s Country.”

The Pilgrimage will also feature an array of indoor seminars designed to ignite your imagination and stoke your curiosity about the secretive natural world of the legendary mountains whose presence overshadows us all. Retired Park Ranger, Arthur “Butch” McDade will lead participants into the world of prominent Smoky Mountain writers in a program entitled “Old Smoky Mountain Days.” Jon Elder, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee will take attendees back in time to explore the “Legacy of the Cherokee.”


At a welcoming luncheon in the Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg, the crowd will warm to stories by former Chief Park Ranger Kim Delozier. Author of Bear in the Backseat: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (two volumes), Kim will regale the crowd with unforgettable tales of encounters with wildlife and visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park garnered over his long career. Kim says, “You know your chances of being hurt or killed is much greater driving your vehicle to a trail head, being struck by lightning, or having a tree fall on you than being hurt by a bear.” This truth does not mean that humans should not respect bears. “Some people still feel like it’s okay to get close to black bears. Others feel like it’s okay to feed them,” adds Kim. Luncheon tickets are available online only at Reserve yours today!

Continue reading…

Are you up Fore a Smoky Mountain “Masters” Golf Challenge?

It’s that time of year when duffers, slicers and storytellers heed the call of spring and head to the links. With the azaleas in bloom and a driver in hand, the tee box is the ticket to happiness! And while we’ve been keeping up with all the action over in Augusta this week, we wanted to share with you some of our great golf courses here in the Smokies. So in that spirit, we decided to create our own Smoky Mountain “Masters” Golf Challenge!


The Smoky Mountain “Masters” Golf Challenge can be championed by anyone with the drive to take it on! Here’s the challenge: play these four golf courses in the Smokies before the end of spring (June 20, 2015), and as you play along each course, post a selfie of you and your scorecard on HeySmokies’ Facebook page. Complete all four courses and you’ll win a special prize from the HeySmokies Gear closet!

You can start the Smoky Mountain “Masters” Golf Challenge on any of the courses. We can’t wait to see your photos and give away some cool HeySmokies Gear! Remember the deadline is June 20, 2015. Sounds simple enough, but that simplicity can be deceiving. The courses have been played by the best and now it’s your turn!

Bent Creek Golf Club
3919 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
800-438-2929 | 865-436-3257
Designed by three-time Masters and British Open winner Gary Player, this par 72 course has been rated as one of the “Top 50 Golf Courses in the South” by Southern Living Travel Guide. Nestled just across the road the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the 18-hole course offers you a challenge in a relaxing environment with scenery that can’t be beat.

Gatlinburg Golf Course
520 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN
800-231-4128 | 865-453-3912
The views of the Great Smoky Mountains from this 18-hole course designed by William Langford are breathtaking. You’ll certainly find a challenge at #12, also known as Ski Hi, that is 194 yards in length with 200 foot drop! Oh, and we know that it’s weird that the Gatlinburg Golf Course would actually be in Pigeon Forge, next to RiverStone Resort and Spa, but that’s a good thing. It’s also very convenient to Dollywood too.

River Islands Golf Course
9610 Kodak Road, Kodak, TN
Designed by internationally renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills, this spectacular course features numerous holes crossing or playing along the beautiful French Broad River. With four holes actually located on islands in the middle of the river, River Islands Golf Course offers a truly unique golf experience.

Sevierville Golf Club
1444 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, TN
A gorgeous clubhouse combined with two championship 18-hole courses, the Sevierville Golf Club is a great place to spend a day. The River is a par 72 that plays along the Little Pigeon River. The Highlands is a par 70 that plays through the beautiful country hillside dotted with ponds. This is a great place to see a variety of birds including bald eagles that have recently made a return to the area.

Celebrate Earth Week in Gatlinburg April 19-25

It’s a full week of family-friendly fun in Gatlinburg this spring! Highlights for this year’s celebration include the Earth Day Festival in Mynatt Park on Thursday, April 23 and the Annual Earth Day 5K Run/Walk on Friday, April 24. Come celebrate Earth Week in Gatlinburg where it’s easy being green!

The Earth Day Festival in beautiful Mynatt Park will be from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. The whole family will enjoy free music, games, crafts stations, great food, and more activities. You can pick up your very own Gatlinburg Earth Week T-shirt specially designed by a local student. All proceeds from the event benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation which provides local scholarships, school donations, sponsors and the Gatlinburg Goes Green Program.

earth-day-5k-gatlinburg-heysmokiesLace up your athletic shoes and take part in the Fourth Annual Earth Day 5K Run/Walk on Friday, April 24 in downtown Gatlinburg. All ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. Registration for this night race begins at 8:00 p.m. at Nantahala Outdoor Center located near traffic light #10 on the Parkway. The race begins at 10:00 p.m. The cost for the race is $20-$30 and is sanctioned by USA Track and Field. To register for the race visit For more information, call 800-588-1817 or 865-436-0505.

On Saturday, April 25, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrates National Junior Ranger Day. At all three of the National Park’s Visitor Center’s there will be all kinds of fun and free activities to excite young minds about the natural world around them.

For more information on other fun activities throughout Earth Week in Gatlinburg, contact Gatlinburg Convention & Visitor Bureau Special Events Division at 800-588-1817 or 865-436-4178.

Music of the Mountains Festival on April 17-19 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrates National Park Week with the 11th Annual Music of the Mountains Festival Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19, 2015.


Boogertown Gap performs at Music of the Mountains Festival

Music is a tradition that runs deep in the hills and hearts of Southern Appalachia. It tells the varied stories of the pioneering folk who called these mountains home. What we know today as Bluegrass, Roots, or Old-Time music had its beginnings in the traditional Celtic and religious music of these early mountaineers. And this weekend you can hear some it at Music of the Mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Performances will be held in the National Park and at venues in the surrounding communities. Here’s the schedule so you can get your toes a tapping!

Friday, April 17
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Townsend
Admission: $5
7:00 p.m. – Four Leaf Peat (traditional Celtic music)

Saturday, April 18
Sugarlands Visitor Center
Admission: Free
10:00 a.m. – Boogertown Gap
11:00 a.m. – Lost Mill String Band
12:00 p.m. – The Freight Hoppers
2:00 p.m. – Time Simek on Dulcimer (Two-time National Champion)

Saturday, April 18
Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Admission: Free
4:00 p.m. – Youth Pickin’ Contest* (ages 8-17)
*For registration information, call Gatlinburg CVB at 800-588-1817.

Sunday, April 19
Liberty Church of Cosby, 4304 Liberty Road
Admission: Free
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Heritage, Harps and Hymns Old-Fashioned Community Sing


The Freight Hoppers perform Sat, April 18


Four Leaf Peat performs Fri, April 17