Pigeon Forge Rotary Annual Craft Festival held September 26 – October 24 at Patriot Park

rotary-club-craft-fair-pigeon-forge-heysmokiesPigeon Forge Rotary Annual Craft Festival is September 26 to October 24, 2015 at Patriot Park near the Old Mill Square. This marks the 39th year of this annual tradition to kick off the holiday shopping season in Pigeon Forge!

You can’t miss the BIG TENT at Patriot Park where the friendly members of the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club will welcome you to enjoy a great shopping experience with regional craftsmen. Admission to the event is free although donations are accepted for local non-profit organizations.

The Rotary Craft Festival will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

For more information, please call 865-909-3446 or visit PigeonForgeRotary.org.

All Streams are Open to Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Abrams Creek is a favorite for anglers!

All streams are open to fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Never since the opening of the National Park in 1934 have all of the streams been open to fishing at the same time. The recent reopening of 8.5 miles of Lynn Camp Prong near Tremont, after years of a native brook trout restocking effort, has been a success allowing this final stream to be opened for anglers. Of the National Park’s 2,900 miles of streams, about 1,073 miles contain fish.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to 67 different species of fish in twelve different families. These families include suckers, bass, trout, minnows, shiners, and darters and more. The brook trout is the only native trout species, although rainbow and brown trout have been introduced and are common in large streams below 3,000 feet. The native brook trout population has been restored in about 28 miles of 11 different streams.

Our mission is to restore native species for future generations, whether it’s elk or brook trout,” said Smokies fisheries biologist Matt Kulp, “The majority of the park’s fishing is rainbow trout and always will be, but it’s nice to know there are a few places you still can go and catch native brook trout in their native habitat.

Brook trout can be found in about 8% of the streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while rainbow trout are found in over 15%. The National Park Service continues efforts to return the park’s aquatic ecosystem to its roots. In Abrams Creek, one of the most popular to fish, at least three threatened and endangered fish species, the duskytail darter, yellowfin madtom, and the smoky madtom have been reintroduced with positive results.

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Half the fun of fishing in the Smokies is hiking to your favorite spot!

Next time you’re in the Great Smoky Mountains be sure and bring your favorite fishing pole, waders and sense of adventure. Fishing is great fun for the entire family! We can’t guarantee they will always be biting but we can guarantee the water will be just as clear and cold as you remember! That is a HeySmokies promise! If you’re looking for a knowledgeable guide for a fishing expedition, contact some of our friends at HeySmokiesFishing.com.

Please remember that moving and disturbing rocks in the streams to form dams or channels is actually illegal in the National Park! Many fish spawn from April to August and build their nests in small cavities under the rocks. When the rocks are disturbed so are the nests thus destroying the eggs.

Fishing licenses for Great Smoky Mountains National Park are required and can be purchased at www.ncwildlife.org and www.tn.wildlifelicense.com. For fishing in Gatlinburg or Cherokee, a special permit is also required. For more information about fishing regulations in the National Park visit www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fishing.

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Over 900 miles of new streams in the National Park were found utilizing new satellite technology!

And get this! Up until earlier this year, it was thought the National Park only had around 2,100 miles of steams, but a recent survey by the United States Geological Survey has verified there are over 900 additional miles of streams in the Park. These streams were identified using modern Global Positioning Systems (GPS) via aircraft and satellites. Will all these new streams get cool names? Not a chance; since they are in a federally protected wilderness, they will only be known by a 10-digit code. It’s thought that giving common names to the new features indicate human impact thus detracting from the true concept of wilderness. Most of these newly discovered streams are at the highest elevations in the National Park above 4,000 feet.

Art Crawl at Sevierville Commons on September 24 at Bruce Street Gazebo

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Art Crawl at Sevierville Commons on Thursday, September 24 at Bruce Street Gazebo! Experience beautiful downtown Sevierville in a whole new sophisticated way!

Event is scheduled 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a crawl that offers 5 wine and 5 whiskey pairings with delicious food prepared local chefs. With special souvenir glasses in hand, guests will learn the ins and outs of why certain pairings elevate a tasting beyond expectations.

Live music will fill the air in the Commons as will artwork from the King Family Library Tile Wall Project.

Enjoy displays of original art by popular local artists Robert A. Tino and Pinkie Mistry.

For more information and tickets, visit Sevierville Commons at www.facebook.com/seviervillecommon. Proceeds from the event to support the Sevierville Commons efforts for the downtown revitalization of historic downtown Sevierville.

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

THE EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 3, 2016.

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.

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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

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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
www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

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
www.facebook.com/seviervillecommons

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
www.seymourfarmersmarket.org

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!

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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!