Yama-Con 2015 Anime-Comic Convention at LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge December 4-6

Yama-Con 2015 Anime-Comic Convention will be held at LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge December 4-6, 2015! This year’s convention theme is “A Pirate’s Life 4 Me!”

With an emphasis on Anime and Japanese pop culture (Yama is Japanese for mountain), the convention will also have events themed around video games, card and board games, comics, and much more. All nerds, gamers, geeks, and otaku are welcome! ~ Elle and Nick Carr, Yama-Con founders.

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Along with guest speakers and musical acts, Yama-Con offers attendees a slew of costume contests so get your best one ready and join all the fun! There’s also an animated music video contest, Disney Karaoke, and Club Yama on Saturday night. Get out glow sticks for this dance party with DJ Perehelion and others. And this year at Yama-Con, in their video game and analog game area, they are going to have a special area devoted entirely to Pokemon! Additionally, there will be a silent auction with lots of fabulous items and proceeds benefiting Pets Without Parents, a local animal shelter.

Here are just a few of the popular voice actor and celebrity guest speakers at Yama-Con 2015:

Chris Sabat is the Voice Director for Dragonball Z along with being the actor behind characters Piccolo, Yamcha, Vegeta, Mr. Popo and many others. Sabat has also lent his acting talents to voices of Alex Luis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist, Garland in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, and both Captain Smiley and Star in Comic Jumper.

Eric Vale has scripted over fifty anime programs as head writer with FUNimation Productions as well as provide the voices for Trunks in Dragonball Z, Yuki in Fruits Baskets, and Sanji in One Piece. In his free time, this writer, actor, and director travels to repair churches in Europe and builds playgrounds for children.

Ian Sinclair popular anime roles include Toriko in Toriko, Brook in One Piece, Lute in Legend of the Legendary Heroes, along with many others. Sinclair is also the voice of Baron Flynt in the video game Borderlands and has worked on both seasons of Black Butler and The Shana movie.

Yama-Con 2015 Musical Guests

Eyeshine In 2012 this underground rock band won Ford Motor Company’s worldwide band battle and recorded with Grammy-award winning producer Don Was. Since then they’ve produced over 11 albums and tour to a worldwide audience of fans. Most recently the band’s music was chosen for promotional use in the Call of Duty Endowment project.

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Don’t Miss Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees on Thanksgiving Weekend!

This  Thanksgiving Weekend don’t miss the 2015 Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg! Take a trip through a Christmas wonderland of beautifully decorated trees, entertainment and crafts, and photos with ol’ St. Nick! This 30-year tradition is bigger and better than ever!

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The 2015 Festival of Trees is held at the Mill’s Convention Center located on Historic Nature Trail (stoplight #8 off the Parkway) in Gatlinburg. Admission is free; however, donations to the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains are greatly appreciated. Convenient parking is located at the City Parking Lot on Reagan Drive.

Friday, November 27, 2015
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Photos with Santa Claus – 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Live Entertainment 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 28, 2015
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
MePhotos with Santa Claus – 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Live Entertainment 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 29, 2015
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

For more information visit Gatlinburg Festival of Trees and support the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains!

Let the Magic Begin! It’s Time to Kickoff Smoky Mountain Winterfest 2015 beginning November 9th!

smoky-mountain-winterfest-2015-logo-heysmokiesSmoky Mountain Winterfest 2015 is so awesome that it takes 3 days in November just to kick it off! On November 9, 10, 11, 2015 each of the three major towns in Sevier County, Tennessee celebrate the beginning of the holiday season known as Smoky Mountain Winterfest!

Monday, November 9
Sevierville Winterfest Kickoff “Music Lights & Magic”
Sevierville Municipal Complex
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
All the fun begins in downtown Sevierville with a full line-up of entertainment on the Main Stage throughout the event. Great food and fun activities and games for the young and young at heart make this a great event for all families. The Lighting Ceremony begins at 7:45 p.m. with Fireworks Finale at 7:50 p.m. For more information, call the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce at 865-453-6411 or visit them on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 10
Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff
Patriot Park
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm 
The Kid’s Game Area opens at 4:00 with entertainment hitting the stage at 5:00, and complimentary Trolley Tours of Lights beginning at 6:00 p.m. For more information visit Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events or call  865-453-6411.

Wednesday, November 11
Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza
11:00 am
The Veterans Day National Committee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognize this ceremony as an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day. This remarkable event is full of touching tributes and patriotic music.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff
Downtown Gatlinburg Parkway
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
For 26 years, visitors and locals have grabbed their spoons and headed to the Parkway for the City of Gatlinburg’s annual Chili Cookoff.  Eat your way through bowls of homemade chili in a variety of creative recipes and vote for your favorites! Then as the sky darkens, Gatlinburg’s 3 million lights turn it into a winter wonderland for the holidays. The event is free with $10 buying you a spoon for sampling; tickets available at the event. Gatlinburg also offers Trolley of Lights tours during the evening. For more information, contact the Gatlinburg CVB at 865-436-4178.

Stay tuned and check back with us at HeySmokies.com for more info and updates on all the other great events and activities for Smoky Mountain Winterfest which runs all the way through to February 29, 2016!

Arrowmont Souper Bowl XII on November 19 in Gatlinburg

arrowmont-souper-bowl-2015-poster-heysmokiesWhen the weather cools and the leaves have changed that means it’s time for the annual Souper Bowl XII at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, 2015.

Enjoy lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. or dinner from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the Dining Hall on the Arrowmont campus.

Guests will enjoy a variety of home-made soups and breads served in a beautifully hand-crafted ceramic bowl that is yours to keep. And new this year are wooden bowls also lovingly crafted by local artisans. Each bowl is unique and an enhancement to your collection.

Ticket prices are $30 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Salads will also be available for an additional charge. For tickets, call Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts at 865-436-5860 or call United Way at 865-430-5727.

The event also includes a $5 raffle for chances to win incredible original artworks by local artists and Arrowmont instructors. Proceeds benefit the good works of United Way of Sevier County.

For more information on the amazing classes available at Arrowmont throughtout the year, be sure to check out their Facebook page.

Smoky Mountain Communities Honor and Celebrate America’s Veterans

Smoky Mountain Communities Honor and Celebrate America’s Veterans. And it’s not only on Veterans Day either; our patriotic communities roll out the red carpet just about all year long for our nation’s heroes. Even though the City of Pigeon Forge just finished their month-long “Celebrate Freedom” event in August, many businesses continue to offer military discounts, veterans discounts, and first-responder discounts throughout the year.

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Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, Great Smoky Mountains. Photo credit: Romantic Asheville, NC

Be sure to ask when you’re booking your hotel, condo, or cabin because chances are that they will offer a military discount. The same goes for area attractions and even restaurants too. When we said our communities roll out the red carpet, we weren’t kidding! Below are some special activities planned for Veterans Day in November, but first…

Check out our video of the Welcome Home Veterans Parade in Pigeon Forge. It’s a bit long at 4 minutes we know; however, trust us when we say it took that long to pack in all the wonderful hometown patriotism of which The City of Pigeon Forge so proudly displays!

Veterans Day Activities in the Smoky Mountains: Honoring America’s Heroes on November 11, 2015

Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
The Veterans Day National Committee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognize this ceremony as an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day. This remarkable event is full of touching tributes and patriotic music. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

Sevier County Veterans Day Program
Sevier County Courthouse
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
In beautiful downtown Sevierville, join local and state government dignitaries for a patriotic salute for America’s heroes.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff
Downtown Gatlinburg Parkway
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
For 26 years, visitors and locals have grabbed their spoons and headed to the Parkway for the City of Gatlinburg’s annual Chili Cookoff.  Eat your way through bowls of homemade chili in a variety of creative recipes and vote for your favorites! Then as the sky darkens, Gatlinburg’s 3 million lights turn it into a winter wonderland for the holidays. Tickets will be on sale at the event.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad FREE Ride for Veterans
Bryson City, North Carolina
Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, 2015
A special offer for all veterans and active military to ride for free onboard Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s Tuckasegee Excursion in any class of service! This special offer is for phone reservations only, so call 800-872-4681 and mention the promo code: veterans. For more information, visit www.gsmr.com.

Dollywood and Dolly’s Splash Country offer a 30% discount on one-day admission tickets for retired or U.S. active military, disabled veterans, military reservists, spouses and dependents. Visit Dollywood Military Discount for details.
Thank you to all veterans for your bravery, service and sacrifice.  We appreciate you every day in the Smokies!