• Dollywood Opens With Flower & Food Festival For 2020

    New update from Dollywood on its Grand Opening featuring new festival:

    “Dollywood adds to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with the all-new Flower & Food Festival. Immerse yourself in a colorful array of larger-than-life mosaicultures accented by delicious dishes featuring the flavors of spring.”https://www.dollywood.com/35

    AttractionsMagazine.com provides further detail:

    “During this brand-new event, guests can explore larger-than-life plant sculptures covered in half a million flower blooms. These displays can reach heights up to 14 feet, and floral carpet beds will envelope walkways, decorate buildings, and fill flowerbeds throughout the park.

    During the festival, the park will stay open until 9:30 p.m. each evening. In addition, the nights will come to a close with a fireworks show.

    Special Instagram-worthy photo-ops will be set up throughout the park as well, including the Umbrella Sky, a display of more than 600 umbrellas dancing above guests’ heads.

    In addition to the blooms, Dollywood’s team of culinary experts have created a new menu of garden-fresh dishes, including:

    * Grilled Citrus Shrimp Over Delta Peas and Rice
    * Gyros
    * Greek Orzo Pasta
    * Grilled Chili Lime Skirt Steak
    * Chicken Stir Fry
    * Zucchini Fritters
    * Lobster Rolls
    * Charcuterie in a Cone
    * Pork Sliders with Pineapple Chutney”

    A video teaster on the festival can be seen by clicking here.

    For more information on Dollywood’s 2020 Grand Opening, visit www.dollywood.com.

    For the full article from AttractionsMagazine.com, visit https://attractionsmagazine.com/dollywood-inaugural-flower-food-festival-start-june/.

  • Important Smoky Mountain Travel News – May 9th

    As the state of Tennessee is beginning its first stages of re-opening tourism and general business, much is going in during this initial transition: some places have opened, some places are beginning to re-open and some places will not be opening for a bit. Additionally, some events have been rescheduled and some have been cancelled for this year entirely.

    Due to the nature of slowly transitioning out of social distancing, information on what and when for re-opening is highly de-centralized at the moment, so we would like to help pass on current news for openings and other pertinent travel information coming up this month and further for travel preparation and consideration.

    * Gatlinburg 4th of July Parade Has Been Cancelled *
    From WBIR.com:

    “Gatlinburg officials said the city’s Fourth of July parade is canceled for a second year in a row due to public health concerns. The city will plan new patriotic events for families who want to celebrate while following social distancing guidelines, officials said in a Tuesday press release.”

    See full article by clicking here.

     

    * Gatlinburg Release on Re-openings *
    From gatlinburgtn.gov, dated April 29th, 2020:

    “Safety precautions and sanitization procedures will be handled at all City facilities to help keep the community, residents, employees and visitors safe. All City facilities will be heavily sanitized during the phased reopening.

    The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.”

    The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.

    Plans are also in place to install signage throughout the City in visible areas outlining CDC practices on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

    On Friday, May 1, the McMahan/Parkway parking garage in downtown Gatlinburg will reopen, as will the public restrooms at the garage. The public restrooms located at the Gatlinburg Convention Center will also reopen.

    Also on Friday, May 1, the Gatlinburg Golf Course clubhouse will reopen. The course has remained open for play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On Monday, May 4, the administrative offices located at Gatlinburg City Hall, including the City’s Finance Department, Building and Planning Department, Police Department and Fire Department, will reopen to the public. The administrative offices located at the Schilling Center, will also reopen on this date.

    On Monday, May 18, all Gatlinburg City Parks – Mynatt Park, Mills Park and Herbert Holt Park – will open for public use. Upon initial opening, playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed at each park.

    The Gatlinburg Community Center will also reopen to the public on May 18, with reduced operating hours and restrictions on the amount of patrons allowed in areas of the building. The Tone Zone portion of the building will be the only space open to the public, in accordance with the April 28 release of the Tennessee Pledge pertaining to gyms. Operating hours will be 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    The Anna Porter Public Library plans to reopen its facility in phases on Monday, May 18. The library will limit the number of patrons to 10 at a time through the end of May, and hold temporary operating hours of 10 a.m until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff will wear masks and gloves when interacting with the public and the public will be allowed to access computers for 30 minutes at a time, with social distancing practices applied. Desks will be sanitized after each use.

    Rocky Top Sports World is actively following the guidelines and directions presented from the Governor’s office and CDC while coordinating with County and City offices. Because of the continued fluidity of the COVID19 situation, no opening date has been determined. Rocky Top Sports World is working diligently on events currently scheduled and continues to focus on venue cleanliness, safety and health.

    The municipal parking garage located at Ripley’s Aquarium will be reopened at the same time as the Aquarium opens to the public. A resumption of Gatlinburg Trolley Services will be announced at a later date.”

    * Pigeon Forge Local Business Opening Status *
    The Mypigeonforge.com site hosts scheduled information in separate, downloadable files.

    For Pigeon Forge attractions, click here:
    For Pigeon Forge restaurants, click here:
    For Pigeon Forge retail, click here:
    For Pigeon Forge grocery store information, click here:

    More information on Pigeon Forge’s re-openings, updated frequently, can be found at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/planning/travel-resources#business-closed.

     

    * Sevierville Partial Re-opening of Parks and Recreations *
    From https://www.seviervilletn.org:

    “Sevierville city parks will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions, including:

    * All playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, and swimming pools remain closed indefinitely;

    * Walking trails and tennis courts are open, social distancing of at least six feet will be enforced;

    * Picnic shelters will be open, but groups must be less than ten persons;

    * The PetSafe Dog Park is open, but each area (small dog and large dog) will be limited to less than ten persons and each person is limited to 45 minutes per visit; and

    * Cemetery Park will be limited to less than ten people.

    Some areas of the Sevierville Community Center will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions. The gymnasium, swimming pool, locker rooms, and racquetball courts remain closed indefinitely. All children’s programs are suspended indefinitely.

    The Bowling Center will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.”

    See more details by clicking here.

     

    As more significant information becomes available, we will post new information on our blog here. Thank you and stay safe!

  • Smoky Mountain Eclipse Tennessee 2017

    Just a quick heads-up that the Total Solar Eclipse will be happening this coming Monday, August 21st and that much of the western side of the Smoky Mountains (around the Townsend area of the Tennessee Smokies) will be within the eclipse’s line of sight.

    Here is some updated information from the National Park Service regarding the special event:

    Where Can I See The Eclipse?

    The entire western half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park will fall under the path of totality for the eclipse, providing opportunities for viewing, weather permitting. The park is currently planning organized public viewing events at three locations in the park: Clingmans Dome; Cades Cove; and Oconaluftee. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains Association page to buy an Eclipse Regional Map.

    Clingmans Dome: Clingmans Dome Trailhead parking area will be converted to a special ticketed event site for experiencing the eclipse with the assistance of experts, educational exhibits, and story tellers. The Clingmans Dome tower will be limited to MEDIA ACCESS ONLY, but there are many opportunities for viewing from the parking area and along the 0.5 mile trail to the tower. Tickets for the Clingmans Dome event are sold out. Any cancelled tickets will become available to the public again, so visit recreation.gov regularly to watch for cancellations. You must have a ticket to attend the event at Clingmans Dome. NASA will be streaming live from Clingmans Dome and other locations around the country. Watch the NASA Livestream on August 21. Clingmans Dome Road will be closed on Sunday, August 20th and Monday, August 21st to accommodate the special event. Call 865-436-1585 with questions about the event.

    Cades Cove and Oconaluftee: The park is currently planning to host informal staff- guided eclipse viewing sites at Cable Mill (Cades Cove) and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. There will be no charge to participate. Vehicle access to these sites, though, may be closed when parking becomes full or roads become congested.

    The Park is still working on details for these events, so check back here often for updated information as it becomes available.

    Visitors may view the eclipse from other areas of the park on your own, though due to the influx of eclipse viewers during the already-busy season, the Park Service may need to close certain areas on August 21st to reduce gridlock, which may include Newfound Gap Road and Cades Cove.

    See more on the upcoming eclipse and any updates to it at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm.