• Winterfest Events 2020 Starting Today

    It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to the Smokies ASAP! Here are the Winterfest events 2020 we have coming up:

    Here are some Winterfest events we have coming up:

    * Ober Gatlinburg – Winter Sports *
    11/21/20 – Easter Day 2021

    Ober Gatlinburg is the mountainside amusement park overlooking the city and it functions in the Winter season as both a family fun center and a sports center where they offer the only place to ski, snowboard, snowtube and ice skate for miles around. Definitely a worthy visit. https://obergatlinburg.com/winter/

    * Sevierville Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland *
    12/1/20 – 1/3/21

    From Visitsevierville.com: “It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to know more about these facilities!”
    https://visitsevierville.com/EventsCalendar.aspx#!/208477-shadracks-christmas-wonderland

    * Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade *
    12/4/20

    From Gatlinburg.com: “On December 4, the 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of the holiday season and the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic.

    Floats will be decorated with one-of-a-kind displays of LED lights, marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and holiday characters.”
    https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/fantasy-of-lights-christmas-parade/36/

    * Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival *
    12/9/20 – 12/12/20

    Every year hundreds of fans pour into the Evergreen Smoky Mountain Lodge & Convention Center to come to the Christmas In The Smokies Bluegrass Festival. While the bluegrass festival is enough fun for anyone, there is so much more to offer in Pigeon Forge! The festival is held in the heart of Pigeon Forge on Parkway. The whole city is decorated for Christmas and sparkles everywhere you go at night. There is lots of shopping, food, and fun in Pigeon Forge. Come join us this year at the festival! https://bluegrasschristmasinsmokies.com/

    Find more events at mypigeonforge.com, gatlinburg.com and visitsevierville.com.

  • August in the Smokies – Special Event Spectacular!

    We’ve got one more month of Summer to look forward to in the Smokies, and while usually people have their thoughts of barbecues, festivals and family fun time turn back to school, work and other routines by now, We would encourage you to remember that some of the most interesting special events in the Smokies happen at the 3rd month of the season and August 2018 will prove it starting this weekend!

    If you enjoy music, wrestling, hot air balloons and Southern culture, you’ll want to check out some of the special events we have coming up. Take a look:


    * Stringtime in the Smokies *

    August 4th

    It’s an August tradition for the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge to hold an all-day music festival and we look forward to hearing some great groups, individuals and music coming from it once again this year! The entire festival is free and begins at 11:00AM. The Old Mill has some fine, high class shops in its complex, so plan to spend a day at the Old Mill on August 4th.

    See more on the Old Mill at www.old-mill.com.


    * Bubba Fest *

    August 10th to August 12th

    You might have heard the Tennessee Smokies was getting an event in August called “Bubba Fest” and thought it might’ve been a joke – but it is indeed a real event and it really is coming to Pigeon Forge. Don’t turn your nose up at it, though, Bubba Fest is a tongue-in-cheek festival that is very self-aware and wants to encourage us to have fun with the “Bubba” stereotype of Southerners. Bubba Fest will feature events that include a kick-off party, live wrestling, celebrity look-alike contest and a “farmer’s tan” competition while celebrity meet and greet opportunities will feature Burt Reynolds, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Bret “the Hitman” Hart, Lee Majors, Richard Pretty, Glenn “Kane” Jacobs and others.

    Get the full story on Bubba Fest at https://www.bubbafest.com/.



    * The Smoky Mountain Songwriter’s Festival *

    August 13th to August 22nd

    This is probably the biggest music festival we have in Sevier County. This is more than a week of performances by singer-songwriters, hit writer and talented locals as well as workshops, songwriting lessons and other events that truly make it a festival! Dozens and dozens of powerful songsmiths will be performing all throughout its duration in Gatlinburg.

    See more on this event at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/smoky-mountains-songwriters-festival/.


    * The Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival *

    August 18th

    Now this is an event for which the Smokies has nothing like throughout the region or calendar! On August 18th in Townsend, TN, a number of huge hot air balloons with professional designs on them will take flight and provide a “glow” event against the backdrop of the gorgeous Smoky Mountains and the even more gorgeous sunset. Additional event amenities like live entertainment, local craft beers and more will be available as well.

    See more on this event at http://gsmballoonfest.com/.

    And stay tuned as we get news on upcoming special events as the seasons start changing once again – Rod Runs and Dollywood and, yes, the Sunset Festival will all be coming up as blog news from Deer Ridge soon enough! Get ready, Summer’s still got a few highlights left to show you!

  • Summer Eclipse In The Smokies

    Ooh, have we got some news for you! This coming August 21st for 2017, East Tennessee will get to see a partial solar eclipse taking place between 1:00PM and 4:00PM.The National Park Service website writes:

    “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.”

    “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.

    Furthermore, our educational partner, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, is planning a special multi-day Science Camp for high school aged students over the eclipse weekend and event.”

    You can see more information from the National Park Service at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm.

    You can also build a simple card projector using these instructions from timeanddate.com:

    DIY: Simple Card Projector
    The simplest and quickest way to safely project the Sun is with a projector made from only 2 pieces of card or paper.

    You Need:
    * 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 paper plates
    alternatively, 2 sheets of plain white paper
    * a thumbtack, a sharp pin or a needle.

    What to Do:
    Diagram of a DIY pinhole projector.
    The concept of a pinhole projector ©timeanddate.com

    To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.

    With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper.

    The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

    To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.

    A box projector works on the same principles, it requires a little more time and a few extra items to construct, but it is more sturdy.

    Keep Safe! Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the Sun’s rays can do to them.

    And we also suspect you may be able to see them from our Deer Ridge complex in Cobbly Nob between Gatlinburg and Cosby, TN. We do have the BEST views of the Smokies after all, would it not logically follow we can have the best views of the eclipse too?

    Only one way to find out: reserve with us today at www.deerridge.com!