The 35th Annual Shades Of The Past Hot Rod Roundup is happening at Dollywood’s Splash Country, September 8-9, 2017.Splash Country closes on Labor Day, and the first weekend following turns the huge parking lot to good use for this massive car show, prize contest and swap meet event.
Posts By: Tony Perez
The majestic hiking trails that stretch deep into the lush forests of the Great Smoky Mountains get all the attention, but not everyone wants to spend a whole day hiking just to get close to nature. The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the unsung heroes for those who are looking for a more casual trail experience, and they prove that humble doesn’t have to mean boring.
Gatlinburg bursts into song – and song writing – again for the 6th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, August 16-20, 2017. This year’s festival promises to be bigger than ever. There’s live music playing in several venues around town, with close to 50 acts offering over 150 free shows as well as 3 ticketed shows headlined this year by country artist Con Hunley.
Pigeon Forge sees the 8th Annual Smoky Mountain Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, August 5, 2017, held at Old Mill Square. There will be cash prizes for 1st through 3rd places in both Competitive and Amateur Divisions. Also non-cash prizes for the top 3 places in the Tailgaters Division.
Tailgaters? Okay, the competitive game of Cornhole is a bean-bag toss, except the bag is filled with corn. The 4-ft long board is on a slope, and has a hole in it. Throwing from at least 30 feet away, you have to get the corn bag closest to the hole and ideally in it. There’s a smaller board, 3 feet long, also lighter so it’s easier to carry. This is the tailgater size, as opposed to the regulation size.
On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the sun will occur, moving on a path across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, and passing through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee around 1:30 in the afternoon. If you want to watch the eclipse, either in person or by live stream, here’s everything you need to know.
The entire western half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park falls within the travel of the eclipse, and rangers have organized some optimum-viewing areas inside the park. There are also numerous opportunities in other parts of the park and the region to catch this rare event, not seen in the U.S. since 1979.
The waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are perhaps the most memorable destinations, and one of the most popular waterfalls is Rainbow Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfall in the national park. This impressive waterfall drops its water 80 feet into LeConte Creek and is named for the rainbow that appears in its mist on sunny days.
With such a popular destination, the trail to Rainbow Falls is well trafficked. It’s also quite strenuous, so you’ll likely encounter other hikers as you make your way up the mountain, including those taking brief rest stops to catch their breath along the way. The trail is 5.4 miles Round trip (2.7 mi each way) and it’s a steady climb uphill, with an elevation gain of more than 1,500 feet.
Waterfalls are one of the most popular sights and destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Grotto Falls is unique as the only waterfall in the park that you can walk behind – the trail passes behind the water drop. It’s a relatively short hike and you can get there and back to your rental cabin in just a few hours time.
Grotto Falls is a 25-foot tall waterfall, and a good place to practice your nature photography skills – do bring a camera. You can follow the trail behind the waterfall itself to see things from a completely different perspective, and you may meet some llamas. This trail leads to Mt LeConte Lodge, and llamas are used as pack animals to carry supplies up – if you’re lucky you may see this exotic pack train passing through.
In the Great Smoky Mountains region, handcrafted items made by talented locals forms a living part of the area’s history. One great way to experience the creative culture first-hand is to visit Gatlinburg during the 42nd Annual Summer Craftsmen’s Fair, held July 14-23, 2017, in the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center offers 150,000 square feet to hold this year’s Fair, with an estimated 200 booths filled with a vast variety of hand-crafted items, for sale or just to admire. Pick a day that fits your schedule from Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under.
The 4th of July comes again to America in 2017, and Gatlinburg for its fifth decade running leads the nation in its First Independence Day Parade, starting in the first minute of Tuesday the 4th, after the stroke of midnight of Monday night, July 3. This is the 42nd Annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
This year, in honor of the countless local and regional heroes who came to the aid of Gatlinburg during the fires of 2016, the Grand Marshals of the parade will be firefighters, first responders and police officers who jumped into hazard without hesitation to save the town.
Shagbark resort community in Wears valley is off of Highway 321, located 7 miles from Pigeon Forge. It’s a gated community with spaciously placed cabins that share resort amenities such as a pool and tennis courts, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and park-like, wooded views for the more secluded cabins. In the area are streams and scenic walks, and the terrain is fairly steep, offering a true mountain feel.