60 new displays on tap for four-month special event in Smoky Mountains resort town
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Nov. 1, 2012) – Now that there have been a few chilly nights, the mood is right for the Nov. 6 (Tuesday) launch of Pigeon Forge Winterfest.
This is the 23rd celebration of a tourism season that once didn’t exist for Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains region. The last Winterfest season generated spending of $213.4 million.
The Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff is in Patriot Park. The lead-up to that evening’s activities will be the city’s second annual Salute to Veterans Parade starting at 4:30 p.m. on the Parkway.
Festivities will conclude with the illumination of five million Winterfest lights throughout the city and a fireworks display at approximately 8 p.m. Pigeon Forge’s Fun Time Trolleys will offer free access to the Trolley Tour of Lights after the fireworks.
The city has added approximately 60 new Winterfest light displays that are scattered through town. One group is wildlife – bears, deer, foxes, elk, squirrels and eagles – that people see for real in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Patriot Park will bustle in between the parade and the illumination with a play area for kids, food vendors benefitting local charities and entertainment from Pigeon Forge High School and Middle School Dance Teams, the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus and singer James Rogers.
Rogers and Navy veteran Bob Kolb will share the role of grand marshal for the Salute to Veterans Parade. Kolb is a loyal volunteer at most Pigeon Forge special events and was a submariner during WWII.
Among the organizations expected to participate in the parade are the Pigeon Forge High School Marching Band, the Tennessee Army National Guard, the Disabled American Veterans and the Marine Corps League.
After the Winterfest Kickoff, businesses throughout the city offer special activities, theaters add a Christmas flair to their shows for two months and the city itself presents two major special events in January and February – Wilderness Wildlife Week and Saddle Up.
Pigeon Forge Winterfest continues through Feb. 28, 2013, offering winter activity throughout this gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Among the events on the calendar:
- Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 10-Dec. 30), with seasonal shows that include Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice and another four million holiday lights;
- A gigantic fireworks display on Nov. 22 marking the end of the Titanic Museum Attraction’s centennial celebration, plus snowfall from the ship’s bow every Saturday from Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 29;
- Wilderness Wildlife Week (Jan. 12-19, 2013), a city-sponsored week of special programs about Great Smoky Mountains National Park and numerous other outdoor topics;
- The second annual Pigeon Forge Ice Carving Competition at the Titanic Museum Attraction (Jan. 19, 2013), featuring celebrated ice sculptors working with 250-pound blocks of ice;
- Saddle Up (Feb. 21-24), a city-sponsored celebration of cowboy poetry, western music and the American West, including entertainers Waddie Mitchell, the Quebe Sisters Band and Wylie & the Wild West.
Complete visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at www.MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 1-800-251-9100.
Tom Adkinson, APR