Gatlinburg TN Area Information

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gatlinburg Springfest 2010

Gatlinburg Springfest is right around the corner. It will start on March 11 and end on June 7. If you’ll be visiting Gatlinburg during that time you’re in for a treat. The trees will start waking up from their winter naps, colorful flowers will line the streets of Gatlinburg and add color to the mountains, and warm weather will greet you. The Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg will be brightened by sunflowers, lilies, petunias and many other Spring time flowers all down the main streets. Spring time is the best time to visit Gatlinburg and also to enjoy Springfest.

Gatlinburg makes sure you have plenty of events to enjoy while visiting the town. The Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community will hold their annual Easter Arts and Crafts show from March 31 until April 3 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. These artisans have plenty of homemade goods for you to look through, buy and take home as souvenirs. They have unique potteries, paintings, jewelry, handbags, clothing, and other home goods that you’ll enjoy. Their merchandise are good to take home to remember your trip to Gatlinburg, TN by.

Easter Sunrise Service will be on April 4 this year at Ober Gatlinburg. This service has been a tradition for the past 12 years. Enjoy an Easter Sunrise Service at Ober Gatlinburg in the middle of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Free trams rides will start at 6am and take you to the top of the mountain for the service beginning at 6:30am. After the service head over to Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant for a breakfast buffet that will be waiting for you starting at 7am and ending at 10:30am.

If you haven’t experienced Gatlinburg’s Ribfest and Wing event then this is the year to come. Be sure to be in Gatlinburg on April 22 to enjoy many different barbeque vendors’ different ribs and wings. Be sure to bring your appetite because you get to sample the many different kinds of ribs and wings that will be offered. Take advantage of Ribfest this year. There will be live entertainment to liven the mood as you walk from stand to stand enjoying the barbeque.

Enjoy the 60th Annual Spring Wildflower from April 21-25. If you enjoy nature and hiking this is a great time for you to visit. You can sign up for classes to hike through trails in the Smoky Mountains to see the different flowers in bloom. There will be demonstrations, classes, hikes, lectures and many other exhibitions you’ll enjoy during these 5 days. Get some fresh mountain air, grab your hiking boots and set out to see Mother Nature at her best.

On May 14 the Scottish Festival and Game. Their annual parade will be taking place at 6pm the evening of May 14. Bring your Celtic pride to Gatlinburg, TN and congregate with other clans and march through the streets of Gatlinburg. May 15 and 16 at Mills Park you’re invited to participate in the Scottish Festival and Games to compete in the bagpipe competition, highland dancing, border collie demonstration and many other competitions that are true to Scottish roots.

The Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival will take place on May 15 and 16. Artists from all around will be displaying their art for all to enjoy. While you’re browsing through be sure to enjoy the food supplied by vendors and listen to the music from the live band that will be playing.

Not only can you enjoy the many events that will be taking place during Springfest but you can take part in hiking, kayaking, bicycling, sight see, outdoor race tracks and mini golf courses, etc. They are all great ways to experience the Smoky Mountains and spend quality time making memories with your loved ones. Take a drive through the Park if you have time to see the wildlife and beautiful colors of Spring in the mountains. Spring time is the perfect time to visit Gatlinburg, TN. The warm weather, great events and fun activities are waiting for your arrival!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Battle Of Gatlinburg

During the Civil War, Gatlinburg was occupied by Confederate forces under Major William H. Thomas. He organized a regiment of guerrillas, Indians, and whites totaling about two hundred men called the Thomas Legion. He promised the local men that if they joined his unit, they would not be called on to fight. They would only be used for road building and for mining work at Alum Cave. Food was being conscripted from the local people by the occupying forces; so this was good news to the hungry men. Alum Cave was a source for saltpeter, which was used to make gun powder and minerals which could be used to make Epson Salts. Both commodities were badly needed by the Confederate forces. Thomas made arrangements with the Confederate authorities to issue rations of flour and other food to the starving locals. Boys, too young to fight, were sent from Gatlinburg to Jefferson City by horseback or on foot to bring back the provisions. These rations did not contain soda or salt. It is said that salt cost a dollar a pound, and that men had to go by horseback to North Carolina to obtain the precious condiment. The occupation of Gatlinburg by Confederate forces lasted about two years. Thomas toward the end of the war told the local men that they would be required to fight. The Gatlinburg men became angry that Thomas had broken his promise to them; so they deserted.

In December of 1863 two companies of Union soldiers were ordered to roust the Confederates from Gatlinburg. Colonial William J. Palmer of Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry led one hundred fifty men by mountain trails from Wear’s Valley. Reverend J. D. Lawson (a Wears Valley native) led them over Rich Mountain, down Laurel Branch, through Fighting Creek Gap, and down Fighting Creek to Gatlinburg. Lieutenant-Colonel C. D. Lamborn led fifty men from Sevierville by way of Pigeon Forge. These two forces met in Gatlinburg and camped beside the river where the Riverside Hotel is located today. On the morning of December 20, 1863 the Union soldiers advanced on the blockhouse built by Major Thomas on the Burg Hill. (At this time Gatlinburg was know by the locals as The Burg) A small skirmish occurred; and being outnumbered, the Confederate forces fled toward Roaring Fork and Dudley Creek. They would then cross the mountain to their homes in North Carolina. It is said that Major Thomas was in such a hurry to leave that he left his black hat on the table. This was a great souvenir of the Union forces. Colonial Palmer did everything he could to relieve the suffering of the local people. He burned the huts around the block house, but left it with its stores for the Burg inhabitants. Guerrillas came back across the mountain and burned the block house-to keep it, they said, from falling again to the hands of the enemy. Gatlinburg did not fully recover from the Civil War until the lumber companies began to work the timber in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Theresa Williams, Genealogist
Sevier County Public Library System

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rock Slide On The Spur

The recent Winter weather has been troublesome for drivers in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. Not only have roads been slick because of the ice, but one of our most traveled roadways has experienced it’s third rockslide in 30 days.

“The Spur” is the road that travels between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and serves as the route most people take to get between the two cities. In January The Spur had a couple of rockslides which caused officials to close part of the Southbound lanes and detour them. The detour took drivers into the Northbound lanes which were split to serve as a two way road, and then dumped drivers back onto the Southbound lanes once they cleared the slides. It was speculated that it would take crews over a month to make the closed portion of the Southbound lanes “driveable” again.

However, there was another rockslide in the Southbound lanes of The Spur in the section of the Southbound road that was still open despite the rockslide in January. The rockslide caused officials to stop all traffic coming through The Spur and left many wondering if more shouldn’t be done to make sure the road is safe for travelers.

We hope that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge visitors will make wise decisions when traveling. If you are coming into Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge you may want to consider an alternate route until the detour has been put up and The Spur is safe.

Here’s an alternate route. It’s definitely not as quick as taking The Spur but it will get you into Gatlinburg:

Coming from Sevierville traveling in Pigeon Forge take a left at traffic light #8. Go to the 1st light and take a right (this road is Upper Middle Creek.) Drive about 3 miles and turn right on Boogertown Road. Drive until Boogertown dead ends and turn right onto Glades Road. Go all the way down to the end of this road. The road you will come to will be 321. If you want to go to downtown Gatlinburg you’ll take a right and drive all the way down to the end which will be 441 (the road that leads to downtown Gatlinburg.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Contest Winner

About a month ago Cabins For You announced that we would be holding a photo contest in which the winner would walk away with $250. We’re proud to announce the winning picture we‘ve entitled “Chapel in The Snow“. The picture is shown above and the accompanying story is below:

This is a picture of a Wedding Chapel near the Over the Top Cabin on January 2,2010. I thought this was a cute little chapel and then as we headed home to Alabama it was snowing and I snapped this photo which I think makes the chapel even more beautiful!! Thanks for such a great trip to remember!! Sina

We liked that Sina’s picture and story portray a great experience she had during her holiday visit to The Smokies. The picture is brilliant, but the memory behind it is one that she’ll probably never forget. There are so many great reasons to vacation in The Smokies and we’re glad that Sina shared hers.

It was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for us to choose a winner because there were so many great entries. We received such a great variety of fun photos that we really were torn on who to choose. We would like to thank everyone who entered, and everyone who “liked” the entries on Facebook. Our Facebook fans really did help in the selection process. Although the majority of the decision came from the Cabins For You staff, we were glad to see that our opinion closely matched yours. It helped us to make the tough decision.

We’ll be posting more on some of the other photos that were entered including a few honorable mentions that we loved. To view the submitted photos visit the Cabins For You Facebook page.

Cabins For You Contest Winner

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ready For Karaoke?

Gatlinburg TN has so many places to visit and things to see, but there are some people who are creatures of habit. They like their football on Monday, burgers on Wednesday, and karaoke on Friday. If that’s you then come on over to Gatlinburg Tennessee.

Many times people will visit our cabin rental office in Gatlinburg, TN and ask “what’s there to do around here.” That is definitely a loaded question. When people are asking about the nightlife we usually let them know that Gatlinburg isn’t a late night town. However, you can find some unique dining establishments that serve up more than just beer and wings for a midnight snack, we have KARAOKE.

There are two restaurants in Gatlinburg that are open “late night”. Crawdaddy’s and Puckers both feature live karaoke for your enjoyment. Puckers is open to adults who are aged 21 and up and Crawdaddy’s is open to guests of all ages.

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent midnight visit to Crawdaddy’s. Our group wanted to play pool (which I’m horrible at) so we camped out at the only pool table in the house. Being the tired old bitty I am (just kidding) I had some coffee and headed over to the dart board where I quickly became engulfed in a game with my husband. I also found the karaoke highly entertaining. There were some pretty amazing singers that night (aside from one very horrible sounding guy who must have been love drunk. Why else would he publicly sing such an awful rendition of anything?)

Crawdaddy’s boasts the best balcony in town and has a menu that includes ribs steak and seafood. A special bonus to eating at Crawdaddy’s is that children dine for free with any purchase of an adult entrée over $9.99!

If you’re looking for an adult only crowd then Puckers is the place to go. The 21 and up only establishment has been voted Gatlinburg’s #1 sports bar 9 years in a row and also holds the title for best wings in Gatlinburg. And, of course, Puckers has KARAOKE.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Driving Safe in Snowy Weather

If you’re looking forward to coming to Gatlinburg for a nice ski down the mountain then you may end up driving here in the snow. Gatlinburg has seen enough snow this winter to need to warn people of the dangers of driving on ice. Anyone staying in one of our Gatlinburg cabins (or any other company for that matter) should know how to be safe driving in the snow. We’ve put together a few tips that can help you stay safe during your trip.
  1. Never drive if you feel like you won’t have control! Don’t drive in poor weather conditions. That’s what trip insurance covers.
  2. Keep an emergency kit available in your car. It most likely won’t happen, but if your car happens to get stuck while driving up the mountain in Gatlinburg TN and you have no cell phone reception what are you going to do? It’s a good idea to carry items that can help you like snacks, a flash light, and maybe some good snow boots to help you walk to the nearest shelter.
  3. Make sure you have jumper cables.
  4. Have all emergency information available to you and to someone not on the trip. Don’t forget your AAA card, health insurance card, and photo id.
  5. Purchase an ice scraper for your windshield.
  6. Bring some good snow coats (again just in case you have to change a tire and endure the snow.)
  7. Fill up on gas and oil. Don’t drive on the mountain if you’re empty.
  8. If you have the choice of two lanes, drive in the one that’s not beside the river, or edge of the mountain.
  9. Wear your seat belt.
  10. Don’t drive on cruise control.
  11. Try to stop and accelerate slowly.
  12. Don’t stop on an incline if you can avoid it. It is a lot more difficult to avoid sliding on ice when you have to push the acceleration.
So far Gatlinburg has seen several of very icy nights this winter. One of the reasons why we thought it would be a good idea to post this list is because we’re not known for having bad weather. We’re actually a pretty safe place to drive most of the time. However, this kind of reputation can cause people to not plan on bad weather. They forget to drive carefully and take more risks than they normally do. Please be safe this winter.