2013 Dollywood BBQ and Bluegrass Music Festival in Pigeon Forge TN

Stay at Carr’s Cottages and Play at Dollywood

Dollywood Vacation Package

May 25 – June 9, 2013

We hope you’ve brought your wet-naps, cause you are going to need them if you are anywhere near Pigeon Forge TN May 25-June 9, 2013, ‘cause that is when Dollywood is putting on their annual BBQ and Bluegrass Festival!

Oh, my gosh, just the thought of trying any one of the lip-smacking, finger-licking ribs, pulled pork sandwiches or roasted chicken dinners is making me hungry!  And nothing goes better with food than music – good old fashioned bluegrass music that is.  We don’t know which to tell you about first!

Dollywood is nothing if not thorough when they have a festival.  Along with the savory 50,000 pounds of Tennessee pulled pork, succulent chicken, and delicious ribs, throughout the park chefs will be giving BBQ cooking demonstrations so you can be the “King of the Grill” in your own neighborhood when you get back home. Again this year, there will be a dandy Sauce Tastin’ Station where you can try some mind-blowing barbecue sauces that will rock your world!  And, of course, along with BBQ there must be sweet, savory desserts.  You surely don’t want to miss out on eating a 3-pound slice of pie from a 25-pound apple pie.

There is great music too… Mountain Bluegrass to be sure!  Down-home, hand-clapping music from the likes of Ricky Scaggs, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, and Riders in the Sky, plus 16 days of 250 more performing artists.  Music just flows in and around the whole park and it just makes you happy!

Get Discount Dollywood TicketsCarrs Cottages in Gatlinburg wants to welcome your family or large group reunion while you are here enjoying our Southern Hospitality.  Located just a few blocks off the Main Street in Gatlinburg, we offer location convenience along with a park-like, natural setting.  We know between our Great Smoky Mountain cabin rentals, vacation cottages, suites, townhouses and motel choices, we have exactly what you are looking for in accommodations to make your vacation or retreat perfect.  We also have discount Dollywood tickets available at our front desk to sweeten your trip!

Dollywood certainly knows how to be the neighborhood family reunion spot in Pigeon Forge TN, so get your own family to Carrs Cottages and get ready to join in this thoroughly Southern cookout!

Go Whitewater Rafting in the Smoky Mountains

Wild to Mild Pigeon River Rafting Trips 

The Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee are famous for their free National Park, scenic byways and expansive mountain views, their vacation destination towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, and their mild seasonal weather.  It’s a perfect place to vacation and one of the reasons guests have been staying at Carr’s Motel for generations.  In the Smokies, you can do just about anything including peaceful walks and hikes, thrilling amusements, excellent outlet shopping, and live music theaters with up and coming talent.   All that and extreme sports too!

Have you ever been whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg?  If not, you’re in for an awesome outdoor adventure if you’ll face any fears and agree to meet the challenge of Class III-IV rapids.  Everyone age 8 or older can experience whitewater rafting and brag to their friends and family about defeating the rapids such as Veggematic, Lost Guide or Aftershave.

A little hesitant?  That’s OK because if you’re not up to the challenge of white water rafting, you can enjoy a leisurely river float trip instead!  Might not be as challenging, but just as enjoyable for ages 3 and over.  There’s nothing like taking in all the scenery during a relaxing float on the Lower Pigeon River.

East Tennessee Whitewater Rafting and River Trips

Trips Available March – November

Not only do you have your choice of wild white water rafting or a mild river float, you also have your choice of six great rafting companies ready and waiting to help you cross rafting off your bucket list or take your grandbabies on their first river ride.  Each company offers trips from late March – November with trained river guides, your choice of Upper Pigeon River or Lower Pigeon River trips, and excellent discounts when booking your tickets online through Carr’s Cottages.

Click Here to View Online Ticket Discounts Available from these Smoky Mountain Rafting Companies:

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Rafting in the Smokies
Big Creek Expeditions
USA Raft & Tubing Excursions
Smoky Mountain Outdoors Whitewater Rafting
Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center

Choose your dates, choose your discounts, and have a wonderful experience on the Pigeon River!

Guided Hikes and Tours of Gatlinburg Tennessee

Smoky Mountains “It’s a SPRING Thing” 

Gatlinburg is really pulling out the stops this April with new events and the much anticipated Smoky Mountain Wine Festival.  We hope you’ll plan a family vacation or weekend getaway with us so that you can explore the National Park and downtown Gatlinburg as you might not have before!

Hike the Smoky Mountains National Park

Hike the Smokies!

Downtown Gatlinburg Walking Tour
During the first three weeks of the month, the City of Gatlinburg is offering guided tours of downtown to introduce Gatlinburg’s past and present.  The tours are free to every one of all ages and begin at 2 p.m. each Friday and Saturday.  Space is limited, so call Jennie now at (865) 436-0505 to reserve your spots.

Easy Hikes in the Smokies
Join a Naturalist, retired Park Ranger and Biologist for fun, informative guided hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  These free guide-lead hikes also take place during the first three weeks of this month–on Tuesdays and Thursdays–and include morning and afternoon starting times.  You and your entire family can search for wildflowers, explore bird watching and simply enjoy the great outdoors along the Rainbow Falls, Cove Hardwood, Old Sugarlands, and Trillium Gap trails!  Click here to view the dates, times and specific hiking trails.  Again, space is limited so call (865) 436-0505 to make a reservation.

Don’t forget, we’re offering $54 motel rooms or stay 2 nights, receive a 3rd night half price in all other accommodations throughout the entire month.  April is a great month to stay, SAVE, and play in the Smokies!

Tennessee Wine Festival in Gatlinburg

Enjoy Tennessee Wineries in Downtown Gatlinburg

We are really excited to share the news about the newest festival to come to Gatlinburg TN.  It’s the Smoky Mountain Wine Festival and it’s being held on April 27 from 1-6 p.m. at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza.

In addition to seminar sessions that include wine making talks and recommendations for “what wine goes with” food pairings, all participants will be offering wine tastings.  Everyone age 21 and over is invited to purchase a wine festival wristband for $20 and that includes a souvenir wine glass.

Participating wineries are coming from across Middle and East Tennessee, and the majority of these wineries are members of the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance.  Participating Tennessee Wineries are:

2013 Smoky Mountains Tennessee Wine Festival

April 27 from 1-6 p.m. in Downtown Gatlinburg

  • Amber Falls Winery & Cellars
  • Beachaven Winery
  • Beans Creek Winery
  • Blue Slip Winery
  • Bootleggers Winery
  • DelMonaco Winery
  • Eagle Springs Winery
  • Grinder’s Switch Winery
  • Keg Springs Winery
  • Mountain Valley Winery
  • Spout Spring Estates Vineyard
  • Stonhaus Winery
  • Sugarland Cellars
  • Sumner Crest Winery
  • Tennessee Valley Winery
  • The Grape Barn at Nolichucky
  • Maybe more to come?

While you’re waiting in anticipation of this event, check out our previous article “Smoky Mountain Winery Tours – It’s a Sweet Adventure” and make your reservations with us.  And don’t forget, to keep you and everyone else safe and sound, we are on the Gatlinburg trolley route that will take directly from your motel room at Carr’s to the Wine Festival and back!

What To Do in Gatlinburg March 2013

Things to in Gatlinburg Tennessee This March

Hotel Discounts for March 2013 What to Do

Now through March 28!

If you’d like to plan a little Smoky Mountain getaway, this March is as good a time as any.  And Carr’s Cottages is making the decision easy with $44 creekside motel rooms or an additional free night stay with the purchase of 2 in our cabins, cottages and townhome rentals.  These great rates are available now through March 28, so check out these fun things to do and places to go and make those reservations!

Pirates Ball at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
THE place to be on Thursday, March 7 is at the aquarium for the annual Pirates Ball!  Put on some tropical attire and treat yourself to an evening of live entertainment and great food while supporting our Mountain Hope Good Shepard Clinic.  There will be plenty of appetizers and a buffet feast, live music by the Tim Keller band, and the opportunity to view all of your favorite exhibits throughout the entire aquarium.  The Ball begins at 7 p.m.  Tickets are$50 for adults and $10 for kid’s ages 3-11.

Gatlinburg Improv Fest
If you didn’t attend last year, you are in luck that the fest is back again for 2013.  On Friday and Saturday, March 8 & 9, you can have some great laughs during improvisational comedy at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre for only $10 per show.  Show times are 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.  See one or see them all!  Tickets available at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre box office.

Winter Carnival of Magic
Also on March 8 & 9 is the annual Carnival of Magic held at Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge.  Read More…

A Mountain Quiltfest
Annual Quilt Show paradise right in Pigeon Forge, March 12-16.  Check it out here…

Smoky Mountain Springfest
Sevier County jumpstarts spring as Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg proudly display their new plantings and flower baskets, and welcome everyone to come to the Smokies and watch them spring to life!

Dollywood Festival of Nations
Opening day is March 23!  Make your reservations with us so that you can get your discount Dollywood tickets directly from our front desk staff .

Easter Arts & Crafts Show
The talented folks for the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community leave Glades and Buckhorn Roads and head to the downtown Gatlinburg Convention Center March 28-30 for their annual Easter craft fair.

See?  Lots and lots of fun stuff to do.  Course, if you’d like rest and relaxation more than being entertained, simply choose one of our Jacuzzi Suites and forget what’s going on “out there.”  We’ll give you a wake up call when you’re ready to go.

Pigeon Forge TN Celebrates 2013 A Mountain Quiltfest

A Timeless Expression of Tradition

2013 Quilt Show in Pigeon Forge

Star, Log Cabin, Pinwheel, Texas Star, Block…. What do all these terms have in common?  Those who quilt know.  And those who quilt or would like to learn more about quilt making will be coming to the 19th Annual A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge TN March 12-16, 2013.

This timeless art of expression, recycling, and necessity is proudly carried forth into the 21st century.  Included in the five day A Mountain Quiltfest are classes, contests, and vendor booths.  Not only is there the passing down of the art form, but there is a fabulous quilt show with more than 10 categories competing for over $18,000 in cash and prizes.  Some of the categories include professional and non-professional divisions, hand quilted and machine quilted, and there is even a youth quilting category.  If you admire the artwork quilts express, you will not want to miss viewing these throughout the week.  To see what’s in store for you, check out the winners of last year’s A Mountain Quiltfest 2012.

A Mountain Quiltfest is bringing 12 luminaries in the field of quilting to speak throughout the week including Cindy Blackberg, Harriet Hargrave, and Klaudeen Hansen.  With more than 60 classes available during this quilting event, there will be something new to learn and be of interest to you no matter your level of experience.

Need specialized supplies? New pattern ideas? Want different fabrics than what you can find in the stores at home? Looking for expert advice regarding a technique? Then do not miss the quilt vendors that will also be available during the show.  Booth upon booth of quilting vendors attend A Mountain Quiltfest every year.  You can expect to find a variety of fabrics, threads, patterns, notions, and more!

Whether you would like to make new friends, get inspired to try new ideas or techniques, learn more about your craft, improve your skills, or if you are just an admirer of the beautiful pieces of art these quilts represent, then come on up to Pigeon Forge in the Great Smoky Mountains March 12-16!  Make your reservations at Carr’s Cottages and take advantage of our low wintertime rates and free night stay!

For more information, visit the Official Pigeon Forge A Mountain Quiltfest website.

Winter Carnival of Magic in Pigeon Forge

39th Winter Carnival of Magic

Winter Carnival of Magic in Pigeon Forge This Week

March 8 & 9

Magic feats, sleight of hand and unbelievable illusions make their way to Pigeon Forge and you’re invited!

Each year, the Knoxville Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians hosts their annual convention right here in Pigeon Forge at the popular Country Tonite Theatre.  Though the general public isn’t privy to dealers, lectures and group competitions, we are invited to attend two public performances so that we can enjoy bewildering talents!

Top performers scheduled to appear include Jason Hudy, Matt Jergens, Jeff Bibik, Losander, Larry Wilson, Jessica Reed, Ray Corus and others.

Evening public performances take place on Friday and Saturday, March 8 & 9, at 8 p.m.  Tickets for adults and children ages 10 and older are $20, and children ages 9 and younger are $7 and can be purchased at the door.  Theater concessions will be available during both shows.  View or Download the Carnival Flyer.

Both the convention and live performances are family-oriented productions that welcome all ages to come out and enjoy magical arts and entertainment!

Saddle Up Cowboy Fest in Pigeon Forge TN

Free Events During Saddle Up! Festival

You’ve probably heard about the Pigeon Forge TN 14th Annual Saddle Up! event—their annual effort to bring the Old West eastward to Tennessee—happening February 20-24, 2013.  It’s four days of concerts, stage shows, and chuck wagon meals. But, did you know the Saddle Up! celebration includes many free events your family will most certainly enjoy?  Well, it does!  Plan to bring your family to Pigeon Forge this year and experience a bit of the cowboy life!

Here is a small sampling of free events available to you:

Kent Rollins Cowboy Catering and Entertainment

Kent Rollins

How about tasting cornbread samples prepared by Kent Rollins & the Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon Gang at the Old Mill Square on Wednesday?  Besides tantalizing your taste buds, Kent Rollins, who has been named Official Chuck Wagon Cook of Oklahoma by its Governor, will be entertaining you with stories describing comical calamites of growing up on a ranch as well as stories passed down from old-timers.  Kent and his group provide more food samples and entertainment on Friday at Smoky Mountain Guitars, too.

Ken Jenkins, a nationally known natural history photographer, writer, lecturer and outdoor adventurer, will present his view of how the West was won, lived and exists today through his Western photography show.  Ken’s show is Thursday at the Spirit of the Smokies Condo Lodge.

For pure fun, you do not want to miss Saturday’s Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground.  The Buckaroo Roundup includes such hands-on fun as a mechanical bull ride to test your rodeo skills, lasso lessons, and branding demonstrations.  Frequently mixed in with these activities is some cowboy poetry and tales of the trail.

To round out Saddle Up!’s four-day event, be sure and visit Stages West on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for the morning’s Cowboy Church service.   Visit the Office Saddle Up! Website for a complete schedule at MyPigeonForge.com/SaddleUp/Schedule.aspx

Wilderness Wildlife Week for Kids in the Smokies

Wilderness Wildlife Week Programs Just for Kids

Kids Explore the Smokies in a New Way

Let Your Kids Explore the Smokies

From January 12-19, 2013, Pigeon Forge will be holding its 23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week; an annual salute to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  There will be 150 experts on hand to discuss 250 programs on wildlife, photography, mountain history and more, but did you realize many of the programs are geared to children?  Best of all, they are all free!  What a great opportunity to introduce your youngsters to the great outdoors, the wonders of nature, and the many different experiences that includes while enjoying a family vacation getaway at Carr’s Cottages!

Does your child have an interest in animals?  Wilderness Wildlife Week will be offering informal talks and videos geared to children about many of the National Park’s local inhabitants and the Knoxville Zoomobile will be present for some hands-on and interactive discussion regarding the world of animals.  And your kids won’t want to miss out on the Owl Prowl! There is even a hiking class that encourages children from a young age to enjoy the great outdoors!

Maybe your child is interested in learning how to photograph wild animals and nature.  Jim Eastin will be leading a class designed just for them.  Or, if your child is interested in history combined with crafts, they will enjoy learning about the old-fashioned quill and pen that was used 100 years ago as well as learning how to make homemade ink.

Music is such a huge part of the mountain culture in East Tennessee and it has not been left off the list.  Your child can take advantage of several scheduled musical events like a concert by the Lost Mill String Band, a children’s sing-a-long, or participate in a “Let’s Make Music” workshop.

In case you think nature and music are the only topics of Wildlife Wilderness Week, let your child experience one of the many interactive classes such as *“The Life of a Soldier during the Civil War.”  They actually enlist for either the Union or Confederacy, are taught about the hard life of a soldier in those times, and experience camp life.  Or, sign them up to make a *Garbage Pizza?  Students follow the life of trash as it is thrown away and then create their own garbage pizza! And, if your child loves funny stories or is an aspiring artist, they will want to join the *Red-Headed Boggertown Bunch – Tall Tale of the Mountains.  After being entertained with this bewildering mountain lore story, they are encouraged to illustrate their own conclusions to this tall tale!

Check out the complete schedule for Wilderness Wildlife Week for Kids in Pigeon Forge so you and your children don’t miss out on fun and exciting experiences!

*These classes require advance registration and class size is limited.

Pigeon Forge Titanic Ice Carving Competition 2013

Ice Creations Come to Life in Pigeon Forge Tennessee

Ice Creations Annual Carving Competition at Titanic

January 13, 2013 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Icecarvings are those beautiful works of art that are often only seen at extravagant weddings or on fancy event buffets; so many of us never have an opportunity see one in person.  However, thanks to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, if you head to Carr’s this coming weekend not only can you see them but you can watch them being made.  January 19, 2013 is the 3rd Annual National Ice Carving Competition at the Titanic’s outdoor entertainment center.

The free, one-day family event will allow you to watch celebrated world-class ice sculptors execute their fanciful designs in 250-pound blocks of ice.  The competitors’ ingenuity, talent, and clever use of huge carving tools will awe you and your children!  The National Ice Carving Association, a not-for-profit organization that continually works at promoting the art of ice carving, will be overseeing the competition.   There are both professional and amateur divisions competing for prize monies ranging from $100 – $2000.

Want a few nuggets of ice “know-how” you can use to impress your children?   How about that the clarity of ice is determined by how the ice is made.  The more time water spends circulating while it is freezing, the clearer the finished product.  Or, that there are actually three kinds of ice used for sculpting:  crystal clear ice blocks, naturally made ice, and canned ice with a white feather in the core.

Once completed, there is no way to stop these art pieces from melting, so get on over to Pigeon Forge Saturday, January 19 and watch for their arrival as the next day may be too late.

The ice carvings event takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and the Titanic will stay open late – until 8 p.m. – so that you’ll have time to check out the new “The Children of Titanic” gallery.  This gallery is the newest addition to the museum for 2013.

Titanic Pigeon Forge
2134 Parkway (Adjacent to the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Theater)
Call (800) 381-7670 for Additional Information