Category Archives: Events in the area

Synchronized fireflies in Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains

The firefly show will be here for 2010 before you know it.  If you’re wondering what I mean by a “firefly show,” it’s a unique show that can only be found 2 places on earth. One is a place in Southeast Asia.  The other is right here in the Smoky Mountains  

These fireflies flash synchronously. They may flash in waves, or flash on and off together, or all go dark at once.  It sounds like an inspiring way to spend an evening.  

Scientists don’t know why or how it happens, but it does.  I suppose this is just another aspect of “Smoky Mountain Magic.”  Since they are only adults for about 3 weeks, this firefly show only lasts for a week or so, usually the 2nd week in June each year.  The show starts at around 9:30PM each night.  The park has a trolley service that allows you to park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride up to the show in the Elkmont area. 

Believe it or not, these fireflies are just one of 14 different species of fireflies that live in the Smokies.

Here’s a post from my blog last year with a video of what you might see… https://gosmoky.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/catch-a-trolley-to-see-the-fireflies-work-their-light-magic-in-the-smokies/

If you plan to see the show for yourself, below is a list of “Light Show Etiquette” from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website…

Light Show Etiquette
Flashlights disrupt the fireflies and impair people’s night vision. The light show is best when you:

  • Cover your flashlight with red or blue cellophane.
  • Use your flashlight only when walking to your viewing spot.
  • Point your flashlight at the ground.
  • Turn off your flashlight when you find your viewing spot.

You can also help protect the fireflies and their habitat:

  • Do not catch the fireflies.
  • Stay on the trail at all times.
  • Pack out all of your garbage.

Here is the park’s webpage on the fireflies… http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

If you like the photo above of the fireflies from last year, you can buy a copy on knoxnews.com… http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2009/dec/23/74639/

I will post much more on this topic as June approaches…

-Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com.  Once you’re finished watching the relaxing show of the fireflies, you will want to relax and get some sleep before another great day in the Smokies.  The best way to do that is by staying at The Smoky Mountain Tower.  Check it out!***

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Headed to the Smoky Mountains…

smokyview

Ok, I’ll be on the road in about 4-5 hours, headed to the Smokies. As usual, I’m excited about the trip.  This time, we’re not staying at www.smokymountaintower.com .  The problem is, this was sort of a last minute trip.  With it being October, it was booked all but one weekend.  (While on the topic, Dave tells me he is offering 10-28% off the whole month of October [weekend of the 15th is still available] in www.smokymountaintower.com )

We’ll get up there tonight, and we’re staying until Sunday.  We’re trying to keep this trip wide open.  Sometimes I think we spend too much time doing “stuff” in the mountains.  We rarely get a day to just lounge around or do nothing at all.  The only things on the agenda this time are Dollywood (Friday) and a dinner theater show I’ve wanted to see for a couple of years, but so far have not had the chance to enjoy, The Smith Family Theater.  I plan to give a full report of the show here on the blog when I get back.  That’s scheduled for Thursday night.  Saturday is wide open, and all day Thursday is wide open.  We’ll probably either spend time in the mountains, at the house we’re staying in or in downtown Gatlinburg. 

There is a special “astronomy” night Saturday night at Cades Cove presented by the park and the Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society  http://www.smokymtnastro.org/.  I haven’t even mentioned that to my wife yet, but if the weather is good, I might suggest that Saturday. 

I can’t wait.  Of course, I’ll try to make sure to take a number of photos, and even some videos of the area to post here and on my gosmoky youtube page. 

 

Raymond

Smoky Mountains gearing up for fall… I can’t wait!

pigeonforgeoverlook

 

This is one of my personal favorite times of the year in the mountains (ok, I’ll be honest, I love it up there pretty much anytime, but the color of the mountains does make it that much more special.:) Since I live in Charleston, I’m just a few minutes away from the ocean.  I actually work at a T.V. station that is literally on Charleston harbor.  I get to see the full harbor and the ocean each morning as I drive in to work.  I’m very fortunate.  This year, I’ve made more of an effort to spend time at the beach.  Whether walking for a few minutes at lunchtime or just after work, or taking the whole family for several hours in the sun.  I’ve been enjoying the summer.  But now that fall is here, there are so many things we do that I can’t wait to enjoy.  We go to a local pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin for the girls.  We also walk through the corn maze.  The Coastal Carolina Fair will be here at the end of October.  That’s a tradition I’ve been enjoying since I was a kid.  As soon as it gets cold, I’ll probably attend an oyster roast of some sort.  As much as I’m not an oyster-aholic, there is something special about standing around a couple of trashcans with plywood on top loaded down with steaming oysters that’s just plain fun.  Hopefully I’ll be enjoying that in the near future.  Then there’s the hayrides.  We usually go to my old church on Halloween night, where some of the men from the church have a hayride for the kids set up.  My kids love that so much, we rarely go trick or treating.  Then of course, there is FALL IN THE MOUNTAINS.  The fall displays will be in place (probably already are,) mountain music and brisk, coolness will be in the air.  The hike to Clingman’s Dome will be a cold one.  Then Dollywood will be decorated to the nines, and Southern Gospel music will fill the air as crafters work their magic throughout the park.  I can’t wait to see the mountains in the fall.  Tom from Pigeon Forge sent me a press release of some of the things planned for this time of year.  See the release below…  As for my family and I, we’re planning a long weekend in the Smokies for next weekend.  I’ll fill you in with more details about our plans soon.  Fall is a great time of year to see the Smokies.  Get out and JUST DO IT!

***We love staying at www.smokymountaintower.com when we’re in the Smokies.  Right between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, with great views at the top of the mountain, you will not be disappointed.***

 

Press release below (from Pigeon Forge)……

October Draws Craft Lovers to Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains

Two major crafts events highlight start of autumn leaf season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (October 2009)—Scores of talented artists and craftsmen seem to take a cue from Mother Nature when the leaves start changing colors in the Great Smoky Mountains and appear in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for two major autumn festivals.

Basket makers, carvers, painters and others are on hand for the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Festival and Dollywood’s National Gospel & Harvest Celebration.

+ The Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Crafts Festival (Oct. 1-30) is one of the region’s biggest crafts events, attracting almost 50 craftsmen, artists and exhibitors from more than a dozen states.  It takes place under a giant red and white tent at Patriot Park. Rotarians volunteer their time to run the festival, and proceeds benefit numerous charities.

+ Dollywood’s National Gospel & Harvest Festival (Oct. 2-31) complements the theme park’s regular operation with an array of traditional and contemporary craftsmen and adds scores of free gospel music concerts to the entertainment lineup. Among the featured crafts are spinning, weaving, sorghum making, fiddle making, rug hooking and woodworking.

Both events take place against the backdrop of Pigeon Forge’s Harvestfest season, which continues through Oct. 31.  

During Harvestfest, businesses throughout the city erect fanciful fall displays of hay bales, scarecrows, cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers, mums and other symbols of the season.

The Pigeon Forge Travel Planner and information about all aspects of the city are available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free to 1-800-251-9100. The travel planner includes the Pigeon Forge Value Card, which offers more than $300 worth of discounts.

Video from this week’s celebration of the park’s 75th anniversary at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

I’ve been “out of touch” for a week or so.  My dad and step-mom rented a beach house on Folly Beach here in the Charleston area.  I’ve spent the last week walking to the pier, searching/digging for sea shells, swimming, body-boarding, chatting, drinking coffee (something I rarely do,) eating, relaxing and just having a good time catching up with family.  I intentionally didn’t do anything with the blog (didn’t even bring my laptop on the trip.)  I’m catching up with the blog today with a video from this week’s 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Check it out.  This is from knoxnews.com…

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/sep/03/majestic-moment-rededication-celebrates-parks-lega/

***While we were at the beach, I talked to family/friends about the Smoky Mountains, our favorite place to vacation.  The house we stayed in was nice, almost like www.smokymountaintower.com by the sea.  I’d like to stay in this beach house when I’m at the beach, just like we stay at www.smokymountaintower.com when we’re in the Smokies.  Check it out!***

Stringtime in the Smokies in Pigeon Forge, coming up in a couple weeks…

A friend of mine who works with Pigeon Forge sent me the information below about the “Stringtime in the Smokies” festival.  What better to listen to in the mountains than good ‘ole mountain music?  If you’re in the area at the time, check it out…

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 2009) – Mountain music claims many modifiers—driving, soulful, plaintive, lively, joyful—and Pigeon Forge’s StringTime in the Smokies adds another: free.

Five diverse bands are scheduled for the two-night festival, Aug. 14 and 15 (Friday and Saturday). The Aug. 14 performance is at Old Mill Square, and the Aug. 15 event is at Patriot Park.  Guests are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs for festival seating.

The lineup:

Aug. 14 (7 p.m. start)—The Knoxville-based, four-member Wild Blue Yonder; Gary “Biscuit” Davis and Company, whose namesake is the only three-time National Banjo Champion; and Timberwoods, which recorded its first CD in the studio of bluegrass and country legend Tom T. Hall.

Aug. 15 (6 p.m. start)—Timberwoods; Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (Cleveland has six Fiddle Player of the Year Awards and two Instrumental Albums of the Year Awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association); and SteelDrivers, a band that blends bluegrass, country, soul and other contemporary influences in a fusion that Vince Gill has called “an incredible combination.”

StringTime in the Smokies is on the official calendar of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is the sixth Pigeon Forge-sponsored event with that recognition.

Performers’ information and other StringTime in the Smokies details are available at www.MyPigeonForge.com/StringTime or by calling 865-429-7350.  General information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available at www.MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-251-9100.

 

 

*****When you’re done watching the pickin’ and grinnin’, stay at our favorite place, www.smokymountaintower.com We’ve enjoyed several stays in that home****

BLOG BACK IN BUSINESS:) Smoky Mountain FANFEST THIS WEEKEND

 

Ok, I’ve taken a break from the gosmoky blog for a few weeks.  I just wanted to take a break.  I’m back now. Thanks for all of you who visited even while I wasn’t adding anything new.  It amazes me how many people are reading this blog.  It’s just a hobby I enjoy:) 

This looks like a fantastic way to spend a day or two in the Smokies (not that I can think of many bad ways to spend a day or two in the Smokies.)

It looks like many of the guys from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and other populer TV shows from the past will be there in person, many of them will be selling their autographs.  I don’t know about the whole “selling” of autographs, but then again, if you really want an autograph, it’s probably worth paying something for it. 

I had the chance to interview Ben “Cooter” Jones here on the GoSmoky.com radio show awhile back… you can listen to it here… Ben comes on a couple of minutes after the show starts.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gosmoky/2008/07/23/Ben-Jones-Cooter-from-the-Dukes-of-Hazzard-live-on-GoSmokycom-radio-show

This Smoky Mountain Fan Fest could become an annual event (the site calls it “1st Annual Fan Fest”.) 

There are also going to be some concerts on Saturday night, including Merle “Just 2 good ‘ole boys” Haggard. 

It all takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Smokies Stadium in Sevierville.  Looks like fun!

www.smokymtnfanfest.com for more info… 

 

*************Click on www.smokymountaintower.com to see the new website of the place we stay when we’re in the Smoky Mountains.  You”ll love it.  It’s located between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge*******************************************

ACTUAL VIDEO of Roosevelt at the Groundbreaking of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I just found this from Holly at “Friends of the Smokies.” This is an excellent blog with information on this weekend’s events remembering the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is also actual footage of FDR coming into the area, and speaking at Newfound Gap. Take a look at it. Great stuff! Click below for full info…

http://www.examiner.com/x-4661-National-Parks-Travel-Examiner~y2009m6d6-Great-Smoky-Mountains-National-Park-75th-Anniversary-weekend

***** Please visit my sponsor, http://www.smokiesrentdirect.com to find the home we stay in while in the Smokies, “The Mountain Tower.” Located between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, it has some of the best views of the mountains anywhere.  Check it out!******