Tennessee’s tax free weekend is coming up and spending your weekend in Pigeon Forge is a great way to take full advantage of the no tax shopping! The tax free weekend starts on Friday, Aug. 5, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night. The outlet malls are the perfect way to get the best bang for your buck, but they will be crowded so be prepared to be patient!
If you’re not familiar with Tennessee’s tax free weekend be sure you know all the rules and restrictions. Most all clothing and school supplies under $100 are tax exempt and computers that are under $1,500 are exempt. If you have any other questions about items that may or may not be exempt check out more info here.
This will be the second year that Dollywood has offered Dollywood Nights with extended park hours each evening from August 8-14. Extended hours will be through 10 p.m. and most rides will operate during the extended hours. This is a rare occasion to enjoy the park’s rides in the dark.
Dollywood opens at 10 a.m. each day during Dollywood Nights and will open a 9 a.m. on Saturdays. There will be a special $25 (plus tax; no discounts apply) admission ticket offered exclusively for Aug. 8-14 which provides entry into Dollywood at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Dollywood season passes and valid park admission tickets entitle ticketholders to the extended hours as well.
Dollywood’s 2011 season continues with three of the South’s largest festivals: Barbeque & Bluegrass (Aug. 19-Sept. 5); National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration (Sept. 28-Oct. 29) and Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 5-Dec. 30), the latter two presented by Humana.
The Gatlinburg 4th of July parade is famous for it’s unique midnight start time making it “First July Fourth Parade in the Nation!” The parade honors military personnel with floats, balloons and marching bands and is also a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event. This year there will be two very special Grand Marshals for the parade making for an even more exciting night. Actors Catherine Bach and Rick Hurst, also known as their characters in the hit “The Dukes of Hazzard,” as Daisy Duke and Deputy Cletus Hogg will be the Grand Marshalls for the Gatlinburg parade.
During the holiday weekend both actors will be greeting fans and signing autographs at Cooter’s Place in Gatlinburg. From July 1 – 10, Hurst and the Duke Boys’ 1969 Dodge Charger, the General Lee, will be available and Bach is scheduled for an appearance on July 3. Cooter’s Place is owned by actor Ben Jones who also starred in the show.
Don’t miss out on any of the 4th of July weekend events! Be sure to also check out the Patriot Festival.
Throughout 2011, the Heroes of the Diamond will complete the “Road to Ground Zero Flag Tour.” On Thursday, July 21, the Tennessee Smokies and Smokies Park have been granted the honor of being part of this historic tour on the same night that the team will recognize police officers, firefighters, EMT’s and other first responders for their selfless acts serving our local communities.
The Ground Zero Flag will be presented on the field prior to the National Anthem and then again during the performance of “God Bless America” in the seventh inning stretch. Between the National Anthem and the performance of “God Bless America,” the Ground Zero Flag will be displayed on the stadium concourse, giving fans the opportunity to view and even touch the flag.
On site when former President George W. Bush delivered his famous “Bullhorn Speech” following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the Ground Zero Flag has been presented to thousands of heroes in ceremonies from Iraq to Afghanistan over the past decade. This year, the Ground Zero Flag will be presented all over the nation offering everyone in America the opportunity to honor and touch it during the final leg of its nationwide journey back to New York for the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
Escorting and presenting the 9-11 flag will be the Heroes of the Diamond. Founded in 1990, at the request of former President George H.W. Bush, the Heroes of the Diamond are the only team in the world to feature players from every branch of the military and first responders. For over 20 years the team has been dedicated to the proud tradition “To promote the awareness of Americans in support of the honorable sacrifices our armed forces make.” Fans who choose to support to the Heroes of the Diamond by purchasing one of their books at their table on the stadium concourse will be automatically entered into a raffle to win a special camouflaged Heroes of the Diamond game-worn jersey.
Also scheduled for Thursday, July 21, is be the culmination of Smokies pitcher Trey McNutt and Smokies radio broadcaster Mick Gillispie’s drive to raise awareness and funds for the Mark Forester Price of Freedom Foundation. On September 29, 2010, Senior Airman Mark A. Forester, a beloved son, brother and friend, was killed in Afghanistan while attempting to save a fallen comrade.
A college scholarship has since been established in Mark’s memory, funded partially through McNutt and Gillispie’s efforts. Mark’s parents and brother will be in attendance for Thursday’s game to participate in the pre-game ceremony.
First pitch on Thursday, July 21, is set for 7:15 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. as the Tennessee Smokies face-off against the Carolina Mudcats. Tickets for the July 21st game are free for all police officers, firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics and first responders with valid badge or ID. Family and friends of these local heroes will receive discounted $8 tickets for the game. For tickets and more information please visitwww.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.
The Titanic Pigeon Forge is hosting a very special Princess Tea Party for all the little princesses out there! You will experience a time-honored ritual in gracious living. There will also be mini-manner lessons taught by Titanic’s First Class Maid Jamie. Each princess will also learn etiquette, proper table settings and service skills while enjoying finger sandwiches and cookies. All followed by a tour of theTitanic Museum.
The Princess Tea Party will be on Saturday, September 24 and ages 5 – 15 are welcome. The cost is $22 per child (ages 5-15) and $25 per adult. Prices include Tax, Tea Party & Admission to the Museum. Seating for the party will be every hour, starting at 9am and the last seating will be at 6pm. Please remember that space is limited and reservations are required. Please call 800-381-7670.