Are you ready for a blast from the past? Tennessee Pearls, wildly popular in the 1980s, are back in a big way.
These freshwater pearls are practically an institution in Pigeon Forge and the rest of the Volunteer State. The special gemstones grow inside Tennessee River Washboard Mussels in the state's rivers and lakes. According to information from the Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm
in Camden, Tennessee pearls come in various shapes: Spherical, pear-shaped, baroque and irregular. Like other freshwater pearls, Tennessee Pearls are naturally durable gemstones and can come in a rainbow of soft pastel colors: You might see white, pink, silver, cream, green, blue and yellow pearls from local lakes and rivers.
Tennessee pearls can be farmed or cultured and grow naturally. Though the state's official gemstone comes from the Washboard Mussel, almost any shelled mollusk can produce some kind of pearl. Pearls are formed when an irritating object becomes trapped within the mollusks inside folds, and is created as the mussel encases the object with minerals.
If you're planning a Pigeon Forge wedding, consider working these rare gems into your celebration. Tennessee pearl jewelry is a beautiful addition to your wedding day attire and can make a great gift for members of your bridal party. You can also consider working pearls into your wedding décor: Add pearl accents to your floral arrangements and other accents. You can even carry the theme into your celebratory confection – we've seen bakers make beautiful sugar pearls to decorate wedding cakes.
A Tennessee pearl will last forever if you take care of it, just like your happy marriage. Celebrate your big day with Volunteer State's special gem.
"Paws" for a moment and help Pigeon Forge take home honors as a pet-friendly travel destination! Your favorite mountain resort town was nominated and is currently in the running for the top city in the U.S. for pet travelers in a contest run by GoPetFriendly.com
! Show your appreciation and support by voting here: Pet Travelers Tournament.
What makes Pigeon Forge such a pet-friendly travel destination? The answer is easy -- Our Southern Hospitality even extends to our four-legged, furry friends! Many of our local cabins and rentals
welcome pets: Check out Terry Kay Cabin Rentals
, Hearthside Cabin Rentals
, Great Cabins in theSmokies
and Black Bear Lodging
when you're traveling with your pooch. Pigeon Forge also offers immediate access to miles and miles of mountain trails – perfect for exploring with the entire family, even Fido!
Animal lovers will also find lots to do in Pigeon Forge, too! The Comedy Barn's
Canines are funny favorites: This unique team of trained shelter dogs puts on more than 500 shows a year to visitors and local schools and nursing homes. Miss Ellie, a member of the Comedy Barn's canine crew, was a national celebrity: She took home top honors in 2009 in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California. The darling Chinese Crested also caught the eye of Animal Planet producers and enjoyed her time in the limelight making regular appearances on the network and on the Pigeon Forge stage.
Though Miss Ellie doesn't perform in the show anymore (she recently passed away), the show is still a fun event for adults and kids alike. Check out GoPetFriendly's review here
, or reserve your spot in the audience for an upcoming show here
Do you enjoy traveling in your pet in Pigeon Forge? Tell us in the comments or shoot an e-mail to Laura@pigeonforge.com!
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! Start your marriage with the luck of the Irish on your side by incorporating some of these old-world traditions into your modern-day Pigeon Forge wedding.
The Claddagh Ring
This traditional piece of jewelry is named after Claddagh, a city in Western Ireland and is commonly used around the world as a wedding or engagement ring. The ring has been a symbol of love and loyalty for more than 300 years. Traditionally, the ring is passed on from mother to daughter.
Today, anyone can wear a Claddagh ring as long as it was received as a gift – it's bad luck to wear a ring you've purchased for yourself. Men and women can consider opting for a Claddagh ring instead of a traditional wedding band.
Irish Wedding Toast
According to TheKnot.com, the Irish traditionally include these lines when toasting the happy couple:
Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, 'tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God's blessing in your hour of need.
Traditionally, the Irish toast is given with mead. Feel free to swap the honey wine for champagne or another sparkling beverage!
Dance an Irish Jig
Embrace Irish tradition at your wedding reception with a a ceilid, a traditional dance set. You don't have to be lord of the dance to have fun with this custom; watch the video below to see how it's done!
Hope for Irish Luck
They say that the best way to determine the season in Ireland is to check the temperature of the rain. If the sun shines on your Irish wedding day, you'll have a happy marriage. Also, it's an important Irish tradition that a man wishes the newlywed couple good luck first – not a woman.
Make the most of your magical day by honoring these Irish traditions!