Category Archives: Gatlinburg

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Tennessee Tax Free Holiday 2021

It’s that time again for our favorite late Summer, just-before-school-starts holiday and this year is going to be different than the years before it in the state of TN.

Tax Free Holiday is not a single weekend affair for 2021. This year there are three different categories of tax-free items; one of which has already started and continues on until… June 2022?? Only in Tennessee!

Let’s take a look:

Event 1: Clothes, School Supplies and Computers

Tennessee’s traditional sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

During this time clothing, school supplies and computers may be purchased tax-free. Certain restrictions apply. Items sold online are also eligible. Items must be purchase for personal use, not for business or trade.

Exempt:
* General apparel that costs $100 or less per item, such as shirts, pants, socks, shoes, dresses, etc.

* School and art supplies with a purchase price of $100 or less per item, such as binders, backpacks, crayons, paper, pens, pencils, and rulers, and art supplies such as glazes, clay, paints, drawing pads, and artist paintbrushes.

* Computers for personal use with a purchase price of $1,500 or less.

* Laptop computers, if priced at $1,500 or less, also qualify as well as tablet computers.

Not exempt:
* Apparel items priced at more than $100.

* Items sold together, such as shoes, cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum.

* Items such as jewelry, handbags, or sports and recreational equipment.

* School and art supplies individually priced at more than $100.

* Items that are normally sold together cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum.

* Storage media, like flash drives and compact discs.

* Individually purchased software.

* Printer supplies.

* Household appliances.

Event 2: Food, Ingredients and Prepared Food

During the period beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, July 30, 2021 and ending Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm, food, food ingredients, and prepared foods are exempt from sales tax. This includes qualified sales of prepared food by restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and grocery stores.

Sales of alcoholic beverages are not included in items exempt during this period.

Food and food ingredients are defined as liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated substances that are sold to be ingested or chewed by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. Food and food ingredients do not include alcoholic beverages, tobacco, candy, dietary supplements.

Prepared Food – A food item qualifies as prepared food if it:

* Is sold in a heated state or heated by the seller,
* Contains two or more food ingredients mixed together by the seller for sale as a single item; or
* Is sold with eating utensils, such as plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, napkins, or straws provided by the vendor.

Prepared food does not include food that is only cut, repackaged, or pasteurized by the seller, and eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and foods containing these raw animal foods requiring cooking by the consumer as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent food borne illnesses.

Event 3: Gun Safes and Safety Devices

Gun safes and safety devices sold at retail are exempt from sales and use tax during the holiday period beginning at 12:01 am on July 1, 2021 and ending at 11:59 pm on June 30, 2022.

A “gun safe” is defined as:

* A locking container or other enclosure equipped with a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or other locking device that is designed and intended for the secure storage of one or more firearms.

A “gun safety device” is defined as:

* Any integral device to be equipped or installed on a firearm that permits the user to program the firearm to operate only for specified persons designated by the user through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm.

See https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday.html for full information.

Smoky Mountain 4th of July 2021 – Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

As the title states, in this article, the cities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg announce their plans for their respective Smoky Mountain 4th of July 2021 celebrations. These reposted articles come from www.mypigeonforge.com and www.gatlinburg.com.

Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival
July 3rd

“Patriot Festival is back in 2021 headlined by country superstar Clint Black! This event is proudly presented by 107.7 WIVK and the City of Pigeon Forge.

Event Cost: FREE

4pm: Food Vendors Open

5:30pm – 8pm: Entertainment featuring Brad Hudson Band & Rumours (Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band)

8pm: Clint Black

With a career spanning three decades and notching 22 No. 1 hits, Clint Black lays claim to one of the most storied careers in modern music. The singer/songwriter’s groundbreaking debut album, Killin’ Time, produced the hit singles “A Better Man,” “Nobody’s Home,” “Walkin’ Away” and the title track, cementing his status as one of country’s music’s most successful traditionalists. He recently released the self-produced album Out of Sane.
Fireworks Celebration

Pigeon Forge will mark Independence Day with the city’s annual fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. The 20-minute fireworks display will be simulcast by WIVK-FM 107.7 FM radio station in Knoxville.”

 

Gatlinburg First Independence Day Parade in the Nation
July 3rd

“The nation’s “first” celebration and Gatlinburg’s award-winning Fourth of July Midnight Parade, will step off at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, honoring First Responders, U.S. Veterans, military heroes, and frontline healthcare workers. Parade-goers can enjoy a celebration of red, white, and blue as patriotically decorated and lighted floats line downtown streets and the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky commemorates the holiday with a musical performance.

American Idol contestant, EmiSunshine will lead the festivities as the official Grand Marshal of Gatlinburg’s annual parade. An East Tennessee native, EmiSunshine’s unique musical talent has been featured everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry, a GRAMMY award-winning film, to several appearances on national television shows including NBC’s “The Today Show”. While acclaimed on the national stage, the artist’s beginnings started in the heart of Gatlinburg as a regular cast member of Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales and as a crowd favorite singer and songwriter at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.”

 

Gatlinburg’s Fireworks Finale
July 4th

“Join the celebration in downtown Gatlinburg to mark our nation’s “Independence Day” with a spectacular 20-minute firework show starting at 10:00 p.m. from the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Spectators can view the fireworks from any vantage point in Gatlinburg. This event is designated as a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society.”

 

See these original articles at:
https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/patriot-festival
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/first-independence-day-parade-in-the-nation/35/
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/gatlinburgs-fireworks-finale/20/

Dolly Parton’s Tribute to the State of Tennessee

As reported by WATE.com:

“As part of the 225th celebration of statehood, the county music icon lent her voice and her 1973 single “My Tennessee Mountain Home” to a video released Tuesday called “Home.”

“I am Tennessee proud,” Parton said. “I’m proud of our wonderful state, proud to be a born and raised Tennessee girl, and I’m proud to be a part of all that we represent.’

The video features all corners of the state from Mountain City to Memphis. Gov. Bill Lee is seen pulling a music record off a shelf as the video takes a tour of main streets, landmarks and natural scenery highlighting Tennessee’s culture and beauty.

“Dolly is a Tennessee treasure, and I’m thankful she’s joined us to commemorate 225 years of statehood,” Lee said. “I invite Tennesseans to celebrate at events throughout the year … to share the stories of the people, places and moments that have shaped Tennessee.”

View this article in full at https://www.wate.com/news/watch-dolly-parton-celebrates-225-years-of-statehood-with-my-tennessee-mountain-home-video/.

Flowers, Blooms, Tunes and More! Spring Events in Gatlinburg For 2021

Some awesome events are coming up as Spring begins to blend into Summer here in the Smokies. Spring Events in Gatlinburg for 2021 include the following:

* Blooms and Tunes *
Now to May 23rd

From Gatlinburg.com:
“Anakeesta is in full bloom during the “Blooms and Tunes” spring event. Beginning April 2, Anakeesta will feature grand and colorful nature-themed art installations throughout the park including a 20’ long-blooming daisy, live music Thursday through Sunday and a spring-themed food and beverage menu at their four dining venues. Twinkling light displays and firepits warm up the cool spring nights. The event runs through May 23.”

See more information at
https://www.gatlinburg.com/articles/post/blooms-and-tunes/.

* Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage *
Now to May 16th

From Gatlinburg.com:
“As winter fades and the colors of spring begin to sparkle throughout the Smokies, Gatlinburg blossoms into the center of all things botanical during the Great Smoky Mountain Association’s Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage.

From May 8-16, everyone from the serious botanist to the weekend gardener can experience unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts as well as Appalachian wildlife authorities.”

See more information at
http://www.wildflowerpilgrimage.org/.

* MayFest *
May 21st to May 31st

From Gatlinburg.com:
“Ober Gatlinburg will host our 3rd MayFest, beginning Friday, May 21 running through Sunday, May 31, 2021. MayFest is a traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring with displays of history, culture and the traditional Maypole dance.

Visitors to Ober Gatlinburg will enjoy the Biergarten and demonstrations by artists from the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. This year we are adding several competitions – stay tuned for more details coming soon.

For a challenge, participate in Ober’s grueling Uphill 5k on May 22, benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.”

See this event at
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/mayfest/127/.

* Dollywood’s Summer Celebration *
June 25th to July 31st

From mypigeonforge.com:
“Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night!

Dollywood’s great shows, like Dreamland Drive-In and Live at the Back Porch, make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is a great reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.”

See this event at
https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/dollywood-summer.

Ripley’s Sips & Sharks

Here’s something new that would inspire some of the adults-who-are-kids-at-heart-but-like-something-harder-to-drink to get out of the house and come to the Aquarium: Ripley’s Sips & Sharks.

From the main Ripley’s website:

“Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies will be hosting Sips & Sharks events! Sips & Sharks is an adult (21+) sleepover that gives guests overnight access to the Aquarium. This experience includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a behind the scenes tour, movie, continental breakfast, and much more!”

This event is scheduled for February 13th and September 25th, 2021, both Fridays, at 8:00PM and lasting overnight.

Edit: The February 13th date has sold out of tickets. Perhaps not surprising as it sounds like quite a lot of fun for adults. Only tickets for September 25th are currently available.

See this event and reserve tickets at https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg/event/sips-n-sharks-grownup-sleepover/2021-09-25/.

New Species Of Bee Discovered In The National Park

As the title indicates, the Smokies are all “a’buzz” with a new bee species that has just been discovered in our park!

From WBIR’s news segment on it:

“It sure doesn’t have a catchy name, but the Epeolus inornatus is a big catch for Dr. Will Kuhn; the Director of Science and Research at Discover Life in America.

“It’s always really fun to find a new record and to take up our numbers of new records and new species for the park,” Kuhn said.” – WBIR

See the full article at https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/scientists-discover-new-bee-species-in-great-smoky-mountains-national-park/51-fb5e5a6c-9c3a-44fa-8dd2-3b1cc4834d16.

Green Eye Hemp Café

We’re a small café serving locally roasted organic coffee as well as specially blended teas and homemade baked goods including gluten free options. Our bakery items are baked fresh daily. From savory to sweet, you will find delightful items to treat your taste buds. We also offer a full hemp line with many of our products grown in our USDA Certified Organic grow room. Our aquaponics and hydroponics systems are in full view for anyone visiting the shop. We strive to provide a relaxing environment for locals and visitors alike.

* Specialty Baked Goods * Specially Blended Teas * Locally Roasted Coffees Hemp Products *
* Hemp Merchandise * USDA Certified Organic Grow Room *

Discover Fresh Everyday | Menu Varies Daily | Pastries, Coffees, Teas, Hemp Products |

Feature Items Include:

Golden Milk:
This traditional milk-based tea gets its gorgeous color from turmeric. We add just a
touch of honey and some warming spices including cinnamon, ginger and a pinch
of black pepper for an antioxidant-rich tea.

Genmaicha:
A traditional combination of freshly harvested green tea leaves with roasted brown rice
creating a mild, toasty aroma and warm, nutty flavor. A most delicious tea served hot or cold
harvested green tea leaves with roasted brown rice creating a mild, toasty aroma and
warm, nutty flavor. A most delicious tea served hot or cold.

Chunmee:
Chunmee leaves are carefully hand rolled to the shape of eye-brows and then pan-fried. The pan-fried
leaves produce a highly fragrant, yellow-greenish brew with a distinctive, sweet flavor,
and is know for its plum-like sweetness and smoothness.

Yerba Maté:
Yerba Maté is a balanced and healthful tea that produces a smooth and refreshing full-bodied beverage, and is know as an energizer and rejuvenator. It has a delicious, full-bodied, nutty flavor with smooth chocolatey notes and subtle caramel tones.

Visit Green Eye Hemp Café online at https://greeneyehempcafe.com/.

Winterfest Events 2020 Starting Today

It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to the Smokies ASAP!

Here are some Winterfest events we have coming up:

* Ober Gatlinburg – Winter Sports *
11/21/20 – Easter Day 2021

Ober Gatlinburg is the mountainside amusement park overlooking the city and it functions in the Winter season as both a family fun center and a sports center where they offer the only place to ski, snowboard, snowtube and ice skate for miles around. Definitely a worthy visit. https://obergatlinburg.com/winter/

* Sevierville Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland *
12/1/20 – 1/3/21

From Visitsevierville.com: “It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to know more about these facilities!”
https://visitsevierville.com/EventsCalendar.aspx#!/208477-shadracks-christmas-wonderland

* Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade *
12/4/20

From Gatlinburg.com: “On December 4, the 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of the holiday season and the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic.

Floats will be decorated with one-of-a-kind displays of LED lights, marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and holiday characters.”
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/fantasy-of-lights-christmas-parade/36/

* Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival *
12/9/20 – 12/12/20

Every year hundreds of fans pour into the Evergreen Smoky Mountain Lodge & Convention Center to come to the Christmas In The Smokies Bluegrass Festival. While the bluegrass festival is enough fun for anyone, there is so much more to offer in Pigeon Forge! The festival is held in the heart of Pigeon Forge on Parkway. The whole city is decorated for Christmas and sparkles everywhere you go at night. There is lots of shopping, food, and fun in Pigeon Forge. Come join us this year at the festival! https://bluegrasschristmasinsmokies.com/

Find more events at mypigeonforge.com, gatlinburg.com and visitsevierville.com.

Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff Returns!

In less than a week, the city of Gatlinburg will be some of the most active it’s ever been concentrated in one spot with the highly anticipated return of the Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff! The city of Gatlinburg writes this for this year’s Winterfest kickoff festival:

“For over 30 years, Gatlinburg has celebrated the kickoff of Smoky Mountain Winterfest with the annual foodie festival, Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff Presented by Bush’s Chili Beans. On November 12, 2020, the tradition continues with live entertainment and mouth-watering homemade chili sampling and some new adjustments to honor the Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

NEW in 2020, tickets will be required to enter. To accommodate for social distancing, event attendance will be limited. Due to the popularity of the event, an advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

The time-honored traditions of popular local restaurants offering unique, homemade chili samples and vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award will go on. Additionally, festival-goers will enjoy the free, live entertainment by the Eagles tribute band, On The Border – The Ultimate Eagles Tribute! On The Border provides an authentic Eagles concert experience while journeying through The Eagles songbook. They cover every big hit, from ballads like “Desperado” and “Lyin’ Eyes” to rocking hits such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Heartache Tonight.”

City leaders will participate in an official lighting ceremony for Smoky Mountain Winterfest that features millions of twinkling lights adorning Gatlinburg Winter Magic light displays throughout the city.

The Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 5 – 8 p.m. in a NEW location at the Anakeesta Plaza located at 576 Parkway.”

See more on Gatlinburg Winterfest and other activities at https://www.gatlinburg.com/events/winter/.

Wedding Specialist Spotlight: Chef Tony and First Fruits Catering

East Tennessee’s Premier catering co. and Wedding Specialist. Offering Gourmet Southern Comfort foods and Trendy buffets. First Fruits Catering is a full service catering company with the capability to offer plated meals, buffet stations, Hor d oeuvre receptions, custom lunches, gourmet brunch events, charity fundraising gala’s, and everything completely Customizable. First Fruits Catering is more than just catering, they own a retail Bakery and Wedding Cakes kitchen. Chef Tony personally prepares each wedding cake and “the secret to the perfect cake” is freshly baked cakes that are never frozen- using fresh ingredients and a special recipe Buttercream frosting.

Catering items include:

Herb Crusted Pork Loin
Herb dry rub Pork Loin cooked to perfect making a glaze as it cooks.

Chicken Marsala
Chicken breast covered with a homemade Mushroom Sauce with Marsala Wine.

Whipped Potato Casserole
Tasty potatoes blended with sour cream and butter.

Country Style Green Beans
Steamed Green Beans with seasoning Ham.

Parmesan Corn Casserole
Southern Favorite casserole with diced baby corn and Parmesan Cheese.

Rotini Chicken Alfredo
A very Hearty pasta dish using a fresh homemade creamy Alfredo Sauce.

Gourmet Cheeses Display
Assorted gourmet cheeses accompanied by a special recipe roasted pecan cheese ball served
Gourmet crackers.

Fresh Fruit Fondue
Watermelon basket filled with Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Pineapple, etc.. with Strawberry Chocolate
Fondue.

Pork Loin Diane
Medallions of tender pork seasoned and topped with a hint of Dijon cream sauce.

Pepper Chutney Beef Roast
Tender sirloin roast topped with a cognac peppercorn glaze.

Parisienne Potatoes
Marble size potatoes sautéed in garlic butter.

Steamed Asparagus
Fresh steamed Asparagus lightly buttered.

Parmesan Corn Casserole
Southern Favorite Corn Casserole with diced Baby Corn pieces and
Parmesan Cheese.

Consider Chef Tony/First Fruits Catering for your Smoky Mountain wedding, family reunion, military reunion or any occasion you would like to have a professional and high class catering option available. See more on Chef Tony at https://cheftonycatering.com.