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Enjoy Free Music, Find Unique Gifts at the 7th Annual Fine Arts Festival – May 14-15

Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival

The Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival (GFAF) is a free outdoor family event that features quality artists from around the country along with Appalachian music from the area. Volunteers from the community produce the festival to benefit the Sevier County Arts Council, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and the Gatlinburg Boys & Girls Club.

2011 will be the seventh year of the festival and large crowds are expected. Gatlinburg is a thriving tourist destination and a gateway city to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with over 9 million visitors annually.

The festival is being held in the center of the city at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts Campus adjacent to Arrowcraft Shop at Light # 5.

For more fun things to do in Gatlinburg, TN, visit GatlinburgConcierge.com.

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The 7th annual “Music of the Mountains” festival will be held this weekend, April 8th through the 10th. Come out and experience the rich musical traditions of the Southern Appalachians.

The schedule of events includes:

Friday, April 8
Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, Townsend
Admission: $ 5
7 p.m. – Celtic Music by “The Good Times Ceilidh Band”; come early to enjoy Art on the Porch with members of the Townsend Artisan’s Guild
Saturday, April 9
Sugarlands Visitor Center
Admission: Free
10 a.m. – Mountain Strings
11 a.m. – Boogertown Gap Band
12 p.m. – Tony Thomas
1 p.m. – The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
2 p.m. – Ted Olson
3 p.m. – The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
4 p.m. – Brien Fain
Sunday, April 10
Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, Cosby
Admission: $4
2 to 4 p.m. – Heritage, harps and hymns – traditional offerings from Cocke County
For more information, click here.

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is often referred to as the Wildflower National Park because of the great diversity of flowers found in the park. A group of flowers known as spring ephemerals appear above ground only in late winter and early spring.

Included in this group are flowers such as lady slipper orchids, showy orchids, crested dwarf iris, fire pink, columbine, bleeding heart, phacelia, jack-in-the-pulpit, little brown jugs, and violets.

The Deep Creek Trail, Gregory Ridge Trail, and Oconaluftee River Trail are great trails for viewing spring wildflowers. For more information on these walks, visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/wildflower-walks.htm.

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Gatlinburg Winter Magic Lights FestivalThere’s still time to experience the holiday magic in Gatlinburg, TN. The annual Gatlinburg Winter Magic event is going on now through February, 28. The lights are on every evening during the wintertime in Gatlinburg, and now every display is environmentally friendly, using LED lights.

Over the past 22 years, visitors have enjoyed dazzling displays featuring animals indigenous to Great Smoky Mountains National Park such as deer, foxes, squirrels and rabbits as well as branches and scrolls that light up the entire length of the Parkway. Most recently, fanciful snowmen, dancing fountains, a group of international children and a shiny rocking horse joined the lineup.

Come and experience the Magic of Winter Lights in Gatlinburg, TN through February 28th. This annual event will be the start of a new holiday tradition for you and your family.

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A traditional Smoky Mountain dish

Smokies Cheese Grits


1&1/2 Cups Boiling Water
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Grits
4 Tablespoon Milk
4 Eggs
1 Cup Sharp Grated Cheddar Cheese

Boil water and salt in a pot. Add grits and stir a few seconds. Cover grits and simmer for about 20 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure they have enough water in them. Beat the eggs and milk and stir in the cheese. Add the cheese and egg mixture to the grits and stir over low heat until the eggs are cooked in. Serves 2-3.

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Apple Valley Farms makes you believe that comfort food is the way to go. Indulge in some thirst quenching apple cider, or warm yourself up with homemade apple pie. There is something for everyone in the quilt shop and country store, sure to please any sort of taste. Make this experience extraordinary with their unique gifts, crafts and assortment of the Smoky Mountain’s great southern cooking– a stray away from the typical tourist location. The next time you are traveling through Townsend and Pigeon Forge, stop into Apple Valley Farms to experience the laid-back family atmosphere.

 

For directions, menus and other information, visithttp://www.tnvacation.com/vendors/apple_valley_farms_country_stores_and_cafe/

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If you want to get into the Christmas spirit early, visit the Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg. Running from November 24th until the 28th, the Festival of Trees displays dozens of ornately decorated Christmas trees. Located in the W. L. Mills Conference Center, visitors can enjoy this display for free. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit their website: http://www.eventsgatlinburg.com/event_detail.aspx?id=16

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