(Gatlinburg, Tenn., March 30, 2010) – Springtime in Gatlinburg is bursting with exciting events that capture the spirit of the Smokies. Celebrate Easter during a sunrise service over the Great Smoky Mountains. Delight in the spirited sounds of music that reflects southern Appalachian heritage. Honor our nation’s heroes. Take a guided hike to discover some of nature’s abundance of wildflowers, or stroll along the Parkway while you sample tasty Street Fair-style cuisine. Gatlinburg’s lineup of April events provides the perfect itinerary for a springtime getaway. For travel information to Gatlinburg, visit www.gatlinburg.com. For media information and images, visit www.gatlinburgpressroom.com.
Sunrise Service Over the Smokies: Celebrate Easter Sunday on April 4th during Ober Gatlinburg’s 12th Annual Easter Sunrise Service atop the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy a complimentary gondola ride on the Aerial Tramway to Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort, to the top of Mt. Harrison for the service. Breakfast will be available following the ceremony at Ober Gatlinburg’s restaurant. When you get back to town, enjoy a visit to Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens, one of Gatlinburg’s most popular attractions, that features more than 100 life-sized biblical wax figures that chronicle the stories of Christ. A new exhibit features a scene of Christ healing the blind man taken from the Gospel story of Bartimeus.
Mountain Music Rings Loud and True in Gatlinburg: Old-time fiddles, claw hammer banjos and Appalachian dulcimers – celebrate the musical traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains during the 6th Annual “Music of the Mountains” festival hosted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park on April 10th. Old-time, traditional and bluegrass musical performances will be held at the park’s Sugarlands Visitor Center followed by a performance by local bluegrass musician Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier at the W.L. Mills Conference Center.
March for Freedom in the Smokies: As a tribute to the men and women of the armed services and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Gatlinburg hosts the third annual Mountain Man Memorial March, a 26.2 mile march, on Saturday, April 17th. More than one thousand participants are expected to start in downtown Gatlinburg then challenge the surrounding countryside in a memorial marathon honoring 1LT Frank Walkup, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville alumnus who was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq in 2007. The marathon course is a compilation of highways, rural roads, rugged terrain and mountain slopes as it weaves through the countryside at the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three entry categories: Military Heavy, Military Light and Civilian are open to all who wish to participate. For more information, visit www.mountainmanmemorialmarch.com.
The Great Smoky Mountains Bloom with Color this Spring: Delight in the brilliant colors of wildflowers as they blossom throughout the Smokies April 21 – 25 at the 60th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage and Greener Living Expo. Each April, the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage offers more than 150 programs including instructional walks, guided hiking tours and guest lectures providing the perfect opportunity to witness the beauty and majesty of the Smokies and interact with some of the nation’s leading botanical experts and Appalachian wildlife authorities. Explore the abundant varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, and mosses as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians that are all native to the Great Smoky Mountains. This year’s event includes a sustainability expo. For more information, visit www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org.
Taste the Smoky Mountain Flavor of Gatlinburg: A visit to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the local flavor. On April 22nd, live entertainment, family fun and lip-smackin’ ribs and chiecken wings prepared to perfection bring Gatlinburg’s downtown Parkway to life during the 9th Annual Ribfest & Wings Festival. The event will feature extended hours (to 9 p.m., with food sampling starting at 6), two hot wing eating contests and the smooth sounds of several popular bands including the Beat Daddys.