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November 11, 2019

World Record for Gatlinburg Scarecrows

As readers of this blog may remember, the city of Gatlinburg attempted this fall to break the Guinness World Record for most scarecrows within a location.  The previous record holder was Burton-on-Trent, England, which also is the hometown of Innkeeper John Mellor.

Buckhorn Inn’s own scarecrow welcomed visitors this fall.

According to WVLT-TV http://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg needed to have more than 3,812 scarecrows.  According to the final count, Gatlinburg laid claim to 4,325 scarecrows!  Guinness representatives must confirm the count before the new record becomes official.  

Gatlinburg businesses and community members created scarecrow scenes throughout the community.  Scarecrows also appeared in the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community where hundreds of handcrafted scarecrows could be found as part of the “Scarecrow Trail”.

Gatlinburg Fall Festival Continues Through November 21, 2019

According to Gatlinburg PR Manager, Marci Claude, “With so much scenic beauty and festivities to take part in every year, Gatlinburg’s harvest season is always an exciting time to visit, and this year’s Guinness World Record will only add to that tradition.”  Claud pointed out that fall festivities are a true community event, involving everyone.  

Other upcoming community events include the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show.  This show will be held at the Convention Center Tuesday November 26 through Sunday December 1.  The annual Festival of Trees will be held Wednesday November 27 through Sunday December 1. The Festival of Trees will be held at the W.L. Mills Conference Center on the Historic Nature Trail.  And don’t forget the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade!  The Parade will begin at 7:30 pm from Baskins Creek Bypass.  The route runs right through downtown Gatlinburg.  Viewers will enjoy lighted floats, 11 marching bands, giant balloons, and equestrian units.  And we understand that Santa Claus will be making a special appearance!

The Parade celebrates the holiday season and marks the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic.  We hope to see you during this festive season!

 

February 25, 2019

Early Spring Events in Gatlinburg Draw Visitors

Early spring is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains.  The air is cool and fresh and swathes of blooming wildflowers blanket the mountains.  Whether you are interested in wine or wildflowers, crafting or running, this area has something just for you.  In order to help you plan your visit, here are some community events in which you might be interested.

April Events

April 12-13  Smoky Mountain Wine Weekend.  Located at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  Wine Festival guests can sip from the area’s best wineries and savor samples from the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains.  http://www.gatlinburg.com/event/wine-fest/

April 12-14 Hands-On Gatlinburg.  Studios throughout the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community will provide guests the chance to learn how to make crafts from the artists themselves.  Festivalgoers will leave with the items they make.  Woodturning, fused glass ornaments, rug weaving, and drawing are only a few of the areas to be explored.  http://www.pigeonforge.com/event/hands-on-gatlinburg/

April 17-20  Arts and Crafts Community Center Easter Show.  The Show will be held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.  Admission is free.  Demonstrations are part of the fun as you view unique handcrafted products produced locally.http://www.gatlinburg.com/event/great-smoky-easter-arts-crafts-show/

April 21 Easter  Sunrise at Ober.  Gatlinburg’s Annual Easter Sunrise Service will be enhanced by the beauty of the Smokies when the community and its visitors gather at Ober Gatlinburg.  The 30-40 minutes mountain service will begin at 6:30 am and will be led by pastors of the Gatlinburg Ministerial Association.

April 24-27 Wildflower Pilgrimage.  The Spring Pilgrimage has been held for 68 years in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The experience features professionally-guided walks.  Registration

In 2018 more than 850 people from 32 states participated in the wildflower pilgramage and associated events.

Spring wildflowers abound in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

opens on March 1.    http://www.wildflowerpilgrimage.org

April 26  Earth Day 5k.  Both runners and walkers are invited to participate in this run/walk in beautiful downtown Gatlinburg.  Proceeds benefit local scholarships, donations to schools, the Gatlinburg Goes Green Program and community-wide educational events.  Buie Pottery is providing awards and finishers medallions.  http://www.runsignup.com/Race/TN/Gatlinburg/earthday5kgatlinburg  

We hope your visit includes a stay at Buckhorn Inn.  We are conveniently located on the Arts & Crafts Loop with easy access to the both Gatlinburg and the Park.

 

January 14, 2019

Gatlinburg Goes for World Record in Number of Scarecrows

Did you know that Gatlinburg is set to attempt a world record for having the most scarecrows in one display?  The record has been held since 2014 by an English city, Burton-upon-Trent, which is innkeeper John’s birthplace!  Cincinnati held the most recent U.S. record.  John also lived there.  If Gatlinburg succeeds, we think John could hold a world record for living in the most cities that held the record for scarecrows!  Sounds like we will have an exciting fall 2019!

The current world record is 3,812 scarecrows all in one display.

Will Gatlinburg be able to bring the record back to U.S. soil?

The Battle for the World Record

Burton-upon-Trent’s record is 3,812 scarecrows in one display.  Photos of their scarecrows can be seen at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-28956395.  The population of Burton is approximately 76,000.  The display was erected on the National Forest Adventure Farm.  According to the director, visitors brought many of the scarecrows.  Some even made them on-site.  In fact, guests added more than 100 scarecrows every day.  Seeing thousands of scarecrows in one place is a stunning visual.  Some of the mannequins had plain white cloth heads.  Meanwhile others bore the faces of celebrities.

Jim Downs, director of events at the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, says that local businesses are encouraged to purchase scarecrows.  Other ideas include having a scarecrow drive.  Individuals could make a scarecrow in exchange for a donation to a local charity.  Or residents could donate scarecrows.  The population of Gatlinburg is about 4,100.  Will being so much smaller than Burton impact our chances?  According to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Gatlinburg began the effort in the fall of 2018.  Many local businesses displayed scarecrows and visitors were charmed.  For example, Anakeesta had about 35 scarecrows, and The Holler had nearly 60.  The two tallest scarecrows so far are 9-foot ones in downtown.  In 2019 the efforts will intensify.  The organizers feel that whether they ultimately succeed or not, they are doing something positive for the community.  For more information, contact Jim Downs at [email protected]  

October 15, 2018

Harvest Festival Comes to Gatlinburg

 

The City of Gatlinburg is celebrating autumn and the harvest September 7 through November 25, 2018 with the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival. This is a fabulous time of year to visit Eastern Tennessee. You can enjoy the beautiful fall colors, visit talented artists and craftsmen, enjoy the whimsical decorations, or take in one of the area’s special events. Many of our guests have marked their calendars for the November 8 Chili Cookoff. More information on this and other events is available at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event.

Gatlinburg is embracing the season with brand-new autumn-themed displays, life-size scarecrow people, and scarecrows created by individual business establishments.

Scarecrows Have Long History as Harvest Helpers

Scarecrows are used by farmers to protect their crops from birds.  Historians tell use that people the world over have used scarecrows for more than 3,000 years.   The first record of scarecrows is by the Egyptians who used them to protect their wheat fields along the Nile.  Each culture designed their scarecrows differently.  Greek scarecrows looked like one of their gods, while German scarecrows are distinctly witch-like.  

Scarecrows are the perfect symbol of the harvest season.

Gatlinburg is celebrating the season with whimsical scarecrows.

Most scarecrows in the U.S. are human in form and dressed in old clothes.  Some farmers use aluminum strips tied to the scarecrow to catch the light and scare away birds.  Inflateable tube men have also been used in this fashion.

The scarecrow has been a powerful symbol in literature.  Nathanial Hawthorne’s short story “Feathertop” features a scarecrow brought to life by a witch in Salem, Massachusetts.  Whether you prefer Ray Bolger’s scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” or Michael Jackson’s in “The Wiz”, we all root for the scarecrow who bemoans “If I only had a brain . . .”.  And Indiana-born John Mellencamp featured the agricultural anthem “Rain on the Scarecrow” in his 1985 album “Scarecrow”.  

Some of the most colorful names for scarecrows come from the United Kingdom.  There the figure may be called hay-man, murmet, hodmedod, tattie bogle, mommet or mawkin.

By whatever name, we find scarecrows to be the iconic decoration of the harvest season!

 

 

June 18, 2018

Anakeesta Offers Magic in the Mountains

We have just discovered Anakeesta!  As busy local innkeepers, we rarely take the time to enjoy the many attractions that appeal to our out-of-town guests.  We are so glad that we recently had the opportunity, thanks to the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, to explore our area’s new aerial theme park.  Anakeesta is a Cherokee word referring to high ground.  It literally means “place of the balsams”.  The word also refers to the massive rock formation that encompasses many of our local mountain peaks:  Charlie’s Bunion, Chimney Tops, and Mount Kephart.  The aerial park is designed to be a mountain playground for all ages.  Bob and Karen Bentz and their family bought more than 55 acres of pristine mountain land in 2014 and proceeded to create their vision.  They are environmentally sound stewards and the attraction offers a family-oriented experience.

What to Do at Anakeesta

The Anakeesta walk through the trees offers beautiful views.

The canopy walk is 40 to 60′ from the forest floor.

We entered via an open-air four-person chair lift.  The other option is an enclosed gondola with a capacity of six.  The ride up 600′ to the summit was beautiful!  We were enchanted by the canopy walk through the trees.  A series of 16 connected sky bridges, 40 to 60′ above the forest floor, offered spectacular views.  While we did not try it out on this visit, we enjoyed watching others on the dueling zipline.  There are several options for dining.  We chose to try out the Cliff Top Grill and Bar.  We enjoyed lingering over our drinks on the outdoor pavilion and admiring the mountain peaks that were the backdrop to our dining experience.  

The south side of the park is located in an area that was badly scorched by the 2016 fire, the most devastating in the state’s history.  A memorial walk pays tribute to the brave men and women who fought the fires and to the resilience of those impacted by the tragedy.

As we strolled to the chair lift to back down the mountain, we admired the cute shops and vowed to come back soon.  For more information, visit http://www.anakeesta.com

March 12, 2018

Aquarium Is a Great Place to Visit

Have you visited Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg?  Currently it is the top-rated aquarium in the United States.  If you had planned to hike, but Mother Nature did not cooperate, then this is the place to spend a rainy day!

More than 100,000 exotic sea creatures live in the 1.4 million gallons of water.  

The Aquarium is home to more than 100,000 sea creatures.

Kathy Cuppy took this beautiful photo.

Buckhorn Inn guest Kathy Cuppy visited the Aquarium and shared her spectacular photos with us.  

Underwater Tunnel is Highlight of Aquarium

One of the most unique features of the facility is the 340-foot-long underwater tunnel.  It is one of the longest underwater tunnels in the world.  A motorized sidewalk carries you through the watery home of many unique fish and several species of shark.  They are swimming within inches of you!  

Another unique opportunity is the splash-with-stingrays!  You will be able to get into the water at Touch-a-Ray Bay and swim with the stingrays.  

For an up-close-and-personal tour of Shark Lagoon, you can take a glass bottom boat ride.  You will be surrounded by the colorful and fascinating forms of marine life that call the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs home.  Three inches of glass will separate you from a giant green sea turtle, 12-foot sharks, and 75 types of other colorful sea creatures.

You also have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility.  A guide will take you through the “staff-only” doors to see the control room, life support rooms, and the many ways the staff ensure the sea life remains happy and healthy.  

It takes about two hours to tour the facility, which is easily navigable for wheelchairs and strollers.  The city-owned parking garage behind the aquarium makes parking very convenient.  This is a very popular local attraction.  For that reason, we recommend visiting on weekdays when their are fewer visitors.  For more information or to buy tickets, go to http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg.

January 22, 2018

Wine Weekend will be a Fine Weekend!

The wine weekend will showcase products from many Tennessee wineries.

Gatlinburg offers many events and festivals for every interest, including wine!

Are you a wine aficionado or someone who would like to know more about wine?  Are you interested in exploring local Tennessee products?  If so, we recommend you plan to visit Gatlinburg April 13 & 14, 2018.

Two events will be taking place:  the Gatlinburg Wine Tour and the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest.  The Tour begins at 6:00 pm on April 13 and will visit local wineries and sipping establishments.

The Fest will be held from 1:00 to 6:00 pm on April 14 at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  The $25 advance purchase tickets include a branded glass for tasting.  Organizers expect more than 18 Tennessee wineries to participate.  Some of the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains will provide small plate tastings of their best dishes.  Tickets and more information may be found at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/gatlinburg-wine-weekend-2018-tickets.

Tennessee Wine

Tennessee has a long history of wine-making, with as many as 90,000 gallons being produced annually in the 1880’s.  The industry was introduced in this area by immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.  Prohibition hit the industry hard.  However, in the 1970’s a resurgence of winemaking in the state was led by home vintners.  

The industry in Tennessee focuses on French hybrid and native grape varieties.  The grapes used in Eastern and Central Tennessee include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, cayuga, chardonnay, chenin blanc, merlot, Riesling and viognier.  

The industry has grown and matured in the state.  Over the past few years Tennessee wines have earned gold, silver, and bronze medals in regional and international competitions.  Today’s Tennessee wineries have a wine for every taste, from sparkling to fruity, from dry to dessert wines.  

If you plan to attend the weekend, be sure to reserve your accommodation at the Buckhorn Inn soon!