Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Find the Best Holiday Deals on Black Friday in Gatlinburg and Sevier County

Start this holiday shopping season off right on Black Friday by snagging the best deals on your favorite items and holiday gifts. You can stretch your budget a little farther by taking advantage of some of the best holiday deals, and we all know most of those deals appear on Black Friday, the infamous day of deal shopping paradise!

You can find amazing deals in Gatlinburg and Sevier County on Black Friday and leading up to Christmas Day. Holiday shoppers can find their favorite items discounted up to 70% at the outlet stores or browse one-of-a-kind Gatlinburg gifts and souvenirs in downtown Gatlinburg or in the Arts & Crafts Community. Here are some tips and ideas to help you make the most of your holiday deal shopping on Black Friday!

Do Your Research

Before Black Friday, research which stores will be carrying what you want to buy. Make sure to have a back up plan and check in with several stores so that you won’t miss out on your favorite items if you get caught in a traffic jam or can’t find a parking place at your first choice. You can also use some deal-shopping apps and websites so that you can find out in advance which stores will be offering the best deals of the season.

Make sure to check out the Deals page on to find great discounts and free nights for your holiday stay in the Smokies. You will also find deals on shopping, attractions, restaurants, and anything else you might want to do while you’re in town.

Make a Plan

After you’ve done some research on where you want to go on Black Friday, plot a course of attack so that you won’t waste time trying to figure out where you should be when you’re trying to catch the best deals. Make sure to have a backup plan for all of your major purchases so that you don’t miss out on any deals. If you plan to hit one store first, make sure to have another store on your radar that sells similar items in case what you’re looking for is sold out by the time you get there.

Plan for parking in advance, too. Parking spots go like hot cakes on Black Friday at the outlet mall and in downtown Gatlinburg so make sure to grab a central parking sport early and go on foot to your target stores. You don’t want to end up driving around in circles for hours looking for a spot!

Connect with Your Favorite Stores before the Big Day

Before Black Friday, sign up for newsletters from your favorite stores, and like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. A lot of stores are sending out exclusive deals to holiday shoppers through social media and their newsletter so make sure to take advantage and sign up before you start scouting those deals this holiday season.

Stay up Late on Thanksgiving Night

Check to see when the stores you plan to visit are opening because many major retailers are opening up at midnight on Thanksgiving night instead of waiting until 3:00 am or 4:00 am to open. Stay up late this year and grab the deals before anyone else does!

Go Digital

If you’re going from one store to another looking for the same item, snap a picture of the item and the price so that you can get the lowest price. A lot of stores will price match on Black Friday so grab your digital camera and go.

Do you have any Black Friday tips for holiday deal busters? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

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How to Prepare a Classic Gatlinburg-Style Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is an American tradition and the perfect time of year to experience the classics. Remember when you start to plan your Thanksgiving feast, your guests will probably want to enjoy the classics and maybe a few of your own specialties.

Planning for Turkey Day

Thanksgiving requires some planning, but with some preparation, you can put together a delicious and complete Thanksgiving meal for your family and friends. When the weeklong countdown begins to Thanksgiving Day, this would be a good time to finalize your guest lists, menu items, and create your shopping lists. This will save you a lot of heartache and headache down the road. Make sure you have everything listed, including any spices that you may need. Also, make sure to order your bird early so that you can get a fresh bird. Frozen ones just don’t turn out as well as the fresher, high quality birds. Freshness is the key to a great meal.

Make sure that you have all of the tools necessary to cook your meal, too. Sharpen your knives and check your cookware to make sure that you are well stocked and can prepare all of the food that you need to cook on Thanksgiving Day. Try to be realistic when planning your meal so that you don’t overextend yourself. Your meal can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be, but if you get too extravagant, everything might not come together on time so make sure to plan appropriately and cook some dishes in advance if you plan to go all out on Thanksgiving Day.

Getting the Turkey Just Right

“The turkey has to be the star of the show,” says Rick Rodgers, author of “Thanksgiving 101.” Gauging how much turkey to buy can be tough. A general rule of thumb is a pound to pound and a half per person. This is a safe number because you can always save the leftovers for the next day. Seasoning the turkey is an important step that can make or break the whole meal. In keeping with the classic theme, here is an excellent recipe to try for a traditional turkey taste.  Stuffing and dressing also add a savory element to your meal, so make sure to cook these dishes to give the turkey extra flavoring. If you’re looking for a great stuffing and dressing recipe, try one of these Martha Stewart recipes depending on which you think will best suit your family. Remember that a typical turkey takes 5-6 hours to cook so give yourself enough time to prepare the turkey and all of your other side dishes well before your guests arrive.

Small Touches

Offering a great wine and delicious side items can bring the whole meal together. For wine, choose a Pinot Noir if your guests enjoy a good red wine. Pinot Noir tastes wonderful with almost any food. For white wine drinkers, serve a Sauvignon Blanc instead of a Chardonnay because the Sauvignon Blanc is lighter and will complement the meal.

Some Traditional Gatlinburg Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Pecan, Pumpkin, or Apple Pie
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  •  Buttered Rolls

Add some of these side dishes to your perfectly prepared turkey and hand selected wines, and you will be sure to delight your Thanksgiving guests and your family on Turkey Day!

Make sure to check out our Thanksgiving Bowl on Thanksgiving Day and all of our other seasonal events this year so that you can get into the holiday spirit, Gatlinburg-style!

Do you have any tips for preparing a great Thanksgiving meal or a favorite dish you think everyone should serve? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

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Twilight Teaser: Emmett Cullen was born in Gatlinburg!

Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 Poster The Twilight series is one of the most popular sensations in the world, but did you know that Emmett Cullen, the vampire brother of Edward Cullen, has an interesting connection to Gatlinburg, Tennessee? In the third book in the Twilight series, Eclipse, Rosalie reveals that Emmett was born in Gatlinburg. Before he became a vampire, Emmett was attacked by a bear in the Smoky Mountains. Rosalie found him after the attack and ran with him back to Carlisle who transformed him into a vampire.

Since bear attacks are rare in Gatlinburg but do happen, we thought we would provide some bear safety tips for any visitors that may find themselves in a similar situation. The final installment of the Twilight movie series, Breaking Dawn Part 2, is set to be released today, November 16, 2012, so what better time to give daring and adventurous hikers like Emmett a few safety tips!

Black Bear Safety Tips for Great Smoky Mountains National Park Goers

Black Bear in GatlinburgGatlinburg is home to a large number of black bears, and this is one of the only locations in the U.S. where they can live in their natural surroundings. Black bears are wild and sometimes unpredictable, so the first rule of bear safety is to never approach a bear. If you spot a bear, make sure to treat the situation with extreme caution and watch the bear closely. If the bear notices you and changes his behavior, you are too close to him. Back away slowly and make an effort to separate yourself from the bear.

If the bear begins to follow you or approaches you without making aggressive movements, try to gradually change your direction. If the bear moves aggressively towards you by pawing the ground, swatting, or vocalizing, try to make yourself appear intimidating and act aggressively towards the bear. Above all, try to protect others around you and avoid all encounters with bears, as they may see you as prey or simply want to eat your food! Don’t fall victim to a bear attack like Emmett Cullen of Twilight did. Instead, remain cautious and avoid bear encounters!

For complete guidelines on bear safety from the National Park Service, please visit:

Have you ever encountered a bear in the National Park? Tell us your story in the comments section, on Facebook, or tweet us!

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Enter Gatlinburg’s Facebook Photo Contest in November for the Chance to Win a Weekend Getaway to the Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg Facebook Photo Contest We are excited to announce that Gatlinburg will be holding a Facebook Photo Contest in November! To show our appreciation for our wonderful visitors, we’ve decided to give everyone the chance to show their best Gatlinburg photo for a chance to win! The 1st place winner will receive a FREE 2 night stay in Gatlinburg, attractions passes, and dinner certificates to one of Gatlinburg’s best restaurants. Show Gatlinburg the love this month by entering our photo contest!

How to Enter the Contest

We’re hosting our photo contest on Facebook. To enter, please submit your best photo of Gatlinburg from your personal collection. You can submit photos of landscapes, cityscapes, wildlife, anything that you want. Make sure to submit your best photo from one of your trips to Gatlinburg! Choose a photo that captures your favorite part of Gatlinburg and complements your photography style.

Follow these contest rules for your chance to win a FREE weekend getaway to Gatlinburg!

  1. Like our Facebook fan page
  2. Fill out your information
  3. Submit your favorite Gatlinburg photo.*

*By submitting your photo into the photo contest, you give the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau rights to that photo.

Gatlinburg Facebook Photo Contest How the Winners will be Selected

Judges will choose 5 photos at the end of the month after the submission deadline on November 31st. Those five photos will be posted to Gatlinburg’s Facebook page, so that everyone can have their chance to voice their opinion on which photo they like best. The top 3 photos will be decided based on the number of likes that each picture receives, and the photo with the most likes will win the Grand Prize.

Contest Prizes

  • 1st Place: FREE 2-night stay in Gatlinburg, free attractions passes, and restaurant certificates.
  • 2nd Place: Admission for 4 to all of the Ripley’s attractions including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and Ripley’s Old Macdonald Mini Golf.
  • 3rd Place: Admission for 4 to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

Want to win a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg? Then make sure to enter our photo contest! We’re so excited to see your pictures and hear your stories. Thanks for playing with us!

Enter the Facebook photo contest here:

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Gatlinburg’s Iconic Winter Magic Festival Lights up the Night Skies

Gatlinburg Winter Magic, Winterfest, Gatlinburg On November 7th, Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic captured the spirit of the holiday season with millions of lights and stunning light displays. Every evening, Gatlinburg will be transformed into a winter wonderland, and visitors will be able to enjoy the festive feel and atmosphere of the brilliant LED lights glittering through town. If you love the holiday season, there’s no better time to visit Gatlinburg than when Winter Magic is in full swing. From November 7th, 2012 to February 28th, 2013, Gatlinburg streets will be lined with spectacular lights and brilliant light displays that capture the true essence of the holiday season.

Winter Magic is an Environmentally Friendly Event in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is committed to conservation and sustainability, and one of Gatlinburg’s many green efforts has been the transition from 500-watt incandescent bulbs to LED (light emitting diode) bulbs to conserve electricity during Winter Magic. The festival has been 100% converted from incandescent to LED lights, which has resulted in a more environmentally friendly festival and more brilliant colors. Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic displays can now be run for a full 120 days on the electricity that it previously took to light up the area for 3 days.

Get into the Holiday Spirit in Gatlinburg

Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to Gatlinburg each year to enjoy the beautiful Winter Magic in Gatlinburg. When the lights go up and the snow starts to fall, the holiday season comes to life in Gatlinburg. Each year, the City commemorates past traditions and creates new holiday traditions that will be shared for generations.  This year, come join us for Winter Magic, the Trolley Ride of Lights, and our many other wonderful holiday-inspired events!

Winter Magic is fun for people of all ages. From the little ones with their eyes full of wonder at the many beautiful shining lights to people that can remember those timeless lighting displays from visits to Gatlinburg in their youth, the Winter Magic festival gives visitors the ability to enjoy Gatlinburg’s majestic mountains in a whole new way.

Take a Guided Tour of Winter Magic on the Trolley Ride of Lights

Visitors can also enjoy the lights in Gatlinburg by taking a ride on the trolley this season. The Trolley Ride of Lights will take you through the area on a 40-45 minute guided tour so that you can catch a glimpse of all of the beautiful light displays in Gatlinburg and hear the stories behind them.

Winter Magic kicked off on November 7th, and will run for 120 days. For more details on Winter Magic and all of Gatlinburg’s holiday events, visit Gatlinburg’s Events Page.

What’s your favorite place to look at the lights in Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments section, on Facebook, or on Twitter




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