Gatlinburg Festival of the Trees

Annual Tree Festival in Gatlinburg

This Thanksgiving Holiday, be sure to stop in and get your Christmas spirit primed at the 2011 Festival of Trees in downtown Gatlinburg.  Located in the Mills Conference Center, next to the Gatlinburg Convention Center, it’s an easy trolley ride to enjoy a wonderland of  beautifully decorated trees, twinkling lights, and holiday music.  There will also be craft projects for kids, Gingerbread House contest entries, and an opportunity to shop for locally made gifts and decorations.

This year, be sure to choose a wrapped box and get your photo taken next to your favorite tree… or have your picture taken with Santa!  Elf’s will be on hand to snap your picture and help you immediately send a personalized card to your family and friends back home.  You can also commemorate your visit by purchasing a Christmas tree ornament made by local artist Tim Weberding.

This is a free event that supports Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries.  Local businesses and individuals sponsor and decorate trees, enter the Gingerbread House contest, and donate decorations and gifts.  Entrance is free; donations of any size are greatly appreciated and much needed.

We hope you’ll plan to stop in the Festival of Trees and have a wonderful time while supporting a fantastic local organization.  Open daily Tuesday through Saturday, and even on Thanksgiving Day!

Gatlinburg – Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day

Honoring American Veterans of All Wars

11 a.m. - Ripley's Aquarium Plaza

Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 but fighting ended months earlier when an armistice (temporary cessation of hostilities) went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, a day set aside to honor World War I veterans.   However, after World War II occurred, veteran services organizations urged to have the name changed to Veterans Day, in order that the day honor American veterans of ALL wars.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance…”  Proper and widespread observance includes parades, flags displayed at half mast, and moments of silence.

To learn more about the history of Veterans Day, country-wide celebrations, and Veteran services, please visit the site which provided much of this information, The US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Gatlinburg is honored to hold the distinction of being a Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day, and invites all community members and visitors to gather for the ceremony. Observance begins at 11 a.m. Friday, November 11 at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza. This free-admission event will feature The Adjutant General of Tennessee, Major General Terry “Max” Haston, as keynote speaker. Other activities will include recognition of veterans, patriotic music, a military flyover, and an American Bald Eagle presentation. Your presence will be greatly appreciated by all veterans and their families in attendance.

More Time for Smoky Mountains Fall Colors

While the upper elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains are bursting with color, there is still time over the next few weeks to enjoy a beautiful autumn in Gatlinburg.  The air is crisp morning and evening, but plenty of sunshine warms our days so that you can get out and enjoy the National Park trails, streams and picnic spots.  What could be better than an autumn picnic in the park or beside Carr’s own portion of the Roaring Fork?
GSM National Park Service Purchase Knob Web Cam

October 16, Purchase Knob Fall Colors

What fall colors do you like most?

The yellows and golds of the Buckeye and Cottonwoods?  The silver, purple and red of the Sweet Gum?  How about the barely orange of Sassafras, brownish rust of Oaks and Sycamores, or the most brilliant scarlet of Sugar Maples and Dogwoods?

Well… come on down and see them in person!  We have some units remaining for October weekdays and during the first two weeks of November.  Give us a call at 800.370.5593 to check availability and pack your bags.  We would be happy to have you!

Can’t getaway?  Whether you are here or at home, you can keep you eye on the fall colors with Foliage Reports provided by The Foliage Network (also posted on and by visiting the National Park Service to view photos from their Purchase Knob and Look Rock web cams.  These photos change daily, so enjoy them often!

Happy Fall, Y’All!

3rd Annual Hazzard Run in Downtown Gatlinburg

3rd Annual Dukes of Hazzard Run

Parade Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Dukes of Hazzard General Lees are Coming!

Make your way to the downtown Gatlinburg Parkway, just a 3-block stroll from Carr’s Cottages, by 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 to witness a parade of General Lees and other Hazzard County vehicles completing their run from Cooter’s Place in Nashville.

There could quite possibly be hundreds of orange 1969 Dodge Chargers from across American joining the parade and the following car showcase at Cooter’s Place.  Stop in for the Meet-n-Greet to get actors Ben “Cooter” Jones and Rick “Deputy Cletus Hogg” Hurst autographs and enjoy some great food and live entertainment!  From 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, hear the talents of the New Mountain Grass bluegrass band and on Sunday, The Holloway Sisters & Outta The Blue from 10 a.m.-Noon.

The Hazzard Run celebration takes place downtown at Cooter’s Garage, a free admission museum that features pictures, props, costumes, and other memorabilia from the Dukes of Hazzard television show.  Ride Duke’s themed go-karts on the indoor slick track for $8.95 and play the 18-hole Hazzard County Club mini golf course for $5.59.

Yeeee Haaaa!

Planning a Roadtrip #4 – Road Worthy Travel

Planning a road trip to Gatlinburg should include a check up for your family vehicle

Worry-Free Road Trip

Plan Ahead for Care-Free Motoring

Is the family vehicle ready for your road trip?  Probably, if it has been properly maintained and isn’t currently giving you signs of trouble. However, there are some preparations you should go through before setting out. Nothing short of a natural disaster can ruin a Gatlinburg vacation like car problems along the way.

If this isn’t a spontaneous roadtrip to the Smokies, plan ahead a couple of weeks and get the car, truck or SUV ready for trouble-free travel.  You’ll enjoy your travel time so much more just having the peace of mind that you’ll arrive at Carr’s Cottages safe and sound!

Consider new filters all the way around—oil, fuel and air. An oil change is a must, but do it a few days before you leave and check the level every time you stop for gas just to be sure.  Check and top off all other fluids: coolant, power steering, brakes, and don’t forget the windshield washer fluid. After all, a clean windshield makes for stress-free driving. If the vehicle has more than 75,000 miles, you may consider a transmission flush and refill.

Tires should be properly inflated to the pressure recommended by your owner’s manual, not the max noted on the tires. Tires with tread depth of less than 1/8 inch should be replaced.  Deep treads disperse water and help prevent hydroplaning.  Proper wheel alignment is also important.

Finally, if it’s been a while, you may want to get a complete tune up.  They can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a couple hundred, but the return may be increased fuel mileage.

If your trip is spur-of-the-moment, the very least you should do is get an oil change and ask your mechanic to give you a complete ‘road worthy’ check up.  You’ll be glad you did and we’ll be happy to welcome you as you arrive!

Lumberjack Feud Dinner & Show

Lumberjack Feud Dinner and Show in Pigeon Forge TN

It's a Dawson & McGraw Family Feud!

Opening August 26, 2011 in Pigeon Forge!

Make your reservations at Carr’s and then get set to enter a rural mountain homestead complete with two log cabins and trees!  This rowdy, good-time dinner show pits the fictitious Dawson and McGraw families against each other in a series of lumberjack events including log rolling, speed climbing and wood chopping.  Along with all the professional lumberjack athletics, there’s guitars, music and more to have your entire family tappin’ their feet!

Along with this amazing show, you’ll get a first look at the adjoining Smoky Mountain Forestry History Center and the world’s first Lumberjack Hall of Fame.  The museum’s exhibits lead you through thousands of years of Smoky Mountain history beginning with Native Americans and continuing through early pioneering and homesteading, giving a glimpse of the rise and fall of the logging industry.  The Hall of Fame will begin by honoring 30 individuals who’ve passed along with others, and will induct 3-4 members in each year beginning in 2012.

The Lumberjack show wouldn’t be complete without giving you a belly full of great food!  Served in a picnic basket, you’ll savory the flavor of chicken breast, ribs, all the fixin’s and dessert.  The Lumberjack Feud Dinner & Show is a brand new attraction in Pigeon Forge that you won’t want to miss!

Bluegrass Festival with Barbecue BBQ-Dollywood TN

Annual Dollywood BBQ and Bluegrass Music Festival in Pigeon Forge TN

August 19 - September 5

It’s almost time for the Dollywood Bluegrass Music and Barbeque Festival and we’ve got your discount tickets right here at Carr’s Northside!

August 19, 2011 begins 14 days of Bluegrass music with over 300 concerts at Dollywood, all included for free with your admission. Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder kickoff the festival featuring Brian Keith Wallen, Cherohala, Cumberland Gap Connection, Kenny & Amanda Smith, The Larkins, Meagan Sasko, Mountain CoveBluegrass Band, Mountain Soul, Ricky Skaggs, Riders in the Sky, Larry Gills and his Hard Driving Swampgrass Band, The Grassabillies, Just Us Bluegrass Band, and so many more great performers. Click here to get a printable schedule of performers and performance dates.

In addition to great bluegrass bands and music, Dollywood will feature Barbecue Headquarters at Market Square where you can indulge in selection of BBQ ribs, chicken, and pulled pork with all the picnic fixin’s. The Backstage Restaurant will be offering a special menu with new barbeque dishes and there’s a Sauce Tastin’ Station for sampling some of the spiciest and hottest barbecue sauces around!

Where is Dollywood ? It’s located in Pigeon Forge TN, of course! From our location in Gatlinburg, head to Dollywood Lane (traffic light #8) in Pigeon Forge and turn right. Travel straight ahead to the theme park entrance on Veteran’s Blvd. Bluegrass & BBQ fun is only about 15 minutes from Carr’s with great vacation savings and discounted Dollywood tickets!

Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday – No Tax Weekend

Tennessee No Tax Weekend

Sales Tax Holiday August 5-7

It’s time to cash in on a holiday!

The State of Tennessee Annual Sales Tax Holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 5 and ends Sunday, August 7 at 11:59 p.m.  This TN no tax weekend is something locals and visitors alike look forward to each year as we prepare for back to school shopping for computers, supplies and school clothes.
In addition to the no sales tax on back to school items, our Tanger Outlets and Governors Crossing Mall in Sevierville TN, and factory outlet stores in Pigeon Forge will all be holding their annual back-to-school sales and sidewalk sales.  These sales coincide with the no tax holiday to help you accumulate BIG SAVINGS!
View Details of What is Tax Free:  School Clothes –  School Supplies –  Computers
Why not advantage of this back to school sales tax holiday with a little family vacation in Gatlinburg?  Our family apartments, townhomes and chalet rentals with no cleaning fees and no reservations fees add to your savings.  It’s a budget vacation all around!
Call 800-370-5593 to check availability or request a reservation using our online form.  See you in August!

36th Annual Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Festival

36th Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmens Fair

July 12 - July 24

It’s time for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair at the downtown Convention Center!

The convention center will once again transform into a cultural arts and crafts community of creative individuals and couples from all across the USA.  Over 180 talented artists will be exhibiting and demonstrating their crafting skills along with selling their creations from July 15 through July 24, 2011.  Approximately 80% of this year’s participants are returning favorites, with the remaining being new talent making their debut.  The Gatlinburg craft fair hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Give yourself plenty of time to take in all there is to see at this perennial Gatlinburg craft show, relaxing in between shopping to enjoy County, Blue Grass, and Gospel music provided by Dennis Lee and Keith Longbotham.
Dennis Lee is a dynamic entertainer and master at improvisation, performing July 15-19.  Keith Longbotham is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, entertainer, worship leader and humorist who will be performing July 20-24.  Music shows are at 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Cost for admission to the craft show is $6 for adults, children 12 and under free.  Don’t forget that the city is providing your downtown Gatlinburg transportation free of charge too!  Special trolleys will take you from traffic lights #1 to #10 and everywhere in between for no cost through August 14.

Gatlinburg 4th of July

Fireworks in Gatlinburg at the Space Needle

Fireworks Show at The Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Downtown Gatlinburg 36th Annual Fourth of July Celebration is just days away!

This 2-day festival will begin on Sunday, July 3 with musical performances at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  Starting at 10 a.m. and continuing at two-hour intervals, you’ll hear the sounds of the Dixieland Band, the Brass Quintet, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Rock Band.
You’ll have no trouble finding a parade-watching perch just across our footbridge on Hwy. 321.  You’ll have great seats as Gatlinburg kicks off its annual Independence Day Parade at 12 a.m. making it the first July 4th parade in the nation.  (That’s at midnight on July 3rd.)
The celebration of our freedom doesn’t stop here!  On Monday July 4, the entire renowned 100th United States Army Concert Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky will perform at the Ripley’s Plaza beginning at 8:30 p.m., before the Gatlinburg Fourth of July “Stand Here” fireworks finale at 10 p.m.
It’s going to be a whole lot of family fun and we hope you’ll join us!