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!

Free Gatlinburg Trolley Rides

Free Summer Trolley Rides in Gatlinburg

Free Rides in Downtown Gatlinburg

Riding the downtown Gatlinburg trolley is fun, convenient—and for a limited time—free!


Now through August 13, you can hop on and off 3 specially designated, open-air shuttles as often as you like between 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. at no cost.  The free route is from traffic light #1 at the north end of Gatlinburg to traffic light #10 at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance.
Additionally, the city of Gatlinburg also offers unlimited access armbands for $2 per day for the Red, Blue, Purple, Yellow and Green trolley routes.  All Gatlinburg trolleys are handicap accessible.

Planning a Road Trip #3 – Road Trip Food

In our Road Trip Planning series, we’ve already covered determining the purpose of your road trip to Gatlinburg along with must-have road trip songs. The next thing you’ll need to do is plan to have some great snacks and road trippin’ food ready so that hunger never interferes with the fun!

Gatlinburg Road Trip Healthy Snack Ideas

Easy Road Trip Foods

One of our favorite traveling meals is to plan for a picnic at an Interstate welcome center or rest stop. Not only can you save money with a picnic lunch, but everyone will feel so much better if they can get out of the car and stretch! Kid’s get to burn off a little pent up energy and the driver gets renewed alertness. Find a picnic table or spot on the grass to spread out and relax and have a family meal. Before or after eating, throw a Frisbee or baseball, walk or jog around the center, or do anything else that your family enjoys.

Here are suggestions for easy foods to pack and transport, and hints for saving space!
1. Freeze Bottles of Water: to keep all items in your cooler cold. As they melt, you’ve got good, cold drinks!
2. Freeze Go-Gurt: these take up little space, help to keep other foods cold, and are a tasty, healthy snack frozen or thawed.
3. PB&J Sandwiches: when is the last time you had PB&J? Make em, cut em, put em in baggies. You just might be surprised how fast these disappear.
4. Nuts, Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Cereal: to save money, purchase a large container of your favorite munchies and divide them up in single servings using the ‘snack’ size baggies. Pass them out often to keep tummies from rumbling!
5. Fresh Fruit: easy to grab and eat with no trash left behind. (Pitch peels or cores out the window for the birds!)
6. Granola Bars: easy to eat, not messy, and stick with ya!
7. Tootsie Pops: how many licks does it take to get to Carr’s Northside Cottages?

If you have suggestions for road trip food that are permanent go-alongs with your family, please share them here with us.

Have a safe and FUN trip to Gatlinburg!

7th Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival

This much anticipated downtown Gatlinburg event kicks off on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. with “A Night with The Artists Party” held at Mills Auditorium. There will be an abundance of entertainment, appetizers, beer, wine, and a cash liquor bar. Tickets are $50 to attend, but you’ll get that back in a $50 voucher to spend at the Arts Festival. Call 865-436-7484 to get your tickets!

Head downtown to Arrowmont School at traffic light #5 at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy a full day of art and artists along with an entertainment debut of the 2011 Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales. The festival features a kid’s area with pottery demonstrations, face painting and a giant aquarium-themed mural your kids can help paint, artist exhibits and art technique demonstrations, and mouth-watering BBQ! The festival runs through 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

We hope you’ll stop by and introduce yourself to our very own Rafael Alegria. He is a member of the Carr’s staff and this is his first year to participate in the Art’s Festival. He has provided several of the paintings that decorate our Cottages, Motel and Cabins… and we are SO proud of him!

Make your reservations with us and take advantage of our current lodging specials!

Gatlinburg Cinco de Mayo

It's a Fiesta in Gatlinburg Cinco de Mayo

$5 Armband Unlimited Food & Beverage Sampling

Head to downtown Gatlinburg for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Thursday, May 5, Gatlinburg will host its 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.   Bring the kids early for a culture-filled afternoon with crafts, Latin music, traditional dress, a Mexican Hat Dance and even a bust-the-piñata contest!

Beginning at 4 p.m., purchase an armband for only $5 to enjoy unlimited samplings of food and beverages.  There will be a variety of music and dancing, and other cultural showcases.  It’s a festival in the plaza that you won’t want to miss!

Check out Carr’s Cottages great rates including $49 creekside Motel rooms or choose any accommodations and get a night free when you pay for 2 nights or more.  Stay with us and walk to the party!

This fiesta is brought to you in part by Ripley’s Entertainment, No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and the East Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

¡Es hora de festejar!

Mountain Man Memorial March ‘Honor through Action’

Mountain Man Memorial March for American Heroes and Veterans

4th Annual Mountain Man Memorial March

Come to Gatlinburg to participate in the annual ‘Honor through Action’ Mountain Man Memorial March.

This Memorial March began in 2007 in honor 1LT Frank Walkup, a UT alumni, killed in Iraq.  In just four years, the event has grown into a tribute which honors all of our fallen American Heroes and Veterans along with special ceremonies for Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families.

The Memorial begins Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza with a special ceremony for all families who’ve lost loved ones in combat, Gold Star Families.  The runner’s race begins promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 with march/marathon participants starting just 3 minutes later.

The run and marathon route begins across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe and makes it way through Gatlinburg and into the Smokey Mountains.  It consists of paved road, gravel road, and other uneven terrain, and is made up of flat stretches, rolling hills, and steep climbs.  Water points, snacks, medical aid and support staff will be positioned and available along the route.  Participants in the March will be wearing full gear with a 35 lb. pack, food and water, and march 26.2 or 13.1 miles through the hills of Gatlinburg.  Memorial coordinators are expecting over 500 marchers, marathoners and 10K road racers in this rapidly growning Gold Star Family event.  Watch live interviews for additional details at WBIR.

To participate, visit Mountain Man Memorial March for registration or sponsorship information.  We invite participants and supporters to stay with us in a creekside motel room for just $49 per night plus tax.

Discount Dollywood Tickets

Discount Tickets to Dollywood - Dolly Parton's Pigeon Forge Theme Park

Visit During Festival of Nations

Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge is set to open March 26 and we’ve got “Play Another Tickets” available to all guests at Carr’s.  Essentially, this ticket is a Buy One Get One Free Dollywood ticket because you can visit any time on one day and return within the next 2 days and do it all again!

This ticket makes for a really affordable spring getaway when combined with our seasonal lodging discounts!  Now through the end of the month, stay in one of our creekside motel rooms for $39 per night plus tax, or choose any accommodation and get a night free with two nights paid.

Dollywood opens 2011 with their internationally acclaimed “Festival of Nations” that will feature the cultures, music and food from a multitude of countries including Ireland, Ecuador, Trinidad and Argentina.  Visit our Dollywood Tickets page to view descriptions and dates of all 5 of this years festivals being held at Dollywood that you won’t want to miss.  Hope we see you in Gatlinburg soon!