Pigeon Forge is getting a new museum attraction in central downtown that isn’t quite like anything else around – The Alcatraz East Crime Museum.
We have many museums in our area and some of them go into the chilling and yet morbidly intriguing history of crime throughout history – the Guinness World of Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and some others, but none feature as much content with as much focus on the weird, wild mythos of jail life and jail lifers that Alcatrez East does. The museum is located prominently on the parkway in Pigeon Forge in front of The Island and next to the Comedy Barn – trust us, you won’t be able to miss it!
Exhibits and amenities include:
* 25,000 square feet of floor space over 2 floors.
* 100 interactive exhibits.
* “A Notorious History of American Crime”.
* “Punishment: The Consequence of Crime”.
* “Crime Fighting.”
* “Crime Scene Investigation.”
* “Counterfeit Crimes & Pop Culture”.
* “The OJ Simpson White Bronco”.
* “Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle”.
* “Junior Detectives” fun exhibits for kids.
* Accommodations for groups.
* Special needs assistance available.
This museum opens on December 16th, 2016. You can see more on Alcatraz East at https://www.alcatrazeast.com.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest begins right after the end of Harvest Festival in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. This is technically the longest seasonal celebration we have in our region going from roughly the second week of November until the end of February. We celebrate it in three parts – Thanksgiving, Christmas and the post-Holidays Winterfest.
In this article, we’ll focus on the upcoming events for the Thanksgiving portion of Winterfest.
Christmas, naturally, is the crown jewel and centerpiece for the Smoky Mountain Winterfest season. A few of the special events going on from November continue on in December to help build the Christmas season spirit during your visit to the Smokies.
Many attractions and areas in and between Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville will be decorated for the holiday. Many theaters in town will be showcasing Christmas shows while other places like Dollywood and The Village in Gatlinburg will be wildly redecorated with lights, sights and other elements that drive the Christmas spirit home.
The Smoky Mountains are built on couples, families and reunions – in every aspect of the truth except actually physically building on them. The Smoky Mountains are a destination for many things during the Winterfest and weddings you better believe are one of them.
We have a lot of wedding providers who perform excellent services for couples and we’d like to start you off on the right direction with some recommendations:
Honeysuckle Hills – If you want a farm setting, something unique with the most beautiful photography in the Smokies, choose Regina Starkey and her team at Honeysuckle Hills. www.honeysucklehills.com
Friendly Falls – Well worth the stop and a fantastic meeting place in the Smokies. Stay for a moment or stay for the afternoon! Get your souvenir photo taken or have lunch. Waterfall weddings are just one of the many special things that happen at Friendly Falls. www.friendlyfalls.com
Team 22 Portraits – We’ve all heard the saying, but these days pictures are worth more than a thousand words – they’re worth a lifetime. Team 22 Portraits brings out the lifetime of art in each photo we take both in the photography itself and the custom framing we provide. We don’t specialize in wedding, family, reunion, etc., we give each and every artistic effort the same consistently high quality approach. We can photograph you in our studio or your place of choice. www.team22portraits.com
Regina Starkey Photographic Portrait Art – Regina Starkey is one of the highest decorated photographic artists in the state of Tennessee, and uses her decades of experience and incredibly high standard for quality to make sure you have the family, wedding or any other kind of portrait you deserve. www.reginastarkeyphotographicart.com
Smoky Mountain Same Sex Weddings – Love has no boundaries at Friendly Falls! No matter if you’re straight or LGBT, we will perform your wedding and give you our best in professional service and amenities. See our amenities and waterfall wedding grounds at www.smokymountainsamesexweddings.com.
Smokey Mountain Wedding and Party Barn – Say “I do!” in the Smokies’ most unique wedding venue – Smokey Mountain Wedding & Party Barn! Nestled in beautiful Wears Valley, our barn will leave you with some of the most unforgettable memories you, your family, and/or your guests will ever have in East Tennessee. www.barnweddingsinthesmokies.com
Sampson’s Hollow – Beautiful property with rolling hills, wildflower meadows, lush pastures and ridges of evergreens for your dream wedding. Wedding and wedding reception packages available along with romantic honeymoon lodging. Call our wedding consultant to plan your outdoor wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains. www.sampsonshollow.com
Chapel at the Park – Beautiful Gatlinburg wedding chapel surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and featuring simple to elegant wedding ceremonies performed by ordained, non-denominational Ministers. Several wedding packages and accessories to choose from at: www.chapelatthepark.com
Chef Tony Catering – Catering for your wedding reception, corporate event, special occasion dining, or any event celebration. Enjoy gourmet recipes from experienced Chef Tony and professional staff in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and other areas surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Choose from our gourmet sit-down dinner packages, buffet and hor d’oeuvre packages, or choose a custom menu to suit the taste of your guests. www.cheftonycatering.com
Gary Woods Photography – Relive life’s most cherished events with creative, lasting portraits. For individuals, families, reunions, and weddings, Gary Woods Photography will capture the mood of the moment with his creative talent and the technology of digital photography. www.garywoodsphotography.com
D&P Photography – Specializing in reunions and weddings in the Smoky Mountain Area, D&P Photo Service will come to your location and help you to create memories for everyone to share in. Reasonably priced photography, excellent quality prints along with stellar service make us the one people refer to their friends over and over. Call us today for your special occasion. We also do cabin and commercial photography! www.dandpphotography.com
John Saunders Photography – One of the best known photographers in Pigeon Forge for a reason! John Saunders specializes in wedding photography throughout the Smoky Mountains, the same as he has for over 20 years, and your special day will look more gorgeous than words can describe with him behind the camera! www.smokymountainphoto.com
And while we’re at it, here is marriage license info for Sevier County.
Marriage Licenses can be obtained in 3 places in Sevier County.
1) Sevier County Court Clerk located in the Sevier County Courthouse in Sevierville. Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 865-453-5502
2) The Gatlinburg Shilling Center Located at 405 Reagan Drive. Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Closed Tuesday and Thursday Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
3) The Pigeon Forge City Hall Located at Pine Mountain Road. Hours are 9 am – 5 pm Saturday Only. 865-453-9061
You do not have to be a resident of the country to get married here. Birth certificate or drivers license, and social security number required. Call a licensing office for other specific requirements.
There are over a hundred restaurants within 20 minutes of almost anywhere you stay in the Smokies (unless your cabin happens to be particularly secluded) and since you came to the Romance section of Smoky Mountain Winterfest to look at this article, we can reasonably deduce you wanted to look for restaurants that could cater to a romantic atmosphere.
Here is what we can recommend taking your sweetheart to for a wonderful dinner:
The premiere steakhouse in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Alamo specializes in EVERYTHING you came to the South to enjoy – Texas-sized steaks, ribs, chicken, burgers and even some seafood items to keep things interesting! See their full menu at www.alamosteakhouse.com.
The Peddler Steakhouse
How would you like a proper fancy dinner at one of Gatlinburg’s oldest restaurants where a fat, succulent steak, cooked over hickory charcoal is waiting for you next to some mountain trout or prime rib, New York cheesecake or hot blackberry cobbler. This is one of many amazing food combinations you’ll find at The Peddler Steakhouse. Wine Menu also available. http://peddlergatlinburg.com
When you drive down the main street and, at any given day during the morning, you see a line from the outside of the door extending around to the inside of the Village just to get in and EAT, you know you’re looking at the best pancake restaurant in the city! Chocolate chip pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, cherry waffles, pecan waffles, western omelettes, breakfast cereals with banana slices and much more! www.pancakepantry.com
The Best Italian
Not just a boastful name, “The Best Italian” proves itself to many a visitor with starting rounds of their famous “garlic knots” and continues on with some of the best homemade pizza you’ll find in the city, or Filet Tips Linguini, Chicken Linguini with White Sauce, Tenderloin Tips Marsala and more amazing Italian dishes that earned them the name on this listing. www.bestitalian.com
If ever you needed to find a restaurant with a real mountain atmosphere in Gatlinburg; off the beaten path but offering some of the highest quality and highest class surroundings with views of the Smokies off in the distance, Greenbrier is where you want to go. Tucked back in the greenery like an exclusive secret, romantic dinners and special occasions are what Greenbrier is all about! www.greenbrierrestaurant.com
Kinkaku Japanese Steakhouse
Pigeon Forge has an awesome Japanese hibachi restaurant almost center of downtown with Kinkaku. An extremely talented chef will come and cook your dinner in front of you – your choice of chicken teriyaki, steak, shrimp, scallop, filet mignon, tuna, lobster and much more! www.pigeonforgejapanese.com
Previously Black Bear Grill, Crystelle Creek may seem like a new restaurant to returning visitors, but it’s largely the same high quality food, service, and romantic atmosphere subdued by the surrounding mountain wall and babbling brook underneath. If you’re new to restaurant altogether, come expecting wonderful dishes containing Steak Burgers, Catfish, Ribeye Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Fried Chicken and much more! www.crystellecreek.com
Might be a bit presumptuous to call Cheddars in downtown Pigeon Forge the biggest restaurant hit there in the past 5 years, but seeing how many visitors they pull in everyday and how awesome their dishes are, the truth wouldn’t be an inch off! The service, atmosphere, prices and most definitely the food are worth the hype at Cheddars, and you shouldn’t leave town without trying their Lemon Pepper Chicken, Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Baked Spasagna, Grilled Salmon or their Chicken and Waffles. www.cheddars.com
Asian Fusion Cafe
Located near Krogers and the Pigeon Forge Community Center, Asian Fusion Cafe can easily be missed and definitely shouldn’t be for fans of high quality, portion controlled Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Malaysian dishes. Hibachi dinners, import and domestic beers, Bento boxes and lots of noodles await you at Asian Fusion Cafe. http://dininginthesmokies.com/_menus/pf/fusian-cafe-pigeon-forge-menu.pdf
Carriage House Restaurant
A quality restaurant of a slightly fancier variety, Carriage House is a perfect consideration for dates, casual dining, family dining, family reunion dining, and just about any reason you would need to go out for food. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the traditional Southern and casual favorites you’re looking for – ribeye steak sandwich, grouper fish sandwich, country ham steak, grilled pork chops, spaghetti, chicken buckets and much more! http://dininginthesmokies.com/_townsen/aacarria.htm
Smoky Mountain Trout House
One of the longest serving seafood restaurants in Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountain Trout House is THE authority on Southern/Tennessee fish dinners in the city. Serves Grilled Rainbow Trout, Broiled Mountain Rainbow Trout, Parmesan Trout, Dilly Trout, Trout Almondine, Pan Crisy Fried Whole Rainbow Trout – pretty much every trout dish you’ve ever wanted to try. http://www.gatlinburgtrouthouse.com