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20 New Reasons to Explore Family-Friendly Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.–First-time visitors and returning guests alike have 20 new reasons to explore family-friendly Pigeon Forge this year.

Dollywood theme park’s 35th season unveils the new five-week Flower & Food Festival (May 8-June 14), complete with floral displays, Smoky Mountain cuisine, and larger-than-life topiaries, including themed tributes to two of Dolly Parton’s songs—”I Will Always Love You” and “Coat of Many Colors.” In addition to enjoying approximately half a million plants and flowers throughout the park, festival-goers will walk beneath a canopy of hundreds of multi-colored umbrellas in the new Umbrella Sky display.North America’s first Alpine flyer coaster, equipped with laser guns, is located at Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park. Open year round, this two-seat suspended coaster swings, dips, and soars from an overhead track.

Rowdy Bear Ridge also offers a multi-lane 500-foot-long tubing hill with a 70-foot drop that propels participants to speeds in excess of 35 mph. Both are available day and night.Titanic Museum Attraction hosts the single most requested and important artifact from the historic ship—bandleader Wallace Hartley’s violin. The artifact, which was played as the passenger ship sank in 1912, is on display in Pigeon Forge from July 1 through Dec. 30. The instrument sold at auction in 2013 for a record-breaking $1.7 million.Seattle-based REI Co-op opens a 21,500-square-foot store at the Tower Shops at The Mountain Mile bringing quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences to the region via hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, workshops, guided day trips and more.

REI Pigeon Forge is designed to be a gateway to outdoor adventures in neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just six miles from Pigeon Forge.The Flying Ox, the world’s first cable-to-rail zipline coaster, soars above Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show and Adventure Park. Riders experience the thrills of a 1,000-foot-long zipline experience that travels a coaster track. The Flying Ox winds, drops and soars through the air at approximately 25 miles per hour.Appalachian Springs Outdoor Resort & Trout Farm was designed for guests in search of a comfortable basecamp. Opening summer 2020, Appalachian Springs offers various camping options, including large camper and recreational vehicle sites, custom-built tiny homes and luxury glamping lodges along with an onsite trout farm, theater room, swimming, playgrounds, arcade, guided hikes, gym and live music.

The Tower Shops at Mountain Mile is Pigeon Forge’s newest entertainment, dining and shopping destination. Junction 35 Spirits & Restaurant, Tennessee’s first distillery and full-service restaurant, blends the tradition of distilling spirits with a contemporary railroad-themed atmosphere. The family-owned Currahee Vineyards expands from Georgia to East Tennessee with a new location. Cream & Sugar Sweet Shoppe offers ice cream and homemade treats while Mountain Rifle Coffee Company serves its custom-roasted Black Rifle coffee. Shoppers will enjoy the Appalachian Apparel Company, with clothing that bears designs by regional artists. The Lawn at the Tower Shops is a relaxing outdoor space centered around a fire pit with beautiful mountain vistas in each direction. The 200-foot-tall Mountain Monster three-rides-in-one coaster towers above it all, awaiting thrill seekers.

The’s Grocery & Restaurant Pigeon Forge treats diners to entertainment, including singers/songwriters, alongside authentic Southern comfort food. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant serves three meals daily and highlights include slow-smoked barbeque, Southern sides and homemade cobblers.The Sunliner Diner offers guests a blast from the past in a classic 1950s-themed American diner. The vintage chrome and red neon exterior invites guests inside where classic collector cars, retro newspaper menus, hand-spun milkshakes, and nostalgic diner cuisine encourage everyone to leave their worries at the door.

The family-owned Byrd’s Famous Cookies has landed at The Island in Pigeon Forge. From the complimentary Cookie Bar filled with free samples to the helpful Cookie Crew, Byrd’s Famous Cookies is the latest place to satisfy a sweet tooth in Pigeon Forge.The first touring experience of its kind in the Great Smoky Mountains area, Pink Adventure Tours’ iconic pink Jeeps are the newest way to explore the nation’s most visited national park. All tours conclude with an off-road experience on private land as passengers travel in customized Wranglers fabricated in the Pink Adventure Tours’ eco-friendly service center.It is Christmas 365 days a year at The Incredible Christmas Place, the South’s largest Christmas store, where Santa’s Haus is located. The 2,000-square-foot attraction features cookie decorating, story time with Santa, milk and cookies, ornament making, the Elf Academy, a place to write letters to Santa and a photo opportunity with the jolly old elf.Pigeon Forge hosts a slate of award-winning special events throughout the year. A Mountain Quiltfest (March 4-7), Chuck Wagon Cookoff (April 4), Music in the Mountains Spring Parade (May 1), Wilderness Wildlife Week (May 5-9), Patriot Festival featuring a free concert by country superstar Clint Black (July 4), Celebrate Freedom (Aug. 1-31), Veterans Homecoming Parade (Aug. 8), and Winterfest (Nov. 13-Feb. 15, 2021).

For more information about what’s new for 2020 as well as existing favorites, please visit or call 1-800-251-9100.

About Pigeon Forge:

Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city’s neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge are available at or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.

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