Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Toy Soldiers at Smoky Mountain Winterfest - Pigeon Forge lights
 Winterfest is a county-wide celebration of the joy, the fun and the splendor of winter in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The three cities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville kick-off the season the second week of November with Parades, Chili Cook-offs and lighting ceremonies with visiting celebrities. Each city throws the switch on their Christmas lights with their own lighting ceremony and it is the lights and displays that makes our Smoky Mountains shine even brighter as millions of holiday lights shine, dazzle, flicker, delight and brighten up the streets, stores, restaurants theaters and attractions of the entire area. Winterfest continues through the last week in February.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest - Pigeon Forge lights
This is the 24th Annual Winterfest Kick-off for the City of Pigeon Forge, which will begin with the Annual Salute to Veterans Parade, followed by the key note speaker Rocky Bleier, former Pittsburgh Steeler and Vietnam Veteran. Pigeon Forge hosts the Trolley Tour of Lights through the end of January; the 14th Annual Saddle Up! event February 19-23, 2014; and the 24th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week, held from January 25 through February 1 2014. This year the event will be held in the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge. And Dollywood boasts displays with over 5 million lights in displays around the park.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest - Gatlinburg Christmas lightsGatlinburg is also packed with Winterfest events. Their Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights runs through January, the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show runs November 26 through December 1, 2013, and the characters from Winter Magic Tunes & Tales entertain from November 29 through December 21, 2013. Other events include the Nutcracker "Sweet", the Festival of Trees, the Fantasy of Lights Parade, Christmas on Ice at Ober Gatlinburg, and the New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show.

There is plenty to see and do in Sevierville whose lights are 100% LED and you can purchase a pair of 3D glasses at the Welcome Center to turn every point of light into a snowflake! You can enjoy Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium where thousands of light dance to music in a drive-through experience; you can watch Sevierville's 50th Annual Christmas Parade where Santa is the Grand Marshall, and you can run or walk in the Santa Hustle Half-Marathon and 5K Run at Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest - Pigeon Forge Christmas lights

Winterfest gives visitors over 15 million reason to come to the Smokies in the winter. In addition to Winterfest lights you can snuggle-up in front of a fireplace in a mountainside cabin; see first-class live entertainment in the area theaters - many of which do special Christmas shows; do your holiday shopping at the outlet malls and unique shops and arts and crafts areas; enjoy great food and have fun in the dozens of attractions and museums; play outdoors on the ziplines, stables and rides, or spend time at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

For more details visit the Local Events tab on the left side of Best Read Guide home page: .

Monday, October 21, 2013


Santa's Land opened their doors in 1967 in Cherokee, North Carolina, and they have been putting smiles and children's and adults faces ever since. It has always been a family business and is still owned and operated by the original owner.
Santa's Land Fun Park & Zoo in Cherokee, NC

The park is open May through October and kids and adults love to see the animals, ride the paddle boats, the trains and the Rudicoaster. The Rudicoaster is world-famous and is Santa's favorite ride since Rudolph with his nose so bright, leads the coaster around its track for every ride.

But the Rudicoaster is not the only ride to enjoy. Families can ride Santa's Express Train and the Paddle Boats, the Ferris Wheel and the Old Fashioned Carousel. Kids will enjoy the Boat Ride, the Helicopter Ride and the Kiddie Ride.
Children's Rides at Santa's Land in Cherokee, NC

The animals in Zoo Land include goats, ring-tailed lemurs, a Capuchin monkey and a bear in addition to deer, turkey, rabbits, pigs and peacocks. Children can feed the animals and families can relax in the nice shady park and enjoy the beautiful stream that runs through the park.

Visit Santa Clause at Santa's Land in Cherokee, NC

There are many things to see and do in Santa's Village, including a visit to the jolly ole elf himself, Santa Claus! Or you can visit the Jingle Bell Theater, buy a gift at Frosty's T-shirt Shop and enjoy food, drinks and ice cream at Santa's Snack Bar.

Recently the park has remodeled the Depot Diner, Whitebeard's Lake and the baby bear exhibit. And in this high tech, rush-rush world in which we live, the park is a great place for families to unplug, slow down and spend time together. For contact information and a coupon, click the following link:'s%20Land%20Fun%20Park%20&%20Zoo/18997

Friday, October 18, 2013


Gatlinburg's Mysterious Mansion

Gatlinburg Tennessee has many attractions for visitors to enjoy and one of the longest-running attractions is the Mysterious Mansion, whose doors creaked opened in 1980 and has been scaring visitors for 34 consecutive years.

Mysterious Mansion is a 3-1/2 story mansion located on River Road, that has a strange and spooky past. Some say it is haunted, others swear it is, but all agree that it will play on the deepest and darkest fears of your imagination in a mysterious way, hence the name Mysterious Mansion.

Enter if you Dare Gatlinburg's Mysterious Mansion
The mansion challenges you to "Enter if you Dare" and inside you will find hidden passages, endless stairways and creatures that will curdle the blood of even the bravest of souls.

Gatlinburg's Mysterious Mansion
To keep the mansion at the peak of scariness, the ghouls who run the place have upgraded several
rooms, added more creepy creatures, and added some technology to draw the last screams out of their "guests". Their goal is to scare each and every person that dares to cross their doorway and leave them with nightmares to haunt their dreams for years to come. A little "gift" for Gatlinburg visitors from your ghoul-friends at Mysterious Mansion.

Mysterious Mansion is located at 424 River Road in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For more information please click the link below: .

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


George and Ellice Martin were Canadians living in the Bahamas. George was a CPA with a Public Accounting practice and he decided to start a career in merchandising. He and Ellice had vacationed in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, so they decided to check out the town. They liked the tourism activity so they decided to move there. They knew that table linens were popular in the Islands and George had a connection to a supplier, so Mr. Tablecloth the store, was created.
Mr. Tablecloth and more in Pigeon Forge, TN

Mr. Tablecloth features beautiful items for the home. Embroidered toppers, runners and tablecloths. Great gifts for one's own home or a gift that will always be remembered. Mr. Tablecloth expanded its line to Home Décor and added bed quilts, Heritage Lace and Vera Bradley purses, luggage and accessories. They changed their name to Mr. Tablecloth and More and in 2005 added a location in Pigeon Forge, which carries everything but quilts.
Beautiful gifts and home items at Mr. Tablecloth, Gatlinburg, TN

 Mr. Tablecloth and More began business in a storefront - formerly Corky's - next to Ogle's Buffet - now Hardrock Café - in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 1998 they moved to their current location on Historic Nature Trail at Stoplight # 8. The store began with George, Ellice and 3 employees. Today there are 16 employees working at Mr. Tablecloth and More.

George and Ellice at Mr. Tablecloth Gatlinburg
George and Ellice
Originally George and Ellice were from Alberta, Canada, and they still have a son who lives in Toronto. Another son, Gerry, works with George and Ellice, another son lives in Knoxville and a daughter lives in Cincinnati. They have 7 grandchildren.

Part of the charm of Mr. Tablecloth the store are the owners, George and Ellice Martin. They both enjoy meeting people and have formed many long-lasting friendships with visitors who have come into the store and returned year after year.

Mr. Tablecloth's staff reflects the warmth of the owners and are knowledgeable and friendly. They make you feel like you are visiting friends and helping them select beautiful items for a home that you will be visiting.

The Girls at Mr. Tablecloth in Gatlinburg TN
"The Girls"
Add a stop into Mr. Tablecloth and More on your next trip to Gatlinburg and enjoy the beauty of the linens, tablecloths and Home Décor that George and Ellice have to offer. You will take away with you a warm, memorable experience in addition to making your home even more beautiful and inviting. For more information click

Friday, October 11, 2013


Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

The Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair has been a Gatlinburg Tennessee tradition for 38 years. It has been voted one of the Southeast's "Most Popular Events", and it hosts Artisans and Craftsmen from all over the United States.

There are 200 booths in this Open to the Public event, and not only are the hand-made products beautiful works of art, but most of the booths are decorated works of art also, giving the visitor a dual experience of beautiful displays and beautiful products to admire and to purchase. Many Artisans work during the Fair displaying their talents and bringing to life works of art from wood, canvas, paint, glass, fabric and almost any material known to man that can be sculpted, painted, sewn, cut, printed, created or designed.

Come see artists at work at Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair  Handmade Pottery at Gatlinburg Craftmen's Fair                       

In addition to the wondrous works of art there are country and bluegrass bands performing during the day, including Dennis Lee and Band, and Tim Watson "The Fiddle Man". Food and drinks are conveniently located in the Exhibit Hall.

The Southeast Tourism Society says, "Rarely does an event come along that features the wonderful variety of juried artists as the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair. It is a show that should not be missed!"

The Fall Craftsmen's Fair is in full swing at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in the heart on Gatlinburg Tennessee on Motor Nature Trail at Stoplight # 8. The show is open daily 10:00 am until 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

For more information go to

Don't miss out on the Gatlinburg Craftmen's Fair for Unique handmade gifts.