Forge, TN – April 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Featuring more than
220 free sessions spanning five days, Pigeon
Forge’s award-winning Wilderness Wildlife Week is set for May 9-13.
The event is headquartered at the LeConte
Center at Pigeon Forge.
In its 27th year, Wilderness
Wildlife Week offers a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, concerts,
hikes and other activities designed to introduce or reacquaint participants
of all ages with the great outdoors.
“From great speakers and
interactive how-to classes to topics like Appalachian heritage and forensics,
Wilderness Wildlife Week is designed to be informative, engaging and fun,”
said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon
Forge Department of Tourism.
The event’s headline sessions
include Ken Jenkins, Judy Felts and Friends in a program entitled Beauty
from the Ashes (May 9 at 7:45 p.m.) which features photography and
inspirational music. Forensics experts Dr. Bill Bass and Art Bohanan (May
10 at 7:45 p.m.) share their findings from applying forensic science to
identifying human remains, some of which were discovered in graves dating
back 2,000 years. Former park ranger Dwight McCarter (May 11 at 7:15 p.m.)
shares stories of search and rescue efforts in Great Smoky Mountains National
Outdoor enthusiasts, nature
lovers or those who simply want to learn more about Great Smoky Mountains
National Park can choose from lectures about topics ranging from the area’s
rich heritage to conservation. Outdoor demonstrations include backcountry
cooking and blacksmithing while indoor workshops focus on quilting, basket
weaving, photography, fishing and wildflowers. Sevier County’s Sevier Solid
Waste management facility’s Where Did It Go? presentation will address
managing debris from the November wildfire.
Hikers of all experience
levels can choose from several excursions each day. Highlights include
a three-mile behind-the-scenes Cades Cove Tour (May 10 from 8 a.m. to 3
p.m.), a 13.8-mile Appalachian Trail/Goshen Prong hike (May 12 from 7:30
a.m. to 3 p.m.), the one-mile LeConte Center Riverwalk Birding Safari (May
13 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.), and the new 2.5-mile Cades Cove Loop Night Hike
(May 11 from 7:15-11 p.m.).
A special kids’ track is
offered for younger outdoor enthusiasts where participants can learn more
about such topics as whittling, crafting mystery stories, making art from
recycled materials and more. Children ages seven to 12 can register for
the free Kids’ Trout Tournament on Saturday, May 13, at 8 a.m. in Pigeon
Forge’s Patriot Park pavilion.
Patriot Park also is the
location of the second annual Appalachian Homecoming event on Friday, May
12, at 5 p.m., with storytelling, music, children’s games, and an antique
tractor show. A limited 200 tickets ($15 in advance and $20 onsite) will
be offered for a country-style picnic dinner on the grounds with proceeds
benefitting Keep Sevier Beautiful.
More than 50 exhibits and
vendors include the not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation, Appalachian
Bear Rescue, Cades Cove Preservation Association and Onsite Heritage Museum,
Keep Sevier Beautiful and more.
This spring celebration of
the great outdoors is free and open to the public. For more information,
a complete schedule and registration details, visit MyPigeonForge.com.
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