Ahhhh — it’s good to be back to blogland! Hope everyone out there had an amazing holiday. We sure did — though we just rolled in from our last family Christmas, and we are BEAT!
So, for tonight, here’s a quick update of what’s been happening in the Smoky Mountain area while I’ve been off holidaying.
A HUGE crowd rang in the new year in Gatlinburg
According to WBIR, more than 60,000 people were in Gatlinburg Monday night to help bring in 2013. The city of Gatlinburg held its 35th annual New Year’s Eve ball drop at the base of the Space Needle.
After the ball drop, fireworks were shot from the 342-foot space needle.
Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Parade wins another award
According to the Knoxville Daily Sun, the American Bus Association (ABA) has again named Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Parade among North America’s 100 Best Events for 2013.
According to the Sun:
Each spring, a committee of ABA-member motorcoach and tour operators selects the Top 100 Events in the United States and Canada for the subsequent year. Winners are chosen from hundreds of celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events, and more that have been nominated by ABA members.
We’re not surprised!
Pigeon Forge liquor vote update
According to an Associated Press story, it’s likely that some people did vote illegally in Pigeon Forge’s most recent election.
This is a big deal, because a new measure to allow liquor-by-the-drink in Pigeon Forge passed by merely 100 votes, and there are 298 questionable votes.
According to the story:
A registrar testified that she was instructed to let everyone who was on her roster vote on the referendum, regardless of whether they lived in the city.
Registrars were supposed to check addresses and highlighted the slips of paper that are handed to machine operators.
A trail is set for January 10. In the meantime, some Pigeon Forge restaurants can continue to serve liquor by the drink. The restaurants that have obtained a license so far are the Mellow Mushroom, Blue Moose Burgers and Wings, and Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant.
Ober Gatlinburg is open for ski season
According to WBIR, Ober Gatlinburg has kicked off its 50th annual ski season. Warm temperatures had delayed the opening by about three weeks.
Winter sports director John Cossaboom expects about 80,000 visitors over the 80-90 day season.