Did you know that Shaquille O’Neal and his girlfriend, Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander, were partying in Pigeon Forge last week? According to Knoxville.com, they were out celebrating Shaq’s 41st birthday. (Follow that link to see a great photo of Shaq and Alexander at the show.)
So what were this golden couple doing in Pigeon Forge? Shaq lives in Maryville, TN, which is less than an hour from Pigeon Forge. Shaq and Alexander headed to the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge last Wednesday.
According to Knoxville.com:
They chose the Hatfield and McCoy show because a friend of Alexander’s is a dancer in its production.
He and Alexander dined on chicken, barbecue and soup. They also had four small birthday cakes. Later, Alexander and two of her female friends sampled moonshine the show offers, a source said.
O’Neal was also a gracious tipper, doubling the biggest tip his waiter ever received, the source said.
What is the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show?
Well, it took the place of the Black Bear Jamboree, for those who have been coming to Pigeon Forge for a few years. It opened its doors in April of 2011.
The show is about the famed Hatfield & McCoy feud that took place from about 1880 to 1890. According to Wikipedia, the feud involved two prominent families of the West Virginia-Kentucky back-country. It’s one of those long, twisted stories with no easy winner and no obvious starting point. In 1865, a McCoy Union solider was likely murdered by a Hatfield, but no one ever found out for sure. In 1878, the two families started fighting again over the ownership of a pig. The Hatfields won the legal battle over the pigs, but a witness was later killed by two McCoys. None of these people seem like someone I’d like to meet in a dark alley…
Of course, every good feud story has to have a romance, and this is no different — Roseanna McCoy began a relationship with Johnson Hatfield. The families, obviously, did not like this. Later, Johnson abandoned a pregnant Roseanna and instead married her cousin.
Over the course of more than a decade, the feud claimed more than a dozen members of the two families. It ended with seven members of the Hatfield family receiving a sentence of life imprisonment after surrounding the McCoy cabin in the middle of the night and opening fire on the sleeping family. One Hatfield, Ellison Mounts, was hanged for his part in the crime.
A very sad history, but the stuff that legends are made of. There are many, many Hatfield & McCoy references out there now. Most historians agree that this is the most famed feud in U.S. history. Most of the references are funny. For instance, in 1979, relatives of the two families were on the game show Family Feud, in which they played for a cash prize and a pig, which was kept onstage during the taping of the show.
Go see the Hatfield and McCoy Show like Shaq!
Tickets for Hatfield and McCoy can be bought online here. Shows are at 5 and 8 p.m. every day of the week and last for close to two hours. Tickets are $49.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids. The show is located along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
Included in the price of your ticket is a country, home-style dinner, including: fried chicken, pulled pork bbq, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, slaw, corn muffins, southern-style creamy coup, coleslaw, baked beans, and Granny’s Famous Specialty Dessert (looks like chocolate pudding…).
Have you been to the Hatfield and McCoy dinner show? Was it worth the money?