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Plan an unforgettable trip to Gatlinburg this August

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Fourth of July is over and Labor Day is a week away, but there are still plenty of events in the Great Smoky Mountains to entertain your family, whether it's a weekend or a week. Enjoy the incredible scenery and miles of ancient forests, see the history of the area through music and crafts, or take in the marvel of modern film technology. Regardless of your entertainment preferences, you'll find it this summer in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas.

What do bubbles, meatballs and trout have in common?

The annual Hollywood Holiday, Kidfest, runs from mid-June to August 7, 2011, and presents some of the most exciting show programs south of Broadway. The Gazillion Bubble show answers its name by entertaining children and adults alike, as well as the incredible artistry of the balloons and special effects. Imagine Cinema plays Cloud with Chance of Meatballs, a cinematic experience unlike any you've ever seen. The movable seats and 4D action make you feel as if you have landed in a swallow where the meatballs are raining down from the sky at the most delicious meteorological phenomenon in the world.

Nature lovers will appreciate the vast deserts that surround Gatlinburg, and there are many opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and blue sky. A short drive away from Gatlinburg you'll find the annual Talking Trees Kids-only Fishing Trophy Tournament. Fishermen under the age of three compete for prizes at this fun event over the weekend. This year's race will be even more fun, as the famous Dock Dogs will be on hand for some high-flying fiction.

Fun and games for adults

For a real treat, be sure to check out Stringtime in the Smokies, a weekend of music and games hosted by the people at Old Mill Square, which takes place August 5-6, 2011. On Friday, you're invited to bring your own instrument and join a sweetie session or just hang out and listen. Try your luck at the cornhole tournament on Saturday for the grand prize of $ 1,000 and enjoy some nice old-fashioned music on blue grass tonight. In addition to Stringtime in the Smokies, The Old Mill Square offers plenty of food and shopping options, so plan to arrive early and make the most of your weekend.

The Gatlinburg area enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a leading shopping destination, and summer is the perfect time to grab some unique gifts for someone special. The Gatlinburg Heritage Festival begins in mid-August and includes many of the exquisite craftsmen who make the area truly unique. You will find traditional crafts such as quilts, woven baskets and ceramics, along with whimsical artwork and handmade toys that will please everyone in your family. Spend the day wandering the eight-meter circuit known as the Tennessee Arts and Crafts Heritage in Tennessee, and before you know it, you'll do your Christmas shopping.

Don't let dog summer days knock you down. Head to the Great Smoky Mountains and see a show, grab a big one, or have a little history. No matter what your idea of ​​a great vacation is, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN have something to offer you. Wrap the kids up and head to the mountains to enjoy a fantastic family vacation this August.

From Wendy Toney

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