Christmas Lights

As we are preparing to install new Christmas lights for Winterfest 2016, we thought a look back at 2015 might be fun!  Wow, thousands of lights adorning every tree and shrub at the store and hotel – it took many thousand man-hours to put everything up .. but we think it was worth it.

The Incredible Christmas Place


The Inn at Christmas Place


Most of the lights we used are available for purchase at the store, or online at

The 27th annual Pigeon Forge Winterfest celebration starts with an official lighting ceremony in Patriot Park on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.  The light displays placed throughout the city will be illuminated at dark; for those who haven’t been before, it’s a beautiful display of lighted Christmas characters lights lining the parkway.  The light show actually begins in Sevierville (lighting on Monday night) and continues all the way to Gatlinburg (lighting on Wednesday night), a wonderful driving trip to make on an early winter’s evening – with a big thermos of hot chocolate to fuel the journey, of course.  The lights will remain on through February 28th, 2017, so you have lots of time to plan a visit to the area.

First comes fall, then comes Winterfest .. and finally it will be time for Christmas!  It’s only 96 days away – that’s 13 Saturdays to go.  Yippee!

Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

Saddle Up! Time in Pigeon Forge

Have you discovered Saddle Up! yet?  It’s a Winterfest Event in its 13th year, a long weekend of cowboy fun, food, and entertainment.  Events range from musical performances and storytelling, private concerts and free food tastings, to a Saturday Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground and evening Cowboy Dance, wrapping up with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church at Stages West on Sunday morning.

Guests at The Inn at Christmas Place will have exclusive access to a private evening of food and entertainment on Wednesday, February 20th, when Kent Rollins and T. Scot Wilburn team up to offer a sampling of chuck wagon cooking, storytelling, and music in our own parking lot!

T. Scot Wilburn was born with western music in his blood.  The Montana native’s father and uncle, Harold and Vernon Wilburn, were members of the legendary Snake River Outlaws, one of the hottest cowboy bands in the Northwest during the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.  Scot, a talented musician who can play anything with strings, toured more than a decade with Wylie & the Wild West.  He produces Saddle Up’s “Stories & Strings” concert and this year performs with his own band, the Shut Up -N- Playboys.  Follow this link to an interview and performance during “Stories & Strings” at Saddle Up! 2012.

T Scot Wilburn plays fiddle

T. Scot Wilburn

Kent Rollins is the epitome of what a cowboy should be; he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk each and every day.  And he’s a darned good cook.  Just ask the folks at The Food Network, where Kent recently appeared on “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay” and “Chopped: Grill Masters.”  Kent, his 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon, stove “Bertha” and wife Shannon travel across the country to cook and entertain and make new friends.  He’s been cooking and telling stories at Saddle Up for years and has helped grow the event during its 13 seasons.  (He also comes with a supply of his own killer mix called Red River Ranch Seasonings – I’ve used this on everything from scrambled eggs and green salad to steak, and it makes anything taste better!)  Learn more about Kent here.

Kent Rollins with his chuck wagon at Saddle Up Pigeon Forge

Kent Rollins

There’s still time to reserve your nights at The Inn before the cowboys hit the trail again ~ just be sure to pack your boots!  (Check out the selection at Stages West if you need a new pair.)

Not all the events require tickets, but for those that do, you can purchase them online at, or on-site during the event.  Saturday’s Buckaroo Roundup at Clabough’s Campground in Wear’s Valley (no admission charge) offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family, including branding and roping demonstrations, pony rides, and a chuck wagon cook-off between seven wagons.  It’s a truly a great way to bust out some plaid and spend a day with the family!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S.  We’ve got to get in on the fun here at the store, too ~ we’ll be offering 15% off all our Western ornaments and decor here at Christmas Place throughout Saddle Up!

P.P.S.  NO NO NO, I categorically refuse to try the mechanical bull.  So don’t even try to change my mind about it.  Now, how are my hair and lipstick??

Have you put up your Christmas lights yet?

On the road I travel each day, there is a house that has been displaying Christmas lights since early October.  I say, two thumbs up!  It’s such a pick-me-up to enjoy those colorful lights on a night when I’ve been at the office later than planned…

Well, we’ve done the same here at Christmas Place – this has been a week of lighting up the courtyard for Christmas!  I don’t have any after-dark photos yet, but here are some just-at-dusk pictures I caught yesterday.

Look at this handsome rig we have added below the clock.

Santa & Reindeer all a-glow!

You’ll also see some new elf friends alongside our reindeer.

I'm not sure he's feeling all that merry today, what do you think?

 Now check out our lights.  Okay, you may have to squint a little for this picture – the wreaths & the garland are lighted, as well as all the rooflines.

I mean, don’t we all have our own cherry-pickers so we can light up the house and yard??  Hope you come down to see our lights, as well as the Winterfest lights that are on display all the way from Sevierville through Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. May I share one more photo?  I had the priviledge of attending a Salute to Veterans luncheon at the Dixie Stampede today, and was even seated next to the guest of honor, Sgt. Ed Douglas from just up the road in Morristown.  His battalion cleared 2,500 miles of roads in Afghanistan last year, without any loss of life, even though they were bombed many, many times.  (They also got to enjoy 8″ of snow for Thanksgiving, which we did not.)  This Sunday is Veterans Day, and we hope that you will thank a veteran when you have the opportunity.  Sgt. Douglas said that it is not a burden, but an honor to serve the U.S.  The burden is in being away from family and friends.  Thank you, Sgt. Douglas and all veterans!  (Dad, two uncles, my sister, two brothers-in-law, and many personal friends – and now children of my friends – thank you!)

Sgt. Ed Douglas

Winterfest arrives tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day – or should I say night – when Pigeon Forge turns on all 5 million lights for Winterfest!  There will be plenty of fun and excitement for those who come to Patriot Park on Tuesday, November 8, for the traditional kickoff of Winter in the Smokies – this year, in honor of Veterans Day, the event begins with a Salute to Veterans  parade on the Parkway starting at 4:30 PM.  Many-Bears Grinder, Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, is the special guest speaker for the night in the Park.  Of course, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be along for the parade ride, in a specially prepared carriage.

After the parade, they will both be available for photographs – come to Patriot Park and capture a special memory for this Christmas season.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. Sevierville turns on their lights tonight, and Gatlinburg turns theirs on Wednesday night!

Winterfest in Sevier County

Winterfest 2008-09 has begun in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.  Each year, the three communities display hundreds of lighted holiday decorations throughout the area, and loads of people drive through after dark to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.  In addition, there are many community events including parades, live performances, a story telling festival, hay rides with Santa, and appearances by local celebrities, to fill the days until Christmas.

The lights continue to glow through February, and there are more activities in the new year.  In January, we celebrate the 19th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week with free guided hikes, walks, and lectures all about the flora and fauna in the beautiful Smokies.  In February, it’s the 9th Annual Saddle Up! celebration of western life and culture, a week filled with Western music, cowboy poetry, story telling, and action entertainment all over town.

led-lightsHere in Pigeon Forge, over five million lights are in place – more than enough to delight the kid in everyone – try the Trolley Tour of Lights for an easy ride through town.  Gatlinburg offers a trolley tour of their displays as well.  While you’re touring, be sure to enjoy holiday displays of trees and decorations at many local businesses – especially ours, of course.  We’ve filled our store courtyard and all the trees at the hotel with thousands of blue and colored LED lights, and are quite sparkly and festive after dark!

Click here or here for more information about Winterfest 2008-09.

We are having a lot of fun as it gets closer to Christmas – everyone is ready to celebrate the holiday, and create a little cheer to round out this year.  We’ve continued to receive new merchandise at the store every day, and we carry such a variety of Christmas decorations, from traditional to rustic and contemporary to whimsical, that it is impossible not to find something to fall in love with for your Christmas tree, hearth or front door.

We hope you’re looking forward to Christmas and anticipating the special magic and feeling of joy and peace that Christmas can bring to a home and a community.

Life is good!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place