Editorial: Three Cheers

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Libraries come up with

great way to involve kids

Congratulations to the Sevier County Public Library System for encouraging families to make a resolution to read with their children. The library has invited Gerald & Piggie to visit at each branch in the system during the first full week of January.

Gerald and Piggie are two of Mo Willems’ beloved characters in his books. They are inviting children to participate in the “Find the Pigeon Contest.” The pigeon will be hiding in picture books. Each time your children find a pigeon during January, they will be eligible for special prizes. Libraries remind parents that reading with a child for at least 15 minutes a day can help increase vocabulary and readiness for school. Taking children to library only adds to that mindset. Providing entertainment and adventure along the way is just an added bonus.

For more information about the contest, contact Vickie Kelly at 365-1423.

Winterfest attracts solid

publicity by writers group

The Society of American Travel Writers has concluded what we in Sevier County already knew: Winterfest nights are pretty, bright, creative and a big draw. The writers included the lights of Winterfest on their list of The Top 10 Lesser-Known (But Just as Bright!) Holiday Lights in the U.S.

Winterfest lights rank eighth on the society’s list, which also includes light displays in Hawaii; Charlotte, N.C.; Pine Mountain, Ga.; and Louisville. That’s impressive company for Sevier County. Winterfest was devised as a way to attract tourists during a time of the year when tourism traditionally slowed down. It has worked, and coupled with several events during the winter months, has kept a lot of people employed year-round.

Thanks to those who came up with the idea and have made it successful over these many years. It continues to be added to each year, bringing back people to see the additions.

Gatlinburg does it again

with fireworks, ball drop

Gatlinburg lit it up again on Monday night with its annual fireworks show and ball drop. The event attracts thousands, who spend lots of money to be entertained in a format that evokes memories of Times Square. The event is like a big street party.

This week marked the 25th annual fireworks show and ball drop, a significant milestone in this storied event’s history. “We started the ball drop 25 years ago, and back then we made it out of huge pieces of Styrofoam,” city spokesman George Hawkins said. “It made a good show but I thought, with the wind you never know if it would blow loose and that would be a disaster.”

Thanks, Gatlinburg, for showing how New year’s Eve can be a major draw for this tourist area without a lot of the distasteful aspects of the holiday that many cities face.