Editorial: Three Cheers

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 11:26 PM

Make plans now

to attend Pirate’s Ball

Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite pirate outfit, while enjoying foods and drinks, and dancing if they want to. Costume contests are always fun as well. Just seeing your friends and neighbors in such a get-up is worth the price of admission. Let’s remember the reason for the event: to benefit Mountain Hope, which offers medical and dental care to uninsured citizens and workers of Sevier County.

Along with the food, you can listen to the Tim Arrants Band. The ball begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7. Tickets are $50 for adults and $10 for children. They are available at Mountain Hope or by visiting http://mountainhope.org/events.html. Make plans to attend this entertaining fundraiser.

Speaking of fun events, how about the 13th annual Saddle Up! program in Pigeon Forge? There was the usual cowboy activity with some new attractions, drawing thousands to the city at a time when tourism is traditionally low. It was great fun as usual.

Saddle Up! provides

great fun once again

Last week’s Saddle Up! included a free cornbread sampling, concerts, a chuck wagon cook-off, a Cowboy Dance and Cowboy Church. New this year was a video presentation and Western photography exhibit by Ken Jenkins. Visitors could also take part in traditional cowboy activities, such as bull-riding and lassoing, as well as branding demonstrations on blocks of cedar wood.

Pigeon Forge has really stepped up with events such as Saddle Up! and Wilderness Wildlife Week to get this tourist market through the lean months. Those responsible for putting it together deserve the thanks of the community. It’s a terrific event, one that draws locals as well. We can’t wait for the 2014 version.

Park volunteer Goddard

wins well-deserved honor

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been successful and enjoyable to millions each year not just because of the staff, but because of an army of volunteers who provide a variety of needed services. Each year the park service honors volunteers for exceptional and extraordinary services. This year’s winners of the George B. Hartzog Jr. Award for Enduring Volunteer Service included longtime Smokies volunteer Robin Goddard.

Since 1969, Goddard has contributed over 12,000 volunteer hours to the park. She has developed material for curriculum-based programs, taught outdoor classes, assisted scientists, developed first-person historical programs, and served as a formal ambassador through outreach programs in the community. She conducts a weekly program at Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse, rain or shine, from April through October.

“Great Smoky Mountains has been so fortunate to have had Robin as a dedicated volunteer for over 43 years,” said Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. Thanks, Robin, for all you do in the Smokies.