Vietnam Veterans Observance in Knox County

This upcoming March 29th marks the 45th anniversary of US withdrawal from Vietnam and Knox County will be holding an Observance on that day.

We’d like to share with you an article on that announcement coming from

“The annual Vietnam Veterans Day observance in Knox County is set for Thursday, March 29, 2018.

The public is welcome to attend the ceremony that starts at 11:00am at the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial at World’s Fair Park,

It’s an opportunity to recognize Vietnam Veterans on the anniversary of the last US troop withdrawal from the Republic of Vietnam. On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

The ceremony will include:

Singing of the National Anthem, the Soldiers Cross and The Missing Man Table ceremonies, performed by the Volunteer State Honor Guard, wreath laying at memorial, official presentation of Dept. of Defense “A Lasting Memento of the Nation’s Thanks”, the Vietnam War Veteran Pin.

Honorably Discharged, living U.S. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive this pin.

Guest speaker for the event is Brigadier General Jim Mungenast, USAF (retired.)”

More information on this event can also be found at

Accompanying picture with this article also comes from the article above.


Veteran’s Day Celebration in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is celebrating Veteran’s Day with a proper tribute at Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies:

From their website:

Gatlinburg is formally honoring the valiant men and women who have served and are currently serving our country during this year’s Veterans Day Celebration on November 11 at 11:00 a.m. at the Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Day National Committee recognizes the ceremony, now in its 18th year, as an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day. The event is free to the public and will feature Major General Terry M. “Max” Haston as a keynote speaker.

The event will feature musical entertainment by the Gatlinburg-Pittman High School Band and distinguished vocalists Lakieta Bagwell-Graves, who will perform the National Anthem. Likewise, special presentations will be made by the Gatlinburg Boy Scout Troop 111, Girl Scout Troop 20648, and Wings to Soar, which will commemorate the occasion with a demonstration of an American Bald Eagle. Gatlinburg Police Department Captain Jim Maples, a Vietnam veteran, will also present the POW-MIA Table/Invocation. This year the Master of Ceremonies will be WVLT anchor Alan Williams.”

You can read the full press release at

Upcoming Winterfest Kickoff Events

While Halloween and the peak colors of the mountains get closer in our month of October, we wanted to take a minute to look ahead at the next truly big event coming up in the Smokies – the Winterfest kick off!

Most of you know that all three cities have a party within very short dates of each other, some years had them all on the same day. In this article, we’ll give you some beginning information on all three since it’s still a little while before the event will take place and some information hasn’t been detailed yet. Let’s look:


Sevierville Winterfest Kickoff 2017
November 6th at Sevierville Community Center and Civic Center
From 3:00PM to 9:30PM

More information TBA. Stay tuned at

The 28th Annual Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff
November 8th at Patriot Park
From 5:00PM to 7:00PM writes:

“Draped in more than 5 million lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for locals and guests alike to enjoy during the city’s annual Winterfest celebration. The lights of Winterfest shine from early November through the end of February.

From winter light displays to captivating holiday shows and so much more, here are just a few of the fun ways you can experience the delightful Winterfest Celebration.

Visit Dollywood to see more than 4 million lights shine during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, when the park is filled with holiday music, plenty of rides, a nightly Parade of Lights and much more to celebrate the season. Dollywood recently announced the addition of Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors, featuring new floats, specialty characters and songs. The park also adds a new show to its entertainment lineup with the stage production It’s a Wonderful Life.

Old Mill Square features a light display depicting its own version of a covered bridge, one made of thousands of twinkling lights that lead to one of the most historic areas of Pigeon Forge. The Smoky MountainOpry is decked out for the holiday season with giant trees, wreaths and more, all covered with sparkling lights. You might even catch Old Saint Nick making a rooftop delivery.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede pulls out all the stops when it comes to decorating for the holidays. One of the highlights is their 60-foot-tall tree, adorned with colorful lights, ribbons and sparkling ornaments from the very bottom to the twinkling star on top. Another must-see is The Island in Pigeon Forge with all new decorations including approximately 40,000 ornaments, half a million lights and more than 5,000 feet of garland. Guests are treated to three new Christmas trees, including one that stands 40 feet tall and allows guests to walk through. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their new workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music.

And the best way to take in the beauty and splendor of all the light displays throughout Pigeon Forge is on the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights, which begins at the north end of the Parkway.

Whether this is your first time to visit Pigeon Forge, or you’re making a return trip, Winterfest is the perfect occasion to share special memories with family and friends.”

See more on Winterfest events in Pigeon Forge at

Gatlinburg Winterfest Magic Kickoff
November 8th in Downtown Gatlinburg between Ripley’s Aquarium and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum
From 5:00PM to 8:00PM


Offering mouth-watering recipes of homemade chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg hosts its annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown.

City dignitaries will signify the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic with a ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights throughout the city.”

Participants in the Chili Cookoff will be competing for the coveted People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation. While the street event is free, tickets for chili sampling are $10. There is also a special edition t-shirt available for purchase.

See pictures of Chili cookoffs from yesteryears at


We’ll report again on the Winterfest Kickoffs as it gets closer to the event times. until then, enjoy your Harvest Festival here in the Smokies!

Veteran’s Day in Gatlinburg 2017

Deer Ridge is, has been and will always be, a big supporter of current and former military staff and we’d like to share with you Gatlinburg’s posted information on this year’s Veteran’s Day Celebration in Gatlinburg. We offer a 27% Military Discount every day of the year. Use our Toll Free number to make your reservation: 877-333-7743

From their website:

“Join Gatlinburg in saluting America’s veterans of the Armed Forces, featuring stirring musical numbers and words of tribute on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.

Every year since 2000, Gatlinburg, Tennessee hosts a very special event on November 11 to honor our nation’s veterans in a fitting and appropriate manner. The title “Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration” is an accurate description of the event in that the service and sacrifices made by our veterans are celebrated with the intent to thank those who gave – and continue to give – so much to keep our nation free. The ceremony at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza starts at 11 a.m. and is free to the public.”

More information on Gatlinburg’s upcoming Veteran’s Day Celebration may be made available as it gets closer to November and you can find their original article at

Smoky Mountain Eclipse Tennessee 2017

Just a quick heads-up that the Total Solar Eclipse will be happening this coming Monday, August 21st and that much of the western side of the Smoky Mountains (around the Townsend area of the Tennessee Smokies) will be within the eclipse’s line of sight.

Here is some updated information from the National Park Service regarding the special event:

Where Can I See The Eclipse?

The entire western half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park will fall under the path of totality for the eclipse, providing opportunities for viewing, weather permitting. The park is currently planning organized public viewing events at three locations in the park: Clingmans Dome; Cades Cove; and Oconaluftee. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains Association page to buy an Eclipse Regional Map.

Clingmans Dome: Clingmans Dome Trailhead parking area will be converted to a special ticketed event site for experiencing the eclipse with the assistance of experts, educational exhibits, and story tellers. The Clingmans Dome tower will be limited to MEDIA ACCESS ONLY, but there are many opportunities for viewing from the parking area and along the 0.5 mile trail to the tower. Tickets for the Clingmans Dome event are sold out. Any cancelled tickets will become available to the public again, so visit regularly to watch for cancellations. You must have a ticket to attend the event at Clingmans Dome. NASA will be streaming live from Clingmans Dome and other locations around the country. Watch the NASA Livestream on August 21. Clingmans Dome Road will be closed on Sunday, August 20th and Monday, August 21st to accommodate the special event. Call 865-436-1585 with questions about the event.

Cades Cove and Oconaluftee: The park is currently planning to host informal staff- guided eclipse viewing sites at Cable Mill (Cades Cove) and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. There will be no charge to participate. Vehicle access to these sites, though, may be closed when parking becomes full or roads become congested.

The Park is still working on details for these events, so check back here often for updated information as it becomes available.

Visitors may view the eclipse from other areas of the park on your own, though due to the influx of eclipse viewers during the already-busy season, the Park Service may need to close certain areas on August 21st to reduce gridlock, which may include Newfound Gap Road and Cades Cove.

See more on the upcoming eclipse and any updates to it at

Celebrate Freedom With Deer Ridge!

Starting on August 1st and running all month, nearby Pigeon Forge (about 30 minutes driving distance from Deer Ridge) will be having a month-long salute for active and veteran members of the military, as well as rescue and law enforcement officers, with military discounts available at over 100 stores, restaurants, attractions and more.

While Deer Ridge isn’t technically part of the Celebrate Freedom festivities, we would like to encourage any interested current or veteran members of the military and their families to come stay with us at Deer Ridge. We offer a military discount that we are proud to say is the BEST military discount in our area – 27% off our nightly rates with proof of military ID. This is good for either our condos or our cabins. We’d also like to emphasize that we don’t have this special going on for one month only – at Deer Ridge, our military discounts are year-round.

You must call to reserve Gatlinburg’s Best Military Discount. Call us toll free at 877-333-7743.

What do we have for Celebrate Freedom in Pigeon Forge? Let’s take a look:

* Ole Smoky Moonshine – 15% off all purchases. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
* Moon Pie General Store & Book Warehouse – Additional 10% off any merchandise not marked down.
* The Grand Majestic Theater – Military personnel and one guest each get 50% off dinner show ticket.
* Old-Fashioned Wood Crafts and Variety Store – 50% off any item in the store.
* Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud – $10.00 off adult dinner tickets.
* Magic Beyond Belief – $10.00 off adult dinner tickets.
* Smoky Mountain Opry – $10.00 off adult dinner tickets.
* Mel’s Diner – 10% off.
* Reagan’s House of Pancakes – 25% off entire meal.
* Shoney’s – 15% off all food and beverages.
* Elvis and Hollywood Legends Museum – Free admission.
* The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel – Wheel ticket discount of $7.00.
* Titanic Museum Attraction – $5.00 off box office rate.
* Country Tonite Theatre – $15.00 off each adult in your party. Kids 12 and under are free.
* Alamo Steakhouse – 20% off for active duty or veteran military officers, police officers and firefighters.
* Bennetts BBQ – 20% off for active duty or veteran military officers, police officers and firefighters.
* Big Daddy’s Pizzeria – 20% off for active duty or veteran military officers, police officers and firefighters.
* Firehouse Subs – $2.00 off any medium or large sub sandwich.
* Mad Dog Creamery – 20% off for active duty or veteran military officers, police officers and firefighters.
* Mama’s Farmhouse – 20% off for active duty or veteran military officers, police officers and firefighters.
* Marble Slab Creamery – 15% off.
* Marco’s Pizza – 25% off regular menu price. Some restrictions apply.
* Huck Finn’s Catfish – Free order of fried pickles appetizer per table.
* TopJump Trampoline Park – 25% off to military and their family.
* Incredible Christmas Place – One free pound of fudge with ID.

We welcome all Military past and present to experience the Best Views in the Smokies with our Best Military Discount!