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About the Valley

Welcome to the first issue of 2007. We hope this new year will be happy and prosperous for you and your family. This issue includes some February events coming to Pigeon Forge and Townsend. There is also some new information about the cabins.


Pigeon Forge

The Annual Smoky Mountain Storytelling Festival will be held February 1-3, 2007, at the Country Tonite Theater, 129 Showplace Boulevard, Pigeon Forge. When you attend this unique festival, you will hear exciting storytelling featuring some of the top storytellers in the country. You can also learn tips and secrets for improving your own skills at the educational workshops.
For more information, visit www.countrytonitetheater.com or call 1-800-792-4308.
Enjoy the 6th Annual Saddle Up! Celebration at various locations in Pigeon Forge from February 22-25, 2007. This weekend promises special activities, cowboy poetry, music, and dances. There will be songwriter workshops, a vendor mall, dinner theater, and more.
For more information, contact Office of Special Events, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Phone: 800-251-9100.


The opening of the Smoky Mountain Zorb attraction is tentatively scheduled for April. More news to come in the next issue of About the Valley!


The following events will be held at the Townsend Visitors Center:
February 3 - Soap Making Class
February 10 - Hand Sewn Bear Making Class
February 24 - Corn Shusk Doll Making Class
For more information, call 865-448-6134.


Laurel Glen Cabin
Pine Cone Lodge

This is a great time of year to rent one of our cabins. From now through March 15, winter rates are in effect (Laurel Glen $179 per night for 2 adults; Pine Cone Lodge $249 per night for 4 adults; additional adults are $12 each per night for both cabins).

Also our management company, has their special Winterfest Rates in effect through March 31. Pay for 2 to 4 nights and receive 1 additional night free or pay for 5 nights or more and receive 2 additional nights free.


We try to keep the family movie selections current in both our cabins. As new DVDs are released, we make them available for guests to enjoy. This month we have added two new movies:

Gridiron Gang, starring The Rock and Xzibit

The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, and Sela Ward


We also added a slow cooker to the kitchen appliances at both of the cabins. When you have a large group, a slow cooker makes it easy to prepare a meal, even while you are out having fun.

Here is a great recipe you can use at your next visit:

Easy Crockpot Chili

1 lb. Ground round
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
2 cans (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 envelope McCormick chili seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
2 teaspoons child powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a skillet and drain. Add to slow cooker/crockpot along with rest of ingredients. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

For a really delicious southern meal, serve with cornbread:

Buttermilk Cornbread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Mix all together and pour into greased baking dish. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

When we all get together, we always enjoy this recipe for onion dip that I learned from my Grandmother:

2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese
1 medium sized onion, chopped (do not grate or it will be bitter)
Mayonnaise (approximately ½ cup, with more or less for desired creaminess)
Couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Soften cream cheese and mix all together with a mixer until a smooth, creamy consistency. We enjoy this with chips, crackers, or vegetables. We hope you will enjoy it with your family also.

Thanks for subscribing to About the Valley. We look forward to bringing you more news next month. As always, if you have any questions or comments or want to share your favorite place to visit in the Smoky Mountains, e-mail us at .

Chestnut Ridge Cabins