Music not the only feature of the festival
Does the sound of a banjo or a fiddle in a song do your heart good? Has it been a while since you could sing along with the talent at the Grand Ol’ Opry?
Do you live and breathe good ol’ country music?
Then there’s an event for you right here in the Great Smoky Mountains that you simply cannot miss.
Gather up the family and scoot your boots over to Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Once you’re there, it’ll be hard not to tap those boots to the beat this Memorial Day weekend during the second annual Rhythm in the Hills music festival.
The festival kicks off tonight, Friday, May 26 and will be rockin’ Patriot Park through Sunday.
But music is not all Rhythm in the Hills has to offer.
New to Rhythm in the Hills this year is Play USA. While you’re groovin’ to the music, your children will marvel at the various activities geared toward them. Some of the highlights include a Euro Bungee, a mechanical bull, Mickey’s Fun Factory inflatable house, a SpongeBob Squarepants inflatable, a huge inflatable Giant Slide, face painting, a Castle Maze and Noah’s Ark. Children will also enjoy various visitors who will be on-site each day, including Courage the Cowardly Dog, Scooby Doo, Johnny Bravo and Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory. Also on hand for autographs is the one and only Captain Marvel, whose one magic word everyone should be familiar with – Shazam—has kept him out of trouble for many years.
Also new to the event this year is “Cash for the Clinic” charity auction. During the festival, ticketholders will be able to bid on the following: Artist meet-and-greet passes; signed items by the performers; vacation packages; and several unique and one-of-a-kind items. Monies raised during this auction will benefit Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic (MHGSC) in Sevierville. MHGSC provides medical and dental services to the working uninsured residents of Sevier County. The charges for providing services are based on the income of the individual. MHGSC operates solely on donations. So ticketholders should check out the items and throw out some good bids.
Another new feature this year is the Wheels & Reels area. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish spending time in this area checking everything out from some “cherry” classic cars to vacation planning.
But you can’t have Rhythm in the Hills without the rhythm. The opening ceremony for all concerts kicks off at 5:30 tonight with Eric Littleton on center stage. At 6:30 p.m., the duo Greenbrier takes the stage for about an hour, and then at 8 p.m. Con Hunley will sing those beloved country tunes his fans know so well. The last concert for the night will be Billy Currington, who begins his jam session at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday’s lineup looks just as exciting as Friday. Musical Siren Savannah Smallwood opens the stage 3 p.m. Saturday, and then at 4, the voluptuous vocals of Kristen Leigh will grace the ears of the music-loving audience. At 5, the well-known group Blue County will take center stage, followed by the trio Trick Pony at 6:30. The ladies will want to break through the crowd to the front to listen to (and maybe watch) the melodies of well-known singer Josh Gracin. Then at 9:30, Blake Shelton will sing many of his well-known tunes to round out the musical entertainment for the night.
On Sunday, the stage opens again at 3 p.m. with Greenbrier playing a second gig during Rhythm in the Hills. The folks from Country Tonite begin their performance at 4. Chely Wright will burst on the scene with her songbird voice at 5, followed by country music great Neal McCoy at 6:30. Dierks Bentley begins his jam session at 8, and superstar Dwight Yoakam will round out the evening and the weekend. All times are subject to change.
Tickets will be available all three days of the event. Bring your own lawn chair and pick your spot in the open General Admission area. These seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis each day of the festival. A one-day ticket for any day is $48. A two-day ticket (must be consecutive days) is $68, and a ticket for the whole weekend is $88.
There’s one more thing new about the 2006 festival—children under age 13 are free! They will need a ticket to enter, but they will not be charged as long as they enter with a paying adult (one free child per paying adult, free ticket available only for general admission seating).All gates open 5 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Gates close at midnight all three days of the event.