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If you love classic country music in Pigeon Forge, you should love Tim McAbee.

Tim is the man behind Pigeon Forge’s First Class Productions, the company responsible for lighting up the Parkway with performances by world-famous entertainers like Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap and more. And though he works with some of the biggest names in the business, he remains humble about his role.

lorettalynnPF.jpg“It’s always an honor to work with these legendary artists,” Tim said in a recent phone interview. “They really have paved the way for today’s artists.”

Tim has been involved in the country music industry since his college days in Nashville. His career has since spanned two decades, and he officially launched First Class Productions in 1999.

The lifelong country music fan says he was inspired to bring these big stars to Pigeon Forge for a variety of reasons, but it all boils down to his love for the classic country genre.

“Even as a kid, I appreciated traditional country music,” Tim said. “It’s where my heart is as a fan and a promoter.”

His appreciation is good news for music fans coming to the Great Smoky Mountains. All of the First Class Productions shows for the 2014 season will take place at the Country Tonite Theatre, the beautiful music palace located at 129 Showplace Boulevard here in Pigeon Forge. Tim is pleased to have partnered with the perfect venue for his concerts.

roots-and-boots7777.jpg“Country Tonite Theatre is a great place to see these artists,” Tim said. “It’s big enough to bring in the big, national acts, but small enough so that fans can see the artist up close.”

And fans are truly in luck. The 2014 line up is certainly star-studded, and gives lovers of old-time country music a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see some of the industry’s biggest names in an intimate setting here in charming Pigeon Forge. The show season officially launches next week and includes:
  • Loretta Lynn – 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 27
  • “Roots & Boots Tour” with Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie and Sammy Kershaw – 8 p.m. on Friday, May 23
  • The Oak Ridge Boys – 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 14
  • Mark Chesnutt – 8 p.m. on Friday, July 4
  • Steve Wariner – 8 p.m. on Friday, July 25
  • Ronnie McDowell and Billy Joe Royal – 8 p.m. on Friday, August 22
  • “The Three Generations Acoustic Tour” with Bobby Bare, John Anderson and Darryl Worley – 8 p.m. on Friday, September 19
  • Don Williams – 8 p.m. on Friday, October 17 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 18
  • Con Hunley and Jimmy Fortune - 8 p.m. on Friday, November 7
  • Ronnie Milsap – 8 p.m. on Friday, December 5
Tim is thrilled about the upcoming season. He was able to talk Loretta Lynn in to staying overnight and playing an additional matinee show on Sunday, April 27. Though only a few tickets remain for the Saturday show, fans should be able to get seats at the Sunday performance – if they act fast, Tim said.

He’s also happy that he was able to persuade the Oak Ridge Boys into an additional performance on Saturday, June 14 – giving you something special to do with dad on his special weekend.

“It’s Father’s Day weekend,” Tim said. “We thought a lot of people would be in town.”

Tickets for the upcoming celebrity concert series start at just $35, making these shows an affordable way to see some of the worlds’ most influential country artists. For more information about these shows – including ticketing information – click over to www.firstclassconcerts.com. Or call Country Tonite at 865-453-2003.

Are you planning to attend any of these upcoming celebrity concerts? Let us know at the Pigeon Forge Facebook page! While you’re at it, check out the following blog posts for more exciting things to do here in the Great Smoky Mountains:

Posted: 4/16/2014 3:49:17 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments


Who wants to win a FREE Pigeon Forge vacation for the family? Hopefully you would! There are just two weeks left to enter the PigeonForge.com Kids’ Contest!

The contest is open to writers and artists under age 15. We’ve teamed up with a few of our local partners to offer an awesome prize package, including:
All you have to do to win is share your stories from your Spring Break in Pigeon Forge, either in writing or by drawing a picture. Contest entries can be submitted electronically to Laura@PigeonForge.com or by snail mail to:

PigeonForge.com Kids’ Contest
℅ Laura Isaacs
4002 Sutherland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37919

For additional information, including the fine print, click over to PigeonForge.com.

Looking for some inspiration? This is 10-year-old Janae’s entry. Her mom writes:


This is my daughter Janae's entry. She is calling it Cade's Cove Crossing.  Janae is 10 years old.  She is in the 5th grade.  She had fun making her piece.  It reminded us all of our trip to Pigeon Forge last June.  We had so much fun there.  There is just not enough time to do everything!  We made a list of all the things we'd like to do if we ever got the opportunity to come back.

See Cordelia’s PigeonForge.com Kids’ Contest entry here!

Are you ready to help your little one enter the contest? See complete details at the PigeonForge.com Contests and Giveaway page.
Posted: 4/14/2014 2:52:44 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments


If there’s one thing that’s unique to Southern Appalachia, it’s the area’s rich music history and culture. Bluegrass music was born in the region and this twangy style has gone on to inspire generations of musicians and artists.

NPS photo

You’ll have a chance to hear some of the area’s musical legacy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, just inside the Great Smoky Mounains National Park, at the 10th annual Music of the Mountains event. The event is FREE. The line-up of traditional music includes:
  • 10 a.m.: Lost Mill String Band
  • 11 a.m.: Boogertown Gap Band
  • 12 p.m.: Brien Fain
  • 1 & 2 p.m.: Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
  • 3 p.m.: Mountain Strings

For more information about Music of the Mountains, call the Sugarlands Visitor Center at (865) 436-1291. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is one of four centers located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you’ll find a small gift shop, information about park activities and events, nature displays, maps and more. Spring hours at Sugarlands Visitor Center are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center is located inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on U.S.-441.

Looking for more fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains? Check out the PigeonForge.com events calendar for more information on area happenings and events!


Posted: 4/13/2014 1:53:25 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

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