This week, if you’re staying with us at Timbercreek Cabins, Gatlinburg is probably not your best bet as a destination for an outing, especially considering the road conditions this week. However, it might be more convenient to travel into Pigeon Forge, which will be hosting what has grown into one of the biggest special events to take place in the city each year. The 15th Annual Saddle Up celebration rides into town February 18 through 22, bringing a uniquely fun cowboy-themed experience to these here parts.
This five-day event that celebrates the American West will feature live entertainment by musicians and poets as well as other cowboy-themed activities like dances, cook-offs and even a church service. Most happenings are headquartered at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.
Many of the daily events are free, including Old Time Cowboy Songs and a Western Swing Fiddle Class on Wednesday, a Western Dance Class on Thursday, Stories & Strings and Tales & Tips From A Cowboy Cook on Friday, Buckaroo Roundup on Saturday and Cowboy Church on Sunday.
Other events are ticketed activities and mostly revolve around the Intimate Evening Dinner Concerts. The dinner shows ($54.88, with tax) have limited seating and feature steak and all the trimmings, served at local venues such as Mama’s Farmhouse and the LeConte Center. There are also several Saddle Up Concerts ($21.95, with tax) scheduled, featuring a wide variety of live music acts.
Other paid admissions include Cowbucks Café at Pigeon River Pottery on Thursday morning, Stories & Strings at Stages West on Friday and the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off and Lunch and the Cowboy Dance on Saturday. Prices range from $5 for the dance to $21.95 for Stories & Strings.
Featured performers this year include:
Baxter Black – This cowboy poet, former veterinarian and current entertainer has traveled the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years, scattering his wit and left-handed observations to those looking for a bright spot in their day.
Wylie & The Wild West – This musical act has spent a quarter-century performing their unique blend of cowboy, swing, folk and yodeling music worldwide. Wylie is the voice of the famous Yahoo! yodel in the TV commercials.
Brenn Hill – This Utah native’s music reveals the heart of the American West to anyone who takes the time to listen. He revisits many of the stories that come from his homeland with a fresh, contemporary and personal twist.
Chuck Pyle – For more than 40 years, this performer has mixed infectiously hummable melodies with straight-from-the-saddle poetry. An accomplished songwriter, his songs have been recorded by John Denver, Suzy Bogguss and many more.
Jean & Gary Prescott – This couple has been entertaining folks from the concert stage, around campfires and in churches all over the country. Their Texas songs go straight to the heart, and the music is always toe-tapping good.
Andy Nelson – This Idaho native is a second-generation farmer with the experience, talent and humor to bring authenticity to every performance. He is a two-time recipient of the Western Music Association’s Male Poet Of The Year award.
Skip Gorman – Skip is a masterful cowboy singer, a fine Western and Celtic fiddler, and one of the country’s premier mandolin players.
T. Scot Wilburn & The Shut Up-N-Playboys – This group draws on their musical influences to play the best in hillbilly swing and Western tunes.
Kent Rollins – This entertainer and chuck wagon cook entertains audiences with his poetry and storytelling about the life and legacy of the cowboy.