Unless you're heading to the latest promotion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, all roads lead to Soddy-Daisy for festivalgoers this weekend.

Craft shows at Trojan Hall and Mountain Heights Venue will look ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Pioneer Day at Poe's Tavern will hearken back to the past.

The sixth annual Pioneer Day, which celebrates area history, is hosted by the city of Soddy-Daisy and the Soddy, Daisy & Montlake Historical Association.

Poe's Tavern was the first seat of Hamilton County government in 1819. The original log cabin served as a way station for 1,900 Cherokees on the Trail of Tears in 1838 and as a hospital for, at different times, Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War.

Activities will include a Civil War encampment, blacksmithing, quilting, open-fire cooking in the cabin, making homemade cider using an 1877 cider press, shelling corn with an antique sheller, basket making, log splitting and hewing using broad axes, wood carving and a display of locally made Soddy rifles. Re-enactors from Tennesseans for Living History, whose members include a Robert E. Lee impersonator, also will be in attendance.

Steve Smith, president of the historical association, said a moonshine still will be on display, but there will be no shine to drink.

"One of the guys in the historical association has made one from bits and pieces he's picked up at different places," Smith said. It's hard to find anything more than bits and pieces, he said. Larger pieces of a vintage still will have "ax marks all in them where the revenuers destroyed them."

At Mountain Heights Venue, the Fall and Christmas Market will be weighted heavily toward the latter season, said Courtney Neighbors, facility director.

"It's going to be a really Christmasy vibe," she said. "I think more people are leaning toward [shopping for] Christmas than fall."


NOV. 7

* Fall and Christmas Market: Mountain Heights Venue, 1298 Hendon Road, Soddy-Daisy (atop Flat Top Mountain). Second annual event features 50 vendors, food trucks and mini photo sessions, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission.

* Pioneer Day: Poe’s Tavern Historical Park, 9835 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy. Re-enactments of old-time skills, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. 423-718-0528

NOV. 7-8

* Thanksgiving/Fall Festival: Trojan Hall, 10838 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy. Thirty craft and commercial vendors over two days, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Santa photos Saturday only ($10). Free admission.

NOV. 7-JAN. 3

* Smoky Mountain Christmas: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. More than 5 million lights, award-winning shows, food treats, fireworks. $79 ($69 children and seniors).


Nooga Vintage Car Services will supply a collection of vehicles for photography sessions. Those options will include the chance to pose in the back of a vintage pickup while flakes drift down from a snow machine, Neighbors said.

Games for kids will be set up in the front yard, and several food trucks will be on site for concessions. Door prizes include a Honey Baked Ham gift certificate.

Neighbors said the multiple double doors at the venue will be open to circulate air, and vendors will be set up inside and out.

"We have them spread out so it will be really easy to navigate through," she said.

At Trojan Hall, 30 vendors will sell an array of fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas items.

"It's pretty much like a craft festival with commercial merchandise as well," said organizer Andrea Hayes Smith.

She said this weekend's show will feature different crafters and vendors over the two days, with merchandise including wreaths, wood decor, apparel, jewelry, soap, pet products, mani/pedi products, handmade blankets, reborn dolls, Avon and CBD products. There will be face painting for the kids as well as chair massages for adults. Foods will include gelato, hot cocoa, baked goods "and the best fudge ever," Smith said.

Santa will be available for professionally made photos on Saturday. Price is $10.

Trojan Hall is on Dayton Pike in the old Brown's Tax Service building. Owner Carlain Hicks said she and her husband had planned to feature weekly singing performances like the Mountain Opry on Signal Mountain at the venue, but the sale went through in March "and then the pandemic hit."

At Smith's urging, Hicks has pivoted to festivals and other one-time events. More vendor festivals are scheduled in December and January as well as seasonal craft classes.

In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Smoky Mountain Christmas will power up 5 million lights and award-winning shows at Dollywood beginning Saturday. New this year are fireworks displays to close out each evening. The seasonal display ends Jan. 3.

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