PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. —With Cal Ripken, Jr. leading the way, Pigeon Forge’s new Music in the Mountains spring parade is set for May 4 at 6 p.m. on the city’s Parkway with entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia plus several new elements to extend the celebration into the weekend.
Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and chairman and cofounder of Ripken Baseball, will serve as parade grand marshal this year.
“Cal Ripken, Jr. has proven himself and his organization to be a perfect fit for Pigeon Forge,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster. “Cal and Pigeon Forge share the same family values, and not only is he a baseball legend, but he’s such a positive role model for young people. He’s invested many resources in our city, the most important of which is his own time spent here mentoring young people. That’s why Pigeon Forge is so proud to have Cal as our Music in the Mountains spring parade grand marshal.”
The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge, a $22.5 million youth baseball facility, opened on March 9, 2016. In just two years, hundreds of baseball teams from across the country—as far away as Alaska—have played on the facilities six turf fields.
“It is an honor to serve as grand marshal for such an iconic and celebrated event. I look forward to welcoming the Pigeon Forge community and those visiting this beautiful city to the Music in the Mountains spring parade,” said Ripken.
Ripken will lead the way on a new grand marshal float, designed to honor the scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with a nod to the area’s deep musical roots.
Also new for 2018 are four larger-than-life-sized cold-air balloons. Three depict popular children’s characters—the Pajaminals, Daniel the Tiger and Yogi Bear. A fourth, a baseball measuring 10-feet in diameter, recognizes the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge.
In keeping with the Music in the Mountains parade theme, free bluegrass entertainment will be featured throughout the city on Friday and Saturday—with a few memory-making surprise performances that are sure to draw a crowd. Dank Strangers will perform on Friday (May 4) from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. from the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage at The Island while local favorite Jim Smith takes the stage at the Gazebo at the Old Mill on Saturday (May 5) from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission to both concerts is free.
The Music in the Mountains spring parade begins at traffic light 6 on the Pigeon Forge Parkway and travels north to traffic light 3.
To register for Pigeon Forge’s Music in the Mountains Spring Parade or for more information, please visit MyPigeonForge.com/parade.