PIGEON FORGE A parade saluting America s veterans, local entertainers and the illumination of 5 million lights await visitors to Pigeon Forge on Tuesday for Winterfest kickoff.
Activities that day start a celebration that continues through Feb. 26, with holiday shows, light displays and award-winning special events.
Dollywood entertainer James Rogers will perform before Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, helps flip a switch to illuminate the city s array of Winterfest lights. Entertainer Phil Campbell will emcee the evening s program.
A brief fireworks display will add a special accent to the illumination.
Winterfest Kickoff begins at 4:30 p.m. when the first Pigeon Forge Salute to Veterans Parade steps onto the Parkway. It begins at Jehu Street and will proceed north to Patriot Park, lasting approximately one hour.
After the parade concludes, Cub Scouts will present the colors and lead spectators in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor David Wear will then introduce Grinder.
A troupe from the Grand Majestic Theater will offer a special tribute to veterans, and the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus will perform before Rogers takes the stage.
Winterfest Kickoff festivities at Patriot Park include a play area for children and food vendors benefiting local charities. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs. The lighting of the Winterfest displays is anticipated soon after 8 p.m.
Some of the military vehicles in the parade will remain in Patriot Park that evening for inspection, and the city s Fun Time Trolleys will offer complimentary rides on the Trolley Tour of Lights that night.