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Ober Gatlinburg welcomes tubers early

Ober Gatlinburg welcomes tubers early

Just in time for the Thanksgiving crowds, Ober Gatlinburg opened up their snow tubing track Friday.

This weekend is the earliest the resort has ever been able to accumulate enough snow for tubers.

"We're one of the first tubing operations to open in the United States," said John Cossaboom, Director of Winter Sports for Ober Gatlinburg.

Ober has invested in new technology called Snow Magic that allows them to make snow even when it's warm. They have been making the ice chips that give the appearance of snow since September.

Russell fools audience at Dixie Stampede

Russell fools audience at Dixie Stampede

Jimbo Whaley with The Dixie Stampede asked Russell to come and take part in a production of their Christmas show. It was a chance to show just how spectacular the show is.  And for Russell to ride a camel.

The plan was for Russell to to be one of the wise men in the nativity scene. First, he had to get used to riding a camel. After a wobbly start, Russell managed to get the hang of things. Dressed in an amazing costume, he was almost unrecognizable to the audience until he was introduced at the end of the show.

Snow tubing season starting in Smokies

Snow tubing season starting in Smokies

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- Add Smoky Mountain snow tubing to the list of things improved by new technology.

Ober Gatlinburg is set to open its snow tubing runs on Friday. The Gatlinburg company, which has offered skiing in Tennessee for 50 years, said the opening is earlier than usual and the first of this season in the Southeast.

According to a news release, Ober Gatlinburg's new snow-making process doesn't require temperatures below freezing. That allowed the resort to begin creating white stuff for its runs on the last day of summer, Sept. 21.

Sevier Co. High School students honor veterans with Smoky Salutes program

Sevier Co. High School students honor veterans with Smoky Salutes program

With Veterans Day just a few days away, students in Sevier County took part in an annual tradition that salutes our military heroes. Sevier County High School hosted their 20th annual Smoky Salutes program.

Both active duty personnel and veterans from every branch were honored during the ceremony. Two World War II veterans were also on hand to take in the experience.

The school's choir, band, and a few soloists performed patriotic songs, and the school's principal says they're thrilled to do it.

East Tennesseans honor veterans leading up to Veterans Day

East Tennesseans honor veterans leading up to Veterans Day

Although Veterans Day is on Sunday, on Thursday in Oak Ridge the Department of Energy paid tribute to our nation's veterans.

"All those veterans who was a part of this great institution and the freedom that we share, I salute them," said Freddie Owens.

Vietnam War veteran Freddie Owens served as Thursday's featured speaker. He has received nearly a dozen military decorations.

Gatlinburg kicks off Winter Magic festival with chili cookoff

Gatlinburg kicks off Winter Magic festival with chili cookoff

Millions of LED lights filled the Parkway in Gatlinburg as people kicked off a winter tradition. Wednesday marked the 22nd annual Gatlinburg Winter Magic kickoff and chili cookoff.

Restaurants, public service agencies, and retailers were among the dozens of participants in this year's cookoff.

A $10 wristband was required to taste the chili, but a portion of that money will go to Pi Beta Phi Elementary School.

Thousands of people braved the cold and filled the streets of Downtown Gatlinburg.

'Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration' kicks off Monday

'Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration' kicks off Monday

Sevier County kicks off its 24th annual "Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration" on Monday night.

This is a multi-month festival stretching from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

People gathered at the Sevierville Municipal Complex for fun games, music and magic. Families also enjoyed live entertainment, fireworks and kids' games during the day in honor of Winterfest.

Officials will flip the switch on thousands of holiday lights stretching along those areas at 8:00 Monday night.