Planned tours and events
(Use the convention registration form to sign up for any of these exciting tours)
Knoxville, Tennessee and
the Great Smoky Mountains
> Cades Cove
Your guide around Cades Cove will be Dwight McCarter, a retired US Park Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains. Dwight is a master hiker, both on and off trail, rescuer, author of three books, humorist, and entertaining person. Don’t miss this opportunity for his company. Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archaeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored 18th and 19th century structures. An inexpensive, self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the road provides in-depth information about the buildings and the people who built and used them.
An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area’s trails. Traffic is heavy during the tourist season in summer and fall and on weekends year-round. While driving the loop road, please be courteous to other visitors and use pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or view wildlife.
A visitor center (open daily), restrooms, and the Cable Mill historic area are located halfway around the loop road. Numerous trails originate in the cove, including the five-mile roundtrip trail to Abrams Falls and the short Cades Cove Nature Trail. Longer hikes to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top (made famous by the popular song) also begin in the cove. Several designated backcountry campsites (camping by permit only) are located along trails. Only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road until 10 AM every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. Otherwise the road is open to motor vehicles from sunrise until sunset daily, weather permitting
Time: Meet in Hotel Lobby at 8:30 AM for bus departure at 8:45 AM
Return to Hotel approximately 3:45 PM.
Cost: $35 per person – includes a Box Lunch
> Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Trip
*REGISTER EARLY *
Harrah's Cherokee Casino offers restaurants to satisfy every culinary whim. The new gaming space ensures that your favorite games are always in plentiful supply. Harrah's Cherokee features lots of slots and video poker machines of every imaginable design. Harrah's Cherokee provides a number of the newest and hottest slots on the market, including ever-popular progressive machines. The casino also caters to the table games player, by offering an array of games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Caribbean Stud and Let It Ride.
Location: Harrah’s Casino, Cherokee, NC
Time: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (bus will depart Harrah’s at 1:45 PM)
Cost: $35 (Only 28 seats available)
SIGN UP EARLY AND SPEND AN ENJOYABLE DAY.
WE WILL BE BACK IN PLENTY OF TIME TO ENJOY THE PRAYER DINNER
> Annual Prayer Dinner
An evening meal of fellowship among equals with some of God’s nourishment thrown in. Chaplain Fr. Don Seeks
Menu: “The Little Italy Buffet”
Traditional Caesar Salad, Mozzarella & Tomato Caprese Salad, Pasta Bar with Marinara & Alfredo Sauce, Italian Sausage & Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Sautéed Zucchini & Squash, Italian Green Beans, House Rolls & Butter, Gourmet Coffee & Iced Tea.
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Cost: $35 per person
Location: In the hotel’s Lower Level (to be announced at the reunion)
> 37th Annual General Farman Golf Tournament
Tennessee Centennial Golf Course, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
The Tennessee Centennial Golf Course is a local public course. It is a Gary Roger Baird designed course of 6,144 yards off the green tees. The course is about a 35-minute drive from the Holiday Inn Hotel in downtown Knoxville. The 18-hole Golf Course is a par of 71.
Calloway handicap system for scoring –prizes include several closest to pin, long drive and other nominal competitions.
Time: Meet in Lobby at 7:30 AM for car pool departure
Tee times begin at approximately 9 AM.
(Plan a 30-35 minute drive to Centennial Golf Complex)
Cost: $45 (includes green fee & cart) On your own for lunch in the snack bar.
Rental Clubs: $35
> Gotta Know Knoxville City Tour
This tour will entertain you with the highlights of the central city’s most attractive and interesting sites. Starting just out the door of our hotel is a visit to the World’s Fair Park and a memorial to fallen service men and women of all wars from Knox and surrounding counties. From there we will board our buses for a stop at the Museum of East Tennessee in the historic Customs House. We then walk across the street to one of the few remaining ornate Spanish-Moorish theatres. The Tennessee Theatre was built as a movie and legitimate theatre. After a $30 million restoration it reopened in 2005 as a performing arts venue for opera, symphony, movies and all performances. A highlight will be our theatre guide, Dr. Bill Snyder, UT Professor Emeritus of music. He will perform for us on a rare original Wurlitzer organ, which was refurbished as part of the total restoration. We will then lunch at award-winning Calhoun’s On The River on world famous BBQ and sides. Afterwards we will visit Blount Mansion, also known as the birthplace of Tennessee, wherein the 16th State of Tennessee was formed in 1796. It was built in 1792 by William Blount who was appointed by President George Washington to be President of the U. S. south of the Ohio River. Our next and final outing is to Island Home Airport to be hosted by Stan Brock of worldwide fame as host of TV’s Animal Kingdom. Stan is organizer of the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, on which he flies a C47 Gooney Bird on disaster missions with doctors, nurses and medical supplies. There will be shown and explained other notable locations without stops.
Cost: $39 per person, includes a BBQ Lunch
Time: 8:45 AM - Return around 4 PM (in time to make the Riverboat dinner cruise).
> Knoxville Riverboat Friday Night Dinner Cruise
The Star of Knoxville is an authentic paddle-wheeler with a capacity of 285 passengers. The main deck seats 144 passengers and is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two (2) bars, a dance floor and band stage. The atmosphere is functional as a casual clothes type of event for our AF Communicators & Air Traffic Controllers annual reunion in 2013.
Get ready to dance the night away on our Deluxe Dinner Cruise. This is an elegant and romantic cruise for this very special occasion. Entertainment consists of Jazz and/or contemporary music for our listening and dancing pleasure. This deluxe dinner cruise will feature a delicious Slow Roasted Prime Rib Buffet with Baked Breast of Chicken, Tossed Garden Salad, Baked Potato, Fresh Garden Vegetables, Green Beans, Fresh Baked Rolls, Coffee, Tea, and a dessert. There is a pay-as-you-go bar for beverages.
Cost: $49 per person
Times: Bus will leave hotel by 6 PM and board riverboat by 6:30 PM. Cruise: 7 PM to 9 PM and return to hotel by 9:30 PM
> On-your-own visit to Market Square
NO COST – ENJOY GREAT STORES AND EATERIES
The Market Square Farmers’ Market is an open-air market located on Market Square in the heart of downtown Knoxville. Everything at the market is grown or made by the vendor in the East Tennessee region. Products vary by the seasons and include produce, eggs, honey, herbs, free-range meat, bread, baked goods, salsas, and coffee and artisan crafts. There are unique shops in the square and on nearby Gay Street. With interactive fountains, delicious local food and entertainment, the market is a perfect family destination. Knoxville’s Market Square area is host to an eclectic blend of culinary delights, has a variety of stores to suit your shopping needs with friendly merchants ready to assist you and features two water play fountains for the kids. Market Square is adjacent to the scenic Krutch Park.
> Additional Knoxville Sights
Consider all that Knoxville, Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains have to offer and enjoy on your own time
We invite you to a city located on the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a land of epic flowing rivers and a flourishing culture. Within a 30-45 minute drive from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, are resorts with top-notch golf courses, Dollywood, waterparks, music and other amusement parks. Both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are family vacation destinations. So come, find for yourself that the Knoxville area is more than a convention destination.