Following a two-year absence, Pigeon Forge’s Music in the Mountains Spring Parade makes a triumphant return on Friday, April 29, at 6 p.m. (EST), with Cal Ripken, Jr. as grand marshal.
The parade will travel the Pigeon Forge Parkway and feature entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia.
Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is chairman and cofounder of Ripken Baseball and president of the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge. The latter is a state-of-the-art youth baseball complex which attracts players and their families for tournaments. Players are treated to a major league experience on its six turf fields.
“It’s great news that the Pigeon Forge Music in the Mountains Spring Parade is returning this year, and it’s even better news that Cal Ripken, Jr. joins us once again as our grand marshal,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster. “Cal and the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge give families so many great reasons to visit Pigeon Forge, and we’re honored to celebrate the positive impact he makes on our community.”
The $22.5 million Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge opened on March 9, 2016. Each year, the facility hosts hundreds of baseball teams from across the country. Teams and their families travel to Pigeon Forge from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico.
"I am honored to once again be a part of the Music in the Mountains Spring Parade," said Cal Ripken, Jr. "Our friends In Pigeon Forge have been wonderful partners and have made us feel like part of the Pigeon Forge family from the start. I look forward to seeing everyone once again and restarting this terrific celebration!"
Ripken will lead the way on the grand marshal float, designed to honor the scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with a nod to the area’s deep musical roots.
In keeping with the Music in the Mountains parade theme, free bluegrass entertainment will be featured on Saturday, April 30. The Ole Smoky Moonshine stage at The Island in Pigeon Forge will feature Firewater Junction at noon and Monroeville at 5 p.m. The Gazebo in Old Mill Square will feature Boogertown Gap from 5:30 to 7:30 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.
About Cal Ripken, Jr.—Known as baseball’s “Iron Man” for playing in a world-record 2,632 consecutive games, Ripken spent 21 seasons in the major leagues and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Since his retirement, Ripken uses the platform that baseball has provided him to help grow the game through Ripken Baseball and its youth complexes located in Maryland, South Carolina and Tennessee, while placing a strong focus on giving back to underserved communities through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.