Celebrate The New Year At Tennessee State Parks

Friday, December 21, 2012 - by Shannon Ashford

Make plans now to ring in 2013 with a number of special New Year’s Eve celebrations at Tennessee State Parks inns and restaurants, including dinner buffets, holiday room discounts, music and dancing.  

New Year’s Eve dinner will be served Dec. 31 at Cumberland Mountain, Montgomery Bell, Paris Landing and Pickwick Landing state parks. This special dinner will include a variety of entrees, dessert and a select variety of beers, wines and champagne. Seating times and prices will vary by park, and reservations are encouraged. Montgomery Bell, Paris Landing and Pickwick Landing also will be offering a New Year’s Day Brunch as an additional holiday dining option. 

In addition, the park inns at Montgomery Bell, Paris Landing and Pickwick Landing are offering special room packages for the holiday. Details for individual park festivities across the state include: 

East / Middle Tennessee

Cumberland Mountain will serve its Traditional Southern Smoked Rib Buffet on Dec. 31. Reservations are available for two seatings:  5:30 p.m. or 7 p.m.  The buffet will feature hand-carved prime rib, smoked pork loin with dressing, chicken cordon bleu with rice pilaf, steamed vegetables, baked potato bar with all the fixings and tossed salad; and for dessert, Tennessee cheesecake and chocolate sauce-kissed chocolate raspberry cake with vanilla ice cream.  Reservations will be accepted until Dec. 26. The buffet price is $39.95 per couple and $19.95 per person plus tax, tip and drink. Please contact Cumberland Mountain State Park for reservations or additional information at 931 484-6138. 

Middle Tennessee

Montgomery Bell State Park is offering three great New Year’s Eve packages.  For those wishing to ring in the New Year in an intimate environment, Montgomery Bell is offering three special inn packages. For only $144.81 (including taxes and gratuity) Package #1 includes a lakeview room, a New Year’s Eve candlelight dinner for two, a special room gift and a 2 p.m. checkout. For an additional $30 plus tax, Package #2 includes all of the above in addition to a midnight breakfast.  For an additional $30 plus tax, Package #3 includes a New Year’s Day brunch for two.

Dinner will be served at Montgomery Bell Dec. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include several menu choices - such as shrimp cocktail, delicious salads, rib eye, grilled salmon or pork tenderloin medallions, assorted sides and desserts. Prices are $39.95 per couple (plus tax and gratuity). A late night breakfast is offered from 9 p.m. to midnight featuring scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy for $35 per couple. Start 2013 off with Montgomery Bell’s tranquil New Year’s Day Brunch overlooking Acorn Lake from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 1. Prices are $12.50 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Please contact Montgomery Bell State Park for reservations or for additional information at (800) 250-8613.

West Tennessee

Ring in the New Year at Paris Landing State Park with a New Year’s Eve 2013 Celebration! Spend Dec. 31 enjoying the beauty of Paris Landing State Park and as the sun sets, tour the festive light displays sponsored by groups in the local community.

Later that evening, guests can put on their dancing shoes and groove to the Syndicate of Soul band.  Event tickets are $25 per person or $200 a table, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of Paris Landing. Tickets can be purchased at the downtown and Lake-area branches of the Foundation Bank, Fish Tale Lodge and the Paris Winery. 

To make the evening even more special, take advantage of Paris Landing’s New Year’s Eve Dinner and Room Package.  The $129 package includes one double-occupancy inn room for two, two New Year’s Eve dinner buffets and two New Year’s Day breakfast buffets. 

The New Year’s Eve dinner buffet will be served Dec. 31 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include chef-carved beef brisket, sliced stuffed pork loin, fried shrimp, Southern-fried catfish, assorted vegetables, salads and desserts.  The New Year’s Day breakfast buffet on Jan. 1 will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both buffets are open to the public. For the dinner buffet, the price is $15.95 per person plus drink and tax; for the breakfast buffet, the price is $7.95 per person plus drink and tax. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve dance can also be purchased separately. Please contact 800 250-8614 or 731 642-4311 for reservations or additional information.

“Wanted: Cowboys & Cowgirls for Pickwick Posse” is the theme of Pickwick Landing State Park’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Dec. 31.  A $250 couples’ package includes inn room accommodations, dinner, dancing and a midnight toast. Live entertainment provided by Magi, party favors and a delicious New Year’s Day Brunch will complete the festivities. Co-sponsored by Team Hardin County, western wear attire is requested. For more information and to make reservations, call 800 552-3866 or 731 925-8181.

An all-you-can-eat dinner buffet will be served at Pickwick Landing from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, featuring roast beef, pork tenderloin, salad bar and a variety of vegetables, side items and desserts. The price, if purchased separately, is $17.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. On Jan. 1, the New Year’s Day breakfast buffet will include everything from country ham to roasted chicken and black-eye peas for good luck!  The price for the breakfast buffet is $10.95 per person plus drink and tax.

Tennessee State Parks will also sponsor free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day in commemoration of its 75th anniversary. Each state park will host its own special hike in the first few days of the New Year and detailed information will be released in the coming week. 

Tennessee's 54 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937.  Today, there is a state park within an hour's drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices. 

For more information about Tennessee State Parks, please visit www.tnstateparks.com. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call 888 867-2757. 


TVRM’s Historic Steam Locomotive #4501 Is Ready For Tennessee Valley Railfest

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) on Wednesday announced the return of its iconic Steam Locomotive 4501 to operation. TVRM has been restoring Locomotive 4501 over the past three  years and she will make her public debut at Tennessee Valley Railfest on Sept. 6 and 7.  The locomotive last ran in 1998 and has patiently waited for a complete overhaul.  ... (click for more)

Rock Out Labor Day And Beyond In Tennessee

 If there’s one place travelers can get a music smorgasbord, it’s Tennessee. In each corner of the state and areas in between, music rooted in bluegrass, rock, soul, country, and gospel can be heard from porches in small towns to concert stadiums in burgeoning cities. From the nation’s biggest Labor Day celebration in Knoxville to celebrating local and national talent in Nashville ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)