75 families will get free gasoline and other giveaways as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebreates its 75th Summer in 2009.
When Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened near Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in 1934, travelers could get 25 gallons of gasoline for what it costs to buy just one gallon today.
“Pigeon Forge has 10 million visitors each year,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. The city will award 75 families each a $75 fuel card, a $75 parkway attractions pass, a list of 75 fun activities in Pigeon Forge, Dolly Parton’s tribute CD to the Smokies called “Sha-Kon-O-Hey!,” and two tickets to the Dollywood theme park.
Registration for the “Parkway to the Park” packages is online at www.PF75.com . Registration ends July 15, 2009.
One of only a handful of free national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited of all (nine million visitors in 2008). The park, by design, is a major economic engine for the region, and many of its visitors land for a while in Pigeon Forge.