Tennessee Smokies

Tennessee SmokiesThe Tennessee Smokies play their home games in Kodak, Tn and are the Double-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. Located between Knoxville and Sevierville, Tn in the small town of Kodak is Smokies Park. Smokies Park opened in 2000 and can hold up to 8,000 spectators. Fans knew the team as the Knoxville Smokies prior to 2000.

The “Smokies” nickname refers to the Great Smoky Mountains, which the town of Kodak lays at the foot of. The Smoky Mountains got their name because of its hazy mist that gives the appearance of smoke rising from the mountains. It was named “Shaconage” for the blue-gray haze by the Cherokee centuries ago.

Prior to 2005, the Smokies were the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and prior to that were affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cardinals later purchased the El Paso Diablos, which had been the Arizona Diamondbacks’ AA affiliate, and the Diamondbacks retained the Smokies as their new AA affiliate. The Chicago Cubs reached a deal with the Smokies through the 2008 season on September 21, 2006. That deal was renewed before the 2009 season and ran until this year – 2012 being the final year of this current deal.

The Smokies’ 2013 regular season schedule was released recently and starts out with a road trip to Florida. On Thursday, April 4, the Smokies travel to play the Pensacola Blue Wahoos before opening at Smokies Park on Wednesday, April 10, in a series that matches them with the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Tennessee Smokies

The team’s home finale is set to match the Smokies against the Mobile BayBears on Tuesday, August 27 before concluding the season with another divisional series against the Chattanooga Lookouts on September 2.

As for the best time to catch the team at Smokies Park this coming 2013 season, there are two 10-game homestands. One falls in April and the other in August. The Smokies will also stay out on the road for 10 days in row in May.

For all you fans that get holidays off, be sure to mark these dates on the calendar: May 27 vs. the Huntsville Stars on Memorial Day, June 16 vs. the Mississippi Braves on Father’s Day and July 4 vs. the Huntsville Stars for the Fourth of July Celebration. These dates are also usually promotion nights so be on the lookout for that information as well. As for other holiday dates, Tennessee will be in Jackson for Mother’s Day (May 12) and Chattanooga for Labor Day (September 2) respectively.

In all, 140 games will be played as part of the 2013 season with start times being announced at another time. For additional information, please call the Smokies front office at (865) 286-2300.

Corn Mazes

What’s better than the fall colors cascading down the mountains as summer slowly turns into crisp autumn nights? I know what most of you were thinking and that’s nothing really, especially when you’re talking about fall. And that’s OK, but for some fall brings the outdoor fun of corn mazes in all different shapes and sizes. In the Great Smoky Mountains, there are quite a few of these attractions beginning with the Kyker Farms Corn Maze in Sevierville. It’s a great way to enjoy the autumn air and snuggle up to fire with smores and hot chocolate afterward.

So on with our list, here are some of the best corn mazes, as well as haunted corn mazes, in the Smokies – Tennessee and North Carolina:

Kyker's Corn Maze

Kyker Farms Corn Maze – Located in Sevierville, TN, this 5 acre maze runs from September 21 – October 28 with a haunted portion opening in October, running on Friday and Saturday nights through the end of the month. Kyker also features a “Tater Tot” maze for small children, a pumpkin patch, hay rides and much much more. There is also a petting critter barn and straw crawl for the kids. Check out Kyker Farm’s Website for up to date times and events. Located at 938 Alder Branch Road, Sevierville, TN  37876. Phone: (865)679-4848

Fender Farms Corn Maze

Fenders Farm Corn Maze – Head northeast to Tennessee’s oldest town – Jonesborough, and experience the corn maze at Fender’s Farm. The maze opens on September 14 and runs through November 14. There, you’ll find a haunted maze, animal shows, playground, milking parlor, calf roping, a cow train, horseshoes, wagon rides, and a zipline. If you can’t find something to do and entertain you at Fender Farms, well, you’re out of luck. Located at 254 Highway 107 in Jonesborough, TN or visit their website at fendersmaze.com.

Blue Ridge Corn Maze

Blue Ridge Corn Maze – The Blue Ridge Corn Maze in Brevard, NC boasts 6 acres of “Corn-fusion”, opens in July and operates through the end of October. *By appointment only July – August. They claim that their haunted maze is one of the best in the western North Carolina area. Located at 1605 Everett Rd. in Pisgah Forest, NC, they have tents for large parties and pumpkins and Black Angus beef for sale. Visit their website at blueridgecornmaze.com.

Eliada's Corn Maze

Eliada’s Annual Corn Maze – Eliada’s annual corn maze is a 12 acre maze and Western North Carolina’s largest. Besides a maze, come play with corn cannons, take a hay ride, a cow train, play in the giant sandbox filled with corn, ride a giant tube slides, and so much more! The maze will open September 7th and remain open each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 28th. The maze will open from 4-9 on Fridays, 10-9 on Saturdays, and 11-8 on Sundays. Contact Nora Scheff at 828.254.5356 x 303 or via email at nscheff@eliada.org.