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Smokey Mountain Cabin Cook Off to feature Pea Pickin’ Hearts

pea pickin hearts
Pea Pickin' Hearts will be the featured entertainment at this year's Smokey Mountain Cabin Cook Off

GATLINBURG, TN - Last year’s inaugural Smokey Mountain Cabin Cook Off was a great success and will be held again this year on Tuesday, March 24th, between 5:30 and 7:30 PM, at the Park Vista Hotel, 705 Cherokee Orchard Road, Gatlinburg. The public is invited to participate in fundraising festivities to benefit the Lucinda Oakley Ogle Cabin project. Admission is $10 per person which includes tasting of all entries. The event is being held to raise awareness of Lucinda Oakley Ogle's dedication toward preserving the heritage of the mountain folk who called the Great Smokey Mountains home. Lucinda, a founding member of the Gatlinburg Garden Club, was instrumental in the conservation of the area’s natural beauty and resources as well as in the preservation of the mountain folk’s cultural heritage.

Entertainment will be provided by Pea Pickin’ Hearts, an Appalachian/Americana music duo, influenced by the sounds of the 1940s & 50s. The duo has recently performed at many venues across the southeast from Virginia to South Carolina and are in demand for their down-home, relaxed entertainment.

In a recent interview, lead singer Rachel Gibson, said, "The name “Pea Pickin’ Hearts” is a reference to none other than Tennessee Ernie Ford’s famous line “Bless your Pea Pickin’ Heart. We have a lot of odd connections to Ernie. My mother was judged Sophomore Beauty by Tennessee Ernie Ford in High School. Jon does the best cover of “Sixteen Tons” I’ve ever heard. The name is a tribute to my history with Jon and our adopted TN home. Jon came from Wisconsin and I grew up in Georgia and we met in South Carolina where Jon was in public school music. From there we ended up coming to Gatlinburg to visit The Smokies and we just never left.”

“I learned to sing harmonies in choirs at both church and school then studied a little opera, but I learned most of what I know by listening to Patsy Cline sing. I love her stylization. I’ve never heard anyone convey heart and heartache quite like that.” The husband and wife team will be doing songs made popular by Patsy Cline and other well remembered country vocalists.

There are two categories for the cook off competition: ‘Soups’ and ‘Cakes’. The cook off is open to both amateurs and professional chefs. There will be cash prizes awarded in each of the categories in each division as well as First, Second, and Third Place ribbons.

Lucinda Ogle’s historic cabin was first built on Bluff Mountain from virgin 150-year old timbers. In the late 1950’s, it was dismantled and relocated to Ski Mountain Road, Gatlinburg. When the Ski Mountain Road property was sold, the cabin was dismantled once again. Today, the cabin is being re-purposed for use in preserving the rich heritage of the folk who have called the Great Smoky Mountain home long before the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A memorial will be erected on a site near the Gatlinburg Welcome Center recognizing Lucinda’s contributions to her community and its heritage.

The welcome center is located at the entrance to the city of Gatlinburg near Wiley Oakley Drive, which is appropriately named in honor of Lucinda’s father, Wiley Oakley, who was an ambassador for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during its formation. Thanks, in part, to Wiley Oakley and his ability, with his wit, to weave tales about the unique people who called these mountains home, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the only national park whose focus is on the people - not only on the forests that sheltered them. It is the heritage of these mountain people which will be the preserved through the Lucinda Oakley Ogle Cabin project.

Published March 22, 2015

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