Right on Track
Earlier this month, a film crew utilized Tweetsie Railroad's
rustic turn-of-the-century look and railroad depot as the setting for approximately one-third of the
new movie, Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure.
After the directors, cameramen, lead actors and extras left Tweetsie three weeks ago, the theme park has brought in its own crew to make Tweetsie come alive for the 2010 season. Workers have been planting pansies and other plants, practicing dance routines, and getting the park in tip-top shape for its opening weekend.
And now it's here!
Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park opens its gates on the 2010 season on Friday, April 30, at 9 a.m. From then until May 17, Tweetsie will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning May 22, the theme park will be open seven days a week until Aug. 23.
Tweetsie Railroad has been a family fun vacation destination since July 4, 1957. Engine No. 12, built in 1917 and one of two vintage coal-fired steam-powered locomotives at Tweetsie, was originally purchased by singing cowboy Gene Autry in 1953 from a tourist attraction in Virginia called Shenandoah Central Railroad.
After determining that it would be too expensive to ship the engine to his home in Southern California, Autry sold his option on the locomotive to Blowing Rock's Grover C. Robbins for $1. After some intense refurbishing in Hickory, Robbins moved the locomotive to its new home between Boone and Blowing Rock.
These days, old No. 12 Tweetsie and No. 190 The Yukon Queen carry passengers from the theme park's Wild West Main Street to Fort Boone and back several times a day. The ride takes folks over an antique wooden trestle and through some narrow mountain canyons. The smell of the coal-fire burning and the piercing train whistle take folks back to a time nearly forgotten.
In addition to the train ride, Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park features stage shows, such as the Country Clogging Jamboree, Diamond Lil's Can-Can Revue, the Sunset Show, Professor Peppercorn's Magical Extravaganza, and Hopper and Porter's Musical Celebration.
Other attractions include an arcade and shooting gallery, boat rides, carousel, chair lift to Miner's Mountain, gold panning, Mouse Mine Train Ride, petting zoo, Ferris wheel and much more.
When you get hungry at Tweetsie (and you will), you'll be faced with a wide assortment of restaurants and stands, such as the Cowboy Cantina, the Funnel Factory, Miner's Diner, Mountain Ice Cream, Sparky's Barbecue, Tweetsie Fudge Works and more.
Special events for Tweetsie this year include Letterland (May 11-13), A Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt (June 5-14), Dora the Explorer and Diego (June 26-28), the Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza (July 4), HIT Entertainment Fun Festival (July 17-19), K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs (Aug. 1-9), comedy cowboy crooners Riders in the Sky (Aug. 15-16), Railfan Weekend (Sept. 12-13) and the Ghost Train and Halloween Festival (Friday and Saturday evenings in October).
Daily admission is $32 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free.
For more information, visit http://www.tweetsie.com, or call 1-877-TWEETSIE.