The Island in Pigeon Forge. Imagine this with “Margaritaville” playing.

There is a place at the foothills of Appalachia where people can ride a Ferris Wheel and gaze at the mountainous expanse around them to the echoing tune of “Margaritaville.” Beneath them in Pigeon Forge, there is an expanse of retailers, rides and residual patterns from the area’s long and neglected history.

The Island, which features the perpetually spinning Ferris wheel, was built after wildfires swept through Gatlinburg and turned much of the region into ash. In nearby Knoxville, college students and craft-brewery-owners choked from the smog cloud carried over by the wind.

And in counties across East Tennessee, people…

Chris Salvemini

Thoughts® are my own. At least, I think so

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