If you’ve ever wanted to watch a bunch of burly lumberjacks in ripped, sleeveless plaid shirts, a’la Stallone in “Over the Top,” battle it out while telling goofy jokes — because, come on, who hasn’t — then you won’t want to miss the Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge.
This dinner theater bills itself as the “Rowdiest Good Time Lumberjack Show” around and yo-ho, is it ever! Indeed, a good feud is hard to resist. Feuds make for great entertainment — and it doesn’t get much better than a good, old-timey feud between dueling hill people. The show is based on (what could have been, possibly, maybe) a real-life drama between the McGraws and the Dawsons, two logging families that found themselves competing for land after the region’s timberlands were taken over by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Though the gist of the story was a little hard to hear due to the roaring of chainsaws and all, apparently there was only land enough left for one family. Of course, the absolute ONLY POSSIBLE WAY for them to decide who got the timber rights was…. wait for it… through having a lumberjack contest, or the 1930s equivalent of a dance-off. In fact, we were separated into different seating areas, depending on which family we were rooting for.
Go McGraws! Oh, yeah, and you get to yell “YO-HO!” a lot, which is lumberjack-speak for “I’m quite excited at the moment. So excited, in fact, that I must exclaim loudly.”
Even though we were sitting a few rows back, it was still plenty close enough to appreciate the brute strength, rippling muscles and general axe-tion; that’s lumberjack-speak for action. And axe-tion abounds in this show, from the log rollin’ and tree climbin’ to the big horses pulling very heavy things. There’s even some awesome dogs that can jump so high they put those lame, snooty Westminster Kennel Club dogs to shame. So go cry yourself to sleep with your silky, adorable ears, Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, because these hill hounds can fetch more sticks than you can even dream of.
So then there’s the food — aaah, the food. The cook, “Uncle Bud” — which, yes, sounds a bit creepy — piles up your baskets high with enough grub to keep Paul Bunyan himself happy. The meal is tasty and very filling! It is complete with a seasoned half-chicken, roasted red potatoes, camp soup, corn on the cob, an amazing dessert and is topped off with as much sugary iced tea or soda as you can drink. Yo-ho! If meat and potatoes are your thing, it doesn’t get much meatier or potatoier then this. Even though Padma might just tell Uncle Bud to pack up his knives and go for a presentation, you get a lot of food and you won’t leave hungry.
Oh, and your server is also an actor in the lumberjack feud, so expect to feel a bit star-struck every time you ask him for a refill. While the quantity of food was more than satisfactory, I thought the quality of the food was similar to what you find in the hot deli section of the local grocer. Bulging muscles and tight little lumberjack jeans aside, the Lumberjack Feud is quite family-friendly, so don’t be afraid to take the young ‘uns. In fact, the kiddos will love being thrown a “cookie” or two… that’s lumberjack-speak for the thin rounds of wood sliced off the logs as they fly through the air. If you’re extra lucky — which means “yo-ho”-ing loudly enough times, thereby ensuring that your feuding family wins a log-related competition — you might even score yourself an autographed cookie.
Insider Tips: Since the food is only average, opt for the “show only” package and eat at one of the many local restaurants.
Directions: Lumberjack Feud is located in Pigeon Forge on the main Parkway. The theater is between Lights #3 and #4 on the left side as you head towards the National Park and has the new Great Smoky Mountain Skywheel behind it.
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