Tweetsie Railroad

Tweetsie Railroad

North Carolina’s first theme park is offering all of its famous favorite family attractions this season that year after year delight visitors to the High Country.

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Tweetsie Railroad gives kids of all ages the chance to experience a day in the Wild West plus a wide variety of special events throughout the summer.

The Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Team will appear again this year, along with returning favorites such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Riders in the Sky, Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza, Railfan Weekend, and popular Ghost Train Halloween Festival.

Those exciting events are all in addition to the ability to meet cowboys in an Old West town, enjoy amusement rides, take in lively western shows and go for a ride on the famed steam-powered Tweetsie train.

Families can also enjoy park rides such as the carousel and the Tweetsie Twister. Also, don’t miss Hopper and Porter, Tweetsie’s official mascot characters.

Special Events

The Thomas the Tank Engine television series has been a hit in 20 countries, and his first feature-film, “Thomas and the Magic Railroad,” was a big success in movie theaters. Tweetsie will bring imagination to life as young engineers ride aboard a fully operational replica of Thomas the Tank Engine, June 2-11.Tweetsie Railroad

Because of the popularity of this event guests are advised to purchase advance tickets for a date and time to ride Thomas.

Tweetsie’s annual July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza will begin around 9:30 p.m. (dark), with the park remaining open until 9 p.m. The Independence Day celebration is one of the most popular events in the mountains. Enjoy a day in the park, followed by an evening of pyrotechnics under the stars. (Parking fee of $5 per vehicle for this event; No charge for Golden Rail Season Pass holders).

The Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Team as seen on TV will perform July 22 through July 30, with live entertainment for children and families. The team amazes viewers by snatching flying discs out of the air during a back flip and taking a running leap off a human’s back. The show is included in Tweetsie’s regular admission fee.

America’s favorite cowboy band, Riders in the Sky, will perform two shows a day on July 15 and 16. The Grammy Award-winners will perform their traditional blend of comedy and Western tunes. No reservations are required, seats are first come first serve.

The park’s annual Ghost Train Halloween Festival will give guests chills and thrills on weekend nights during October.

Engineer Casey Bones will take control as the Wild West ride is transformed into the Ghost Train. There is also a Haunted House, trick-or-treating and other Halloween-themed attractions.

The Halloween festival has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. Get your tickets in advance so you won’t miss out on the safe, scary fun during this evening-only attraction.

Tickets for $23 are already on sale, and a limited number are available for each night.

Plenty Of Fun

This year marks the 89th birthday for Engine No. 12, the coal-fired Tweetsie locomotive now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors to the park can climb aboard the train for a three-mile trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Wild, Wild West.

When the trip is over, folks can pan for gold, take a carnival ride, watch Diamond Lil’ and the Can-Can girls in the musical show at the Palace Saloon and enjoy several other fun activities with a 19th century flavor.

They can also ride the chair lift up Miner’s Mountain, visit the blacksmith shop, play some arcade games or satisfy their sweet tooth at the ice cream parlor.

Tweetsie features a Deer Park zoo, Old West jail, shooting gallery, western shop, old time photo parlor, railroad museum and rail restoration shop. The one-price admission to Tweetsie includes all of these and more.
Those are just some of the reasons readers of “Blue Ridge Country” magazine in 2001 voted Tweetsie as the Best Place to Take the Kids in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Tweetsie is open seven days a week during its summer season, which lasts until Aug. 27. The park will re-open Sept. 1 for its fall schedule on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct. 29 (including Labor Day – Monday, Sept. 6). Park operating hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Daily admission prices to Tweetsie are $27 for adults and $19 for children ages 3-12. Golden Rail season passes are also available at $65 for adults and $45 for children. Children 2-and-under are admitted free.

Those entering the park between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. receive free admission the next day.

For more information about Tweetsie Railroad call (828)264-9061 or (800)526-5740 or check out the park’s web site at http://www.tweetsie.com.

For Admission Prices and To Buy Tickets visit http://www.tweetsie.com/buy-tickets/

Contact Info:
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
800-526-5740 / Fax 828-264-2234

History of the Railroad:

narrow-gauge, coal-fired steam locomotive was built in 1917 for the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC), which made runs from Johnston City, Tenn., to Boone. The engine’s building cost was $14,000.image

Torrential rains washed away large sections of the ET&WNC track in 1940, though, forcing the company to abandon service to the mountains rather than rebuild. The company discontinued all of its rail services in 1950.

In 1953, Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, signed an option to buy the 80-ton locomotive and move it to California. After determining it was too costly to ship the engine to the West Coast, Autry sold his rights to Tweetsie for $1 to Grover C. Robbins, Jr. of Blowing Rock.

Four years later in 1957, the engine made its first run down a one-mile track to a picnic area as the amusement park opened its gates.

Then, in 1992 as Engine No. 12 and the park celebrated their 75th and 35th birthdays, respectively, the United States Department of the Interior listed Tweetsie Railroad in the National Register of Historic Places.

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