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Originally published: 2014-03-31 10:29:09
Last modified: 2014-03-31 10:33:46

Tweetsie opens for 58th season of Wild West adventure

Full steam ahead.

Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina's first theme park, is set to open its doors on Friday, April 11, for its 58th season of Wild West adventure. 

Guests of all ages are invited aboard to enjoy a ride on Tweetsie's legendary steam locomotives and to experience firsthand the long-ago era of the Wild West. 

The park will host a colorful lineup of special events, including much-loved favorites such as Day Out With Thomas and Tweetsie's Ghost Train Halloween Festival, as well as first-time appearances by David Holt and the Lightning Bolts and by Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. 

Special events and appearances aside, the park offers a variety of Wild West fun, including amusement park rides, panning for gold, live shows and a petting zoo. 

The highlight is a three-mile ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains on one of Tweetsie's historic steam-powered locomotives.

But according to the theme park, "Tweetsie's season wouldn't be complete without a full lineup of special events, bringing even more magic and adventure to the park."

The lineup is as follows: 

Letterland at Tweetsie: May 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14   

Tweetsie Railroad will be transformed before your very eyes into the magical place of Letterland. Based on the best-selling alphabet books written by Lyn Wendon, Letterland is the reading system that teaches children the alphabet and phonics by bringing letters to life. 

David Holt and the Lighting Bolts: May 25 

Tweetsie Railroad will host four-time Grammy Award-winner David Holt and the Lightning Bolts for a one-day-only special performance. 

David Holt and the Lightning Bolts enliven old-time music with a new time jolt and a sound that is full, driving and energetic.

Day Out With Thomas, The Thrill of the Ride Tour: June 6 to 15  

This June, Thomas the Tank Engine chugs his way through the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering fans the chance to meet and take pictures with Sir Topham Hatt, listen to Thomas and Friends' storytelling and enjoy activities in the Imagination Station.

 SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick: June 27 to 29 

Nickelodeon's beloved characters, SpongeBob SquarePants and his best friend, Patrick, visit Tweetsie to entertain and take pictures with guests. 

Guests can spend the day with their favorite underwater friends.

Fireworks Extravaganza: Friday, July 4 

Children young and old will watch with wonder, as the mountain night sky is illuminated with one of the High Country's most dazzling fireworks displays. 

The park will remain open until 9 p.m., and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

Cool Summer Nights: July 5, 12, 19 and 26  

Enjoy long summer nights while keeping cool with a visit to Tweetsie during Saturdays in July, as the park stays open until 9 p.m. to make more time for family fun. 

Scooby-Doo and Shaggy: July 11 to 13 

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? Meet the Cartoon Network's Scooby Doo and his best friend, Shaggy, during their first ever visit to Tweetsie Railroad.

K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs: July 19 to 27 

Watch man's best friend defy gravity, as a team of agile four-legged athletes delights the audience by jumping, flipping, diving and catching flying discs. 

Riders in the Sky: Aug. 9 and 10  

Captivating audiences of all ages since 1977, the multi Grammy Award-winning quartet is hailed as "America's Favorite Cowboys." The band will return with its rich blend of Western harmony and humor. 

Railroad Heritage Weekend: Sept. 6 and 7 

Travel through the Blue Ridge Mountains on Tweetsie's historic locomotives, as the park hosts its annual Railroad Heritage Weekend. Train enthusiasts can celebrate the rich history of steam railroading and tour the famous Tweetsie Railroad Train Shop, where steam locomotives from across the nation are repaired and restored. The weekend will also include performances and demonstrations by the Cherokee Tsalagi Touring Program.

Ghost Train Halloween Festival: Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 26 to Nov. 1 

All aboard Tweetsie's Ghost Train for a nighttime ride of thrills and chills, as the park hosts its 25th annual Ghost Train Halloween Festival. From The Boneyard to the park's newest addition, the Warp Tunnel, beware of the fun and creepy Halloween characters that emerge after dark at Tweetsie. The theme for this year's event is about a fictional train wreck and its ill-fated crew and passengers. Each night of the festival will mark the anniversary of the "Great Train Wreck of 1914."

Tweetsie Railroad will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting April 11, including Memorial Day Monday, and seven days a week from May 30 through Aug. 17. The park returns to the weekend schedule from Aug. 18 through Nov. 2, including Labor Day Monday. The 2014 season ends Sunday, Nov. 2. 

Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock.  For more information about the 2014 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit or call (877) 893-3874.