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July 24, 2014

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Tweetsie face-painting artist Victoria Mayer puts a Letterland design on the cheek of Aniyah Clarke of Statesville. Clarke, 7, was visiting Tweetsie during the Letterland celebration with her mother, Shameka Mathis. Photo by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-05-09 08:42:02
Last modified: 2014-05-09 08:42:47

Letterland at Tweetsie

By Jeff Eason

Regular visitors to Tweetsie Railroad are used to seeing a special world inhabited by colorful characters, such as cowboys, railroad engineers and can-can dancers.

This week, the Tweetsie world will also be home to a host of other characters, such as Clever Cat, Eddy Elephant and Red Robot.
Tweetsie Railroad brings the alphabet to life this week with its annual Letterland celebration.
Characters from Letterland will be on hand at the theme park on Tuesday, May 13; and Wednesday, May 14.

This is the eighth season that Tweetsie and Letterland have teamed up to bring characters such as Yo-Yo Man and Kicking King to the High Country.

During this time, admission to Tweetsie includes special Letterland activities, in addition to all of the theme park’s regular features.

School groups from Western North Carolina and East Tennessee will be bused in to Tweetsie to take in the Letterland fun this week.

Letterland is a world renowned reading program that helps young children develop a love for reading by introducing them to a magical world where there is more to the alphabet than just letters on a page.

“With these playful ‘letters,’ children will experience the building blocks of reading in a fun and visual manner, which is sure to stick with them long after their trip to Tweetsie is over,” said a spokesman for Letterland. “To enhance the Letterland experience even more, visitors can also ride on Firefighter Fred’s Ferris Wheel or Talking Tess’ Train, explore Zig Zag Zebra’s Zoo and much more.”


Letterland has long been known for its successful child-friendly multi-sensory phonics program. In 2007, local reading specialist Kathy Oliver helped bring the program to Tweetsie for the first time.

For the past seven years, guests have been able to celebrate North Carolina’s literary achievements at the state’s oldest theme park.
Last year, school children from 19 North Carolina counties were represented at Letterland, as well as a school in Johnson County, Tenn., marking the first time a school from the Volunteer State has participated.
And the learning doesn’t stop there: As part of the park’s continued dedication to enriching education in a fun and engaging way, Tweetsie visitors can also take part in the Learning Express every Friday now through May 23 and Sept. 5 through Oct. 24.

The Learning Express provides a full day of fun at Tweetsie Railroad, including a ride on the Learning Express Train. This special ride makes history, math and science fun and exciting, the spokesman said. Tickets are $31 for adults and $19 for children.

Tweetsie also offers curriculum guides at to help parents and teachers further increase the educational value of the Letterland and Learning Express experiences.


Tweetsie Railroad is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, including Memorial Day. The park will shift to it summer schedule of seven days a week 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.

The park’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be open until 9 p.m. on July 4 for the Fireworks Extravaganza and July 5, 12, 19 and 26 for Cool Summer Nights. Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $39 for adults and $26 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and younger are admitted free.

The Ghost Train Halloween Festival will take place Friday and Saturday nights Sept. 26 through Nov. 1, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., when admission is $31 for adults and children. Tickets and Golden Rail season passes are available at

For more information about the 2014 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit or call (877) 893-3874.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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