World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
Attempts to Set New Guinness World Record™

  PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 10, 2014)–With the rising temperatures of summer setting in for the season, families across East Tennessee are taking to the water to find relief from the heat. To keep these families safe during water activities, Dollywood’s Splash Country, LeConte Medical Center, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, WATE-TV and Star 102.1 are proud to present Water Safety Day at Dollywood’s Splash Country on Friday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to nearly a dozen informational safety and wellness booths, the event also features the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL), a worldwide simultaneous swim lesson vying to set a new Guinness World Record™.

   Families will receive valuable information about staying healthy and safe during water play in pools, rivers and lakes from exhibitors such as Covenant Health Kids Run, Hometown Pediatrics, LeConte Sports Medicine, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, Pigeon Forge Fire Department, Pigeon Forge Police Department, Red Cross, Sevier Aquatics Club, Sevier Country Rescue Squad, and Thompson Cancer Survival Center. WATE-TV and Star 102.1 will broadcast live from the event where Water Safety Day guests will have the opportunity to stop by and meet some of their favorite on-air personalities.

   Children attending Water Safety Day may obtain a Splash Pass at the front entrance of Dollywood’s Splash Country. The pass allows the child to receive a special prize at each booth and submit his or her completed pass in a grand prize drawing for two season passes to Dollywood’s Splash Country.

   "Both LeConte Medical Center and the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation are dedicated to the health of our community, and are excited to partner with our friends at Dollywood's Splash Country for Water Safety Day," said LeConte Medical Center President/CAO Jenny Hanson. "Our Emergency Department stays very busy during summer months, and it's our hope that Water Safety Day will help keep a few more kids out of the hospital."

   At 11 a.m., Dollywood’s Splash Country unites with aquatic facilities around the globe for the fifth annual WLSL led by the Sevier Aquatics Club. Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 32,450 participants representing 13 different countries across five continents. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of children ages one to 14. Research shows that if a child doesn't learn to swim before the third grade, he or she likely never will. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages one to four. The WLSL provides local waterparks, community pools and other aquatic facilities with an event that draws attention to this issue, encourages participation in swimming lesson programs and helps spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives.™

 “Water safety is Dollywood’s Splash Country’s number one priority,” said Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown. “If we can give parents and kids the tools and information to prevent even one water-related incident, then we consider Water Safety Day a huge success. Having fun while learning these skills is just a bonus!”

   Water Safety Day participant registration for the WLSL and Splash Passes begins at 9 a.m. with educational booths opening at 9:45 a.m. Dollywood’s Splash Country admission is required for Water Safety Day participants, and tickets may be purchased on-site or at Dollywood.com. While Water Safety Day activities end at 2 p.m., guests are encouraged to enjoy the rest of their day at Dollywood’s Splash Country until the park’s scheduled closing at 7 p.m.