"This program - The Heartland Series - is part of what East Tennessee is all about."

In October 2009, WBIR viewers witnessed the end of an era; the final new episode of 'The Heartland Series.'

'The Heartland Series: The Gathering of Friends' was filmed on a hot August day at the Museum of Appalachia. An estimated 10,000 people showed up including WBIR viewers and former Heartland Series cast members and crew.

The Heartland Series was developed in 1984 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Although there are no more new episodes of The Heartland Series, WBIR continues to air the tens of thousands of episodes produced during the program's 25 years. The Heartland Series also produces hour-long primetime specials several times a year.

'The Heartland Series: The Gathering of Friends' paid tribute to a kind of culture many of us treasure and is one of your 'Straight from the Heart' Moments.