There’s an old saying that there is no “I” in the word team. With that said, the towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville know that for one town to succeed, the other two must be doing well also. Being so close in proximity, it’s usually a case of if you visit one…you visit all.
Keeping that in mind, the towns unite their marketing and event planning sources each year for several projects, but most notably, the annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest celebration.
Kicking off in late fall, each community partners up with several of the local attractions to turn on the lights—literally! Millions of lights from the hometown of Dolly Parton all the way to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that will no doubt bring out the child in all ages!
Though the gallery of colors and lights are an impressive display, it doesn’t end there. When you have so many musical theaters lining up over the Parkway, there’s plenty of entertainment value in the area, as well. Many of Country Music’s biggest stars of all time, as well as many local favorites, bring their Yuletide cheer to the stages of the area, entertaining fans from all around the world.
But wait….there’s more!
What would the season be without snow? You can find that, as well as some incredible skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, a resort and amusement park that sits high atop the mountains of the city. You’ll find snow tubing (something I have to try at least once) and their famous indoor ice arena. It’s definitely a site to behold!
Oh, but we’re not done yet! Of course, one of the region’s biggest tourist destinations is Dollywood, and the Country Music Hall Of Famer and her staff, as the old saying goes, “put on the dog,” for visitors during the famous Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration. At just the theme park alone, you’ll find over four million holiday lights, and of course…plenty of music.
Babes in Toyland and Christmas in the Smokies are two of the stage presentations that keep people coming back year after year. Another highlight of the park is Carol of the Trees, as well as Santa’s Workshop—where you just might come face to face with one of your all-time favorite toys…..albeit in life-size form! The food, always a high point of the Dollywood experience, gets even better during this time, with several traditional favorites served up in the restaurants there.
Then, of course, what would Christmas be without the shopping? Whether you’re looking for a Tommy Hilfiger dress shirt for Dad, a Lodge Cast Iron skillet for Mom, or a Merle Haggard box set for Grandpa, if you can’t find it in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg…..it can’t be found! There’s a reason why the area is one of the biggest shopping destinations of the South!
That’s just the tip of the mountain, folks. Smoky Mountain Winterfest is an incredible time of year, one that you’ll be glad you were a part of!