Tag Archives: Gatlinburg special events

Ripley’s Sips & Sharks

Here’s something new that would inspire some of the adults-who-are-kids-at-heart-but-like-something-harder-to-drink to get out of the house and come to the Aquarium: Ripley’s Sips and Sharks.

From the main Ripley’s website:

“Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies will be hosting Sips & Sharks events! Sips & Sharks is an adult (21+) sleepover that gives guests overnight access to the Aquarium. This experience includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a behind the scenes tour, movie, continental breakfast, and much more!”

This event is scheduled for February 13th and September 25th, 2021, both Fridays, at 8:00PM and lasting overnight.

Edit: The February 13th date has sold out of tickets. Perhaps not surprising as it sounds like quite a lot of fun for adults. Only tickets for September 25th are currently available.

See this event and reserve tickets at https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg/event/sips-n-sharks-grownup-sleepover/2021-09-25/.

Winterfest Events 2020 Starting Today

It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to the Smokies ASAP!

Here are some Winterfest events we have coming up:

* Ober Gatlinburg – Winter Sports *
11/21/20 – Easter Day 2021

Ober Gatlinburg is the mountainside amusement park overlooking the city and it functions in the Winter season as both a family fun center and a sports center where they offer the only place to ski, snowboard, snowtube and ice skate for miles around. Definitely a worthy visit. https://obergatlinburg.com/winter/

* Sevierville Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland *
12/1/20 – 1/3/21

From Visitsevierville.com: “It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to know more about these facilities!”
https://visitsevierville.com/EventsCalendar.aspx#!/208477-shadracks-christmas-wonderland

* Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade *
12/4/20

From Gatlinburg.com: “On December 4, the 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of the holiday season and the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic.

Floats will be decorated with one-of-a-kind displays of LED lights, marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and holiday characters.”
https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/fantasy-of-lights-christmas-parade/36/

* Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival *
12/9/20 – 12/12/20

Every year hundreds of fans pour into the Evergreen Smoky Mountain Lodge & Convention Center to come to the Christmas In The Smokies Bluegrass Festival. While the bluegrass festival is enough fun for anyone, there is so much more to offer in Pigeon Forge! The festival is held in the heart of Pigeon Forge on Parkway. The whole city is decorated for Christmas and sparkles everywhere you go at night. There is lots of shopping, food, and fun in Pigeon Forge. Come join us this year at the festival! https://bluegrasschristmasinsmokies.com/

Find more events at mypigeonforge.com, gatlinburg.com and visitsevierville.com.

Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff Returns!

In less than a week, the city of Gatlinburg will be some of the most active it’s ever been concentrated in one spot with the highly anticipated return of the Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff! The city of Gatlinburg writes this for this year’s Winterfest kickoff festival:

“For over 30 years, Gatlinburg has celebrated the kickoff of Smoky Mountain Winterfest with the annual foodie festival, Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff Presented by Bush’s Chili Beans. On November 12, 2020, the tradition continues with live entertainment and mouth-watering homemade chili sampling and some new adjustments to honor the Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

NEW in 2020, tickets will be required to enter. To accommodate for social distancing, event attendance will be limited. Due to the popularity of the event, an advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

The time-honored traditions of popular local restaurants offering unique, homemade chili samples and vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award will go on. Additionally, festival-goers will enjoy the free, live entertainment by the Eagles tribute band, On The Border – The Ultimate Eagles Tribute! On The Border provides an authentic Eagles concert experience while journeying through The Eagles songbook. They cover every big hit, from ballads like “Desperado” and “Lyin’ Eyes” to rocking hits such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Heartache Tonight.”

City leaders will participate in an official lighting ceremony for Smoky Mountain Winterfest that features millions of twinkling lights adorning Gatlinburg Winter Magic light displays throughout the city.

The Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 5 – 8 p.m. in a NEW location at the Anakeesta Plaza located at 576 Parkway.”

See more on Gatlinburg Winterfest and other activities at https://www.gatlinburg.com/events/winter/.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest 2020

For those wondering if the city of Pigeon Forge is going to be doing their traditional Winterfest celebration for 2020, the answer is an emphatic YES!

Here is what the city of Pigeon Forge is releasing for information on this year’s Winterfest season scheduled to begin on November 13th, 2020 and continue to February 21st, 2021:

“From winter light displays to captivating holiday shows and so much more, here are just a few of the fun ways you can experience the delightful Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration.

Visit Dollywood to see more than 5 million lights sparkling around you during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. The park is filled with holiday music, plenty of rides, and for the first time ever, fireworks that light up the winter night skies. Make Dollywood your family’s Christmas tradition and enjoy award-winning holiday shows, scrumptious cuisine and seasonal shopping.

A favorite of locals and visitors alike is Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, where all the stops are pulled out when it comes to decorating for the holidays. The arena is transformed into a winter wonderland with a special appearance from Santa himself. Another highlight is their 60-foot-tall tree, adorned with colorful lights, ribbons and sparkling ornaments from the very bottom to the twinkling star on top.

Another must-see is The Island in Pigeon Forge with thousands of ornaments, millions of lights and over a mile of garland. Guests are treated to three different Christmas trees, including one that stands 40 feet tall and allows guests to walk through. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music.

Old Mill Square’s Holiday Open House features holiday lights, displays and decorations. Explore the shops and catch up on your holiday shopping. You can also sample some of the delicious food items and get a few ideas for your own holiday celebrations. The Old Mill also features a holiday light display of a covered bridge made out of thousands of twinkling lights that lead to one of the most historic areas of Pigeon Forge.

The best way to take in the beauty and splendor of all the holiday light displays throughout Pigeon Forge is on the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights, which begins at the north end of the Parkway. You can also download the Winterfest Driving Tour Map.

Whether this is your first time to visit Pigeon Forge, or you’re making a return trip, Winterfest is the perfect occasion to share special memories with family and friends.”

Get to know more about Winterfest in Pigeon Forge by visiting https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/winterfest.

Important Smoky Mountain Travel News – May 9th

As the state of Tennessee is beginning its first stages of re-opening tourism and general business, much is going in during this initial transition: some places have opened, some places are beginning to re-open and some places will not be opening for a bit. Additionally, some events have been rescheduled and some have been cancelled for this year entirely.

Due to the nature of slowly transitioning out of social distancing, information on what and when for re-opening is highly de-centralized at the moment, so we would like to help pass on current news for openings and other pertinent travel information coming up this month and further for travel preparation and consideration.

* Gatlinburg 4th of July Parade Has Been Cancelled *
From WBIR.com:

“Gatlinburg officials said the city’s Fourth of July parade is canceled for a second year in a row due to public health concerns. The city will plan new patriotic events for families who want to celebrate while following social distancing guidelines, officials said in a Tuesday press release.”

See full article by clicking here.

 

* Gatlinburg Release on Re-openings *
From gatlinburgtn.gov, dated April 29th, 2020:

“Safety precautions and sanitization procedures will be handled at all City facilities to help keep the community, residents, employees and visitors safe. All City facilities will be heavily sanitized during the phased reopening.

The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.”

The City has purchased foggers to help with sanitizing and disinfecting facilities and will regularly clean facilities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in public lobby areas in City facilities as well.

Plans are also in place to install signage throughout the City in visible areas outlining CDC practices on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, May 1, the McMahan/Parkway parking garage in downtown Gatlinburg will reopen, as will the public restrooms at the garage. The public restrooms located at the Gatlinburg Convention Center will also reopen.

Also on Friday, May 1, the Gatlinburg Golf Course clubhouse will reopen. The course has remained open for play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, May 4, the administrative offices located at Gatlinburg City Hall, including the City’s Finance Department, Building and Planning Department, Police Department and Fire Department, will reopen to the public. The administrative offices located at the Schilling Center, will also reopen on this date.

On Monday, May 18, all Gatlinburg City Parks – Mynatt Park, Mills Park and Herbert Holt Park – will open for public use. Upon initial opening, playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed at each park.

The Gatlinburg Community Center will also reopen to the public on May 18, with reduced operating hours and restrictions on the amount of patrons allowed in areas of the building. The Tone Zone portion of the building will be the only space open to the public, in accordance with the April 28 release of the Tennessee Pledge pertaining to gyms. Operating hours will be 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Anna Porter Public Library plans to reopen its facility in phases on Monday, May 18. The library will limit the number of patrons to 10 at a time through the end of May, and hold temporary operating hours of 10 a.m until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff will wear masks and gloves when interacting with the public and the public will be allowed to access computers for 30 minutes at a time, with social distancing practices applied. Desks will be sanitized after each use.

Rocky Top Sports World is actively following the guidelines and directions presented from the Governor’s office and CDC while coordinating with County and City offices. Because of the continued fluidity of the COVID19 situation, no opening date has been determined. Rocky Top Sports World is working diligently on events currently scheduled and continues to focus on venue cleanliness, safety and health.

The municipal parking garage located at Ripley’s Aquarium will be reopened at the same time as the Aquarium opens to the public. A resumption of Gatlinburg Trolley Services will be announced at a later date.”

* Pigeon Forge Local Business Opening Status *
The Mypigeonforge.com site hosts scheduled information in separate, downloadable files.

For Pigeon Forge attractions, click here:
For Pigeon Forge restaurants, click here:
For Pigeon Forge retail, click here:
For Pigeon Forge grocery store information, click here:

More information on Pigeon Forge’s re-openings, updated frequently, can be found at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/planning/travel-resources#business-closed.

 

* Sevierville Partial Re-opening of Parks and Recreations *
From https://www.seviervilletn.org:

“Sevierville city parks will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions, including:

* All playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, and swimming pools remain closed indefinitely;

* Walking trails and tennis courts are open, social distancing of at least six feet will be enforced;

* Picnic shelters will be open, but groups must be less than ten persons;

* The PetSafe Dog Park is open, but each area (small dog and large dog) will be limited to less than ten persons and each person is limited to 45 minutes per visit; and

* Cemetery Park will be limited to less than ten people.

Some areas of the Sevierville Community Center will reopen on May 18, 2020 with certain restrictions. The gymnasium, swimming pool, locker rooms, and racquetball courts remain closed indefinitely. All children’s programs are suspended indefinitely.

The Bowling Center will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.”

See more details by clicking here.

 

As more significant information becomes available, we will post new information on our blog here. Thank you and stay safe!

Christmas Attractions and Events in Gatlinburg

Looking for ways to enjoy the Christmas splendor for an upcoming trip to Gatlinburg? We’ve got you covered with holiday events right here as listed by Gatlinburg.com. Take a look and plan ahead!

SkyLift Park “Lights Over Gatlinburg”
November 26, 2019 – January 31, 2020

“The holidays are a special time in Gatlinburg, and this year there’s no better place to experience the magic than the SkyLift Park.

Join us as the SkyLift and SkyDeck become a celebration of the holidays with Christmas decorations and thousands of twinkling lights, and take in the best views in Gatlinburg as you gaze out over town and deep into the Smoky Mountains while warming up around the fire pit with a hot chocolate or cider.

Next, make your way up to the SkyBridge which will become even more incredible as it is transformed into a tunnel of vibrant lights stretching out across the mountain to create a holiday experience you’ll always remember.

Through Sunday, December 15, guests can save $4 on tickets purchased at the SkyLift Park by bringing a new toy to donate to the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.”

See this article at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/gatlinburg-skylift-park-lights-over-gatlinburg/.


Enchanted Winter Celebration at Anakeesta
November 26, 2019 – February 17, 2020

“Anakeesta transforms into a woodland winter wonderland! Make your winter vacation plans special this Season with twinkling lights, holiday sights, and warm cocoa around the fire – discover it all during Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter celebration!

– Immerse yourself in an enchanting 1000′ tunnel of twinkling arctic lights as you stroll from Firefly Village to Vista Garden
– Enjoy whimsically decorated live Christmas trees at Vista Gardens and on the Parkway
– Relax around the cozy fire pit at Firefly Village and enjoy the beautiful display of holiday lights throughout Anakeesta
– Santa will be handing out treats and available for family holiday photos at Firefly Village November 29-30 and December 20-21 from 11 AM – 3 PM creating special memories with families and children
– Discover the perfect selfie spot at our giant Anakeesta Snow Globe where the beautiful Great Smoky Mountain National Park acts as a natural scenic backdrop
– Stroll along the Treetop Skywalk at night and immerse yourself in a – Forest of Firefly lights that every adult and child will want to experience
– Enjoy Winter food specials and hot drinks like our famous Wassail at Cliff Top Grill and Bar and Pearl’s Pie in the Sky
– Shop our quaint retail shops to find the perfect Holiday gifts you will want to share with friends and family
– Relax around the cozy fire pit at Firefly Village and enjoy the holiday lights
– And….when it snows in the mountains, Anakeesta is the very best spot to enjoy the views of fresh snowfall on the Mt. LeConte range.”

See this article at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/enchanted-winter-celebration-at-anakeesta/.


Winter Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales
November 29, 2019 – December 22, 2019

“Through the holiday season, visitors can meet characters and storytellers and enjoy caroling along the Parkway Friday and Saturday evenings during this annual event!

Winter Magic Tunes & Tales will once again present strolling Christmas entertainment on the streets of Gatlinburg, beginning the Friday/Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29-30 from 5:00-9:30 pm, followed by performances again on Dec 6-7, 13-14, 20-21. Holiday music will fill the air with a sacred-secular mixture of Appalachia, Bluegrass, and Country. Visitors will also enjoy visiting with Santa’s Elves-Frosty-Rudolph, a little bit of history, humor and more! This interactive program is a Holiday favorite, staged against a backdrop of millions of lights….making it truly a Winter Magical experience in Gatlinburg!”

See this article at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/winter-smoky-mountain-tunes-and-tales/.


New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show
December 31, 2019

“On Tuesday, December 31, Gatlinburg will ring in the new year under the cover of the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle for it’s 33rd Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. Since 1987, this family-friendly celebration has been one of the largest organized New Year’s Eve events in the nation, and this year’s end-of-the-year celebration will be a spectacular start of a new decade.

With live music, fabulous downtown celebrations and activities, the streets of Gatlinburg come alive to offer plenty of exciting ways to celebrate the last night of the year, all while leading up to a midnight firework show and ball drop at the base of the 400-foot Space Needle.

This year, the renowned Journey tribute band, Departure, joins the downtown celebration with an exciting live performance beginning at 10:30 pm. The party is adjacent to the Space Needle at 120 Historic Nature Trail.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of the celebration specials offered by many Gatlinburg restaurants and businesses.”

See this article at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/new-years-eve-ball-drop-and-fireworks-show/.

Spring Events To Watch Out For!

We’ve got warm weather going on all week and that will be perfect as Spring begins 10 days early with brilliantly shining days, special events coming back to the calendars, green and grass returning to the mountains and more coming in very soon. To begin this return to Springfest, we’ve got two long-standing Pigeon Forge traditions to tell you about coming up very shortly.

Festival of the Nations returns this March 16th to be the grand opening for the Dollywood 2019 operating schedule! Festival of the Nations transforms Dollywood into something the county rarely sees – a representation of many different countries and cultures and entertainments all in one place. Cuba, Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago, Germany, Ecuador, Canada, Africa and many other nations will be represented all throughout the park. See more information on this at www.dollywood.com.

The next big special event starts on March 20th at the LeConte Conference Center in downtown Pigeon Forge with the 21st annual A Mountain Quiltfest. This event is a lot more popular and a lot more fun than you might guess, and even those who aren’t particularly into quilting will find something worthwhile here. Those who ARE into quilting have found their yearly event, for this festival offers thousands of quilts, 60 quilting classes and workshops, $20,000 in cash and prizes, and quite a bit more. See more on this at http://www.mypigeonforge.com/events/quiltfest/.

Stay tuned for more special events and news coming up as the season develops.

Deer Ridge Mountain Resort

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Make Reservations for Deer Ridge Mountain Resort condos at http://www.deerridge.com.