Experience the Wonder of Winterfest in the Smoky Mountains

For the past 29 years, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, TN have played host to visitors from throughout the country—and around the world—at their annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration. This year’s event runs from November 6th through February 28th, 2019. Visitors can expect an abundance of holiday cheer, along with fabulous light displays, shopping, dinner shows, trolley rides and more. Here are some of our favorite things to do during Winterfest in the Smokies:

Winterfest kicks-off on November 6th at 4pm in Patriot Park, where you can enjoy local food and live entertainment. The highlight of the evening is when city officials flip the switch, illuminating Pigeon Forge with 5 million brilliant lights.

Fancy a parade? Winterfest festivities feature two parades along the Parkway; the Townsend Christmas Parade on December 2nd, and Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Parade on December 7th, which features floats, holiday music and Santa, of course!! This parade commences at the Baskin Creek Bypass on East Parkway and culminates in Gatlinburg at traffic light #10.

A wonderful way to get around and see the spectacular lights on display throughout the downtown area is via the Gatlinburg Trolley; on their Trolley Ride of Lights tour. Should you choose to drive yourself, hop in the car and take a drive along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge to see the spectacular light displays.

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Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is sure to put the whole family in the holiday spirit. With more than 4 million lights, rides, music, a stage production of It’s a Wonderful Life and nightly parades with colorful floats, songs and specialty characters, there’s something for everyone.

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Head to The Island in Pigeon Forge on November 17th for their annual tree lighting. Santa will be there, and Paula Deen will be on hand to help light the Christmas tree.

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While you’re in town, take advantage of the many dinner shows this area of eastern Tennessee is known for. Some of our favorites include the Smoky Mountain Opry, The Hatfield and McCoy Feud and Dolly Patron’s Stampede.

What would the holidays be without shopping for gifts? Take advantage of the bargains at the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, as well as the Tanger Outlet in Sevierville. If local artisan gifts are what you’re looking for, head to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, which features over 100 shops along an eight mile strip of Loop Road. Handmade jewelry, painting, ceramics, metalwork, woodcarving and leatherwork are just some of the things you'll find here.

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