Anytime is the perfect time to visit Gatlinburg. As the gateway to the Smoky Mountains National Park, this little town of just under 4,000 full-time residents brings Appalachian hospitality to all visitors, which number about 11 million each year. But it shows off the best of what it has to offer in the summertime. Here is a can’t-miss Gatlinburg calendar of events going on for the rest of the season:
Gatlinburg Events this Summer
Smoky Mountain Songwriter’s Festival
This year will mark four straight years of this celebration of original music and songwriter talent. During these four late summer days, the town becomes filled with songs from all genres and their background stories, as told by the people who created them. But it’s not open to professionals. Many amateurs participate in the hopes of getting known to producers and publishers in the industry. Festival events include a writers’ competition, live performance playoffs, co-writing with the pros, song critiques and workshops.
Gatlinburg Craftsmens Fair
For anyone who appreciates fine arts and crafts handiwork, this week long marketplace is the place to be. Over 150 artisans gather at the Gatlinburg Convention Center to display their talents, talk about their work and sell the beautiful finished products to the public. Paintings, sculptures, woodwork, glass, photography and ceramics are just some of the unique items for sale and appreciation. Live country and bluegrass music is also scheduled to play each day of this popular festival.
Summer Concert Series
Live music concerts are a quintessential summer activity. That’s exactly what happens throughout the summer at two of our favorite Smoky Mountains distilleries – Ole Smoky and Sugarlands. Each of these programs feature up and coming and established acts that play all kinds of music styles, ranging from traditional bluegrass to some intriguing fusions, like hillbilly gutrock and Outlaw music. Don’t forget to sample some of their moonshine before the concert. Get the full lines up for Ole Smoky and Sugarlands.
Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales
Part live music stage and part dramatic theater, this season-long event takes place at 6 PM each evening right on Gatlinburg’s Downtown Parkway. Musicians and actors dress up in costume and portray characters from Appalachian history from all the way back to the early 19th century. The walkability of the Parkway makes it easy to enjoy the traditional music and the regional stories. Now in its tenth year, it’s entertainment and history all rolled into one interactive fascinating package as you take a leisurely summer evening stroll.
Gatlinburg Farmers Market
This gathering of produce vendors, artisan food creators and arts and craftspeople is more than just a local showcase. Special events include health, nutrition and sustainable living education, cooking demonstrations, seed swaps, canning and food preservation, and kids’ days that feature a market scavenger hunt. The market takes place at the Covered Bridge at Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts Community, from 8:30 AM to noon.
So how would you get to all of these exciting Gatlinburg events around town? You could drive your car, but parking will likely be a hassle. You could walk, but that might get tiring in the summertime heat. So consider taking the Gatlinburg Trolley, a comfortable air-conditioned alternative that goes everywhere in town. The fares are pleasantly affordable and vary slightly by route from $0.50 to $2.00, including options for one way and all day passes. Routes go to Dollywood and the National Park, as well as the Arts and Crafts Loop.
When you are done with these Gatlinburg events, head back to Christopher Place, your Smoky Mountains retreat, and relax. We’d love to hear about everything you’ve enjoyed about your Gatlinburg adventure. Call today and book your stay with us.