Despite the widespread damage of the Chimney Tops 2 wildfire, resilient spirit of celebration is still alive in the Smoky Mountains area. That’s even true during the often “slow” months of winter and early spring around Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding communities.
One thing that eastern Tennessee never seems to lack is a festival or event each weekend. Many are well-established and thus quite popular, like summertime’s Tunes and Tales and twice-a-year Craftsman’s Fairs.
We’ve found a few local events that may be off your and most other people’s radar, but you just might want to check them out for some Smoky Mountains fun.
Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Expo
If you’re an avid hunter, fisher, camper or all of the above, then this massive Knoxville event is for you. You’ll find big-name outdoor vendors displaying their latest products and a giveaway or two for merchandise and other great prizes. The two-day expo takes place at the Civic Coliseum, starting on January 21st.
Lyrics & Lore Weekend
The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, along with the Dollywood DreamMore Resort and the International Storytelling Center, has organized a new winter event open to the public. The main premise is to take stories and create songs around them, with concerts scheduled in the evenings. Dates for the festival at DreamMore are January 18th to the 21st.
Smoky Mountain Snowdown
Taking place as well between January 26th to the 29th in Townsend, this winter-themed celebration offers foods, arts and crafts and music with a decidedly local flair. Some highlights include the chili cookoff and cast-iron cooking demonstrations from the Dancing Bear Lodge and Bistro and the Songwriters in the Round.
Tennessee Winter Special Olympics
This inspiring event will show that there are no limits to what special needs athletes can accomplish on the snow. Now in its thirty-second year, the three-day competition begins on January 29th at Ober Gatlinburg and schedules speed skating, alpine skiing and snowboarding. Competitors of all ability levels and ages participate.
Think cowboys and their culture doesn’t exist in the Smokies? This taste of the Old West will convince you otherwise. Everything related to western music, crafts, roundups, cooking demonstrations and competitions, dances and even a Sunday church services is right here in Pigeon Forge between February 17th to the 21st. Don’t forget to wear your cowboy hat and apparel.
A Mountain Quiltfest
Any kind of crafting showcases special talent and handiwork, but quilts from the Smoky Mountains region demonstrate an extraordinary artistry and heritage. You can see these beautifully designed hand-stitched coverings in Pigeon Forge from March 21st to the 25th, as well as take classes, shop around vendor booths and enter competitions with your own creations.
Winter Carnival of Magic
Some very talented sleigh-of-hand artists will amaze you with the magic and feats of illusion at this long-running event, taking place at the Country Tonite Theater in Pigeon Forge between March 9th and the 11th. If you consider yourself a magician, you can also register for one or both competitions during the festival.
Whatever “secret” festival you choose to attend, be sure to stay with us at Christopher Place, your Smoky Mountains resort. We’ll let you know of other events you’re sure to enjoy. Contact us today and book your reservation.
Photo courtesy of http://www.greatsmokymountainsoutdoorexpo.com/.