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2017 Gatlinburg Events | July - December


Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales | June 9 – July 29
The streets of Gatlinburg are alive in summer, filled with the sounds of the mountains, costumed musicians, storytellers, and artists giving visitors a true taste of the Smokies. As you stroll the Parkway to shop, eat, and play, stop and enjoy the FREE performances!

FREE Parkway Trolley | June 17 – August 12
The Gatlinburg Trolley is one of the easiest and most fun ways to get around the city. Their fares are incredibly affordable throughout the year, but summertime brings something even better: FREE rides on designated trolleys!

First Independence Day Parade in the Nation | July 3-4
A huge salute to the men and women of our nation’s military – those who have sacrificed so much – the first Independence Day parade in the nation kicks off at midnight on the 4th of July. Downtown Gatlinburg will beam with American pride as floats, marching bands, and balloons make their way through the streets of downtown. And it all ends with a patriotic fireworks display

Gatlinburg's Fireworks Finale | July 4
Finish the 4th of July celebration off right with a fantastic fireworks display that will light up downtown Gatlinburg!

Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta | July 4
Always a favorite with families and kids, Gatlinburg’s River Raft Regatta has visitors and locals send their Trash (not handmade) and Treasure (handmade) rafts racing at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road. This local 4th of July tradition is open to young and old and offers awards to the top 3 in each competing category. Registration starts at 10 a.m., with the race kicking off at noon.

Smoky Mountains Family Camp | July 10 – 15
Unplug for a bit with a week of outdoor fun and adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Smoky Mountains Family Camp at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont will bring parents and kids together, with wildlife studies, guided hikes, Cades Cove explorations, salamander searches, and plenty of fun activities. Register online to get your spot!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | July 14 – 23
Looking for the perfect piece to become a family heirloom or serve as your one-of-a-kind souvenir from your Gatlinburg vacation? Stop by the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair at the Gatlinburg Convention Center this summer to see artists at work and browse aisles of beautiful handmade goods, from pottery and jewelry to baskets and beyond. Artists from across the country showcase their incredible work here, and FREE live music concerts are held each day!


Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival | August 16 – 20
For the 5th year, this annual event in the Smokies will bring 130+ musicians, singers, and songwriters to Gatlinburg for workshops, mentoring sessions, and opportunities to impress with performances throughout the city. Songwriters will perform along the streets and at area restaurants and venues, showcasing their skills and hoping to be discovered! For more information, call 865.604.9066.


Taste of Autumn | September 14
A true taste of the Smokies, Gatlinburg’s Taste of Autumn each fall features some of the best food and drinks from area restaurants. Guests can sample tasty treats at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and listen to live music, all while supporting a great cause – the United Way of Sevier County.

Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival | mid-September to late October
Pumpkins lining the Parkway, stacks of haybales, mums and scarecrows, hot apple cider, the smell of cinnamon and freshly-baked bread…it’s fall in the Great Smoky Mountains! Celebrate the season during the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, with family-friendly fall events, seasonal décor, and more.

Mountain Life Festival | September 16
Step back in time during the Mountain Life Festival at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center Mountain Farm Museum this fall. Costumed performers will offer live demonstrations of traditional Appalachian life activities, from blacksmithing and lye soap making to chair bottoming and hearth cooking.


OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg | September 22 – October 29
A local version of one of the most popular and well-known festivals in the world, OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg boasts beer, Bavarian music, and brats: a recipe for a celebration to remember. OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg is a family-friendly German festival with live entertainment by the Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band – an annual favorite – German-style wines, ales, and outdoor games.

Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival | dates TBD
Each year, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts opens its doors to the public for gallery browsing, live music, and free kids’ activities during the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival. It’s a celebration of the history and arts in the area and an opportunity for local students and artists to showcase their work.

hocktober | October 1-31
A twist on the typical Halloween celebration, Shocktober mixes magic, comedy, and horror in its performances at the Iris Theater at the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | October 5 - 22
Browse the 200+ booths of handmade goods by talented artists and craftsmen from across the country during this fall showcase. The fair features thousands of unique pieces, from photos, paintings, and jewelry to wood carvings, pottery, and baskets.

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament | October 7 – 8
Kids, adults, locals, and visitors can compete for the $10,000+ in cash and prizes at the Fall Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament – the largest trout tournament in the Smokies. With more than 10,000 trout stocked in 20+ miles of streams, there are ample opportunities for fun and friendly competition.

Trick or Treat Kickoff Carnival | October 31
Have a safe and Happy Halloween during this family-friendly alternative to door-to-door trick or treating. The Trick or Treat Kickoff Carnival will offer games and candy for the kids, along with costume contests, costumed characters, and inflatables! Have some fun at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies plaza and know you’re giving to a good cause, with any proceeds benefiting the United Way of Sevier County.


Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff | November 8
As you stroll along the streets of downtown Gatlinburg this winter, warm up with samples of hearty chili – and vote for your favorite bowl – at the Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff. It’s the perfect start to the holiday season in the Smokies, with glittering lights, comfort food, and the snow-capped Smoky Mountains in the distance.

Veterans Day Celebration | November 11
Salute our nation’s heroes this Veterans Day with patriotic music and speeches by veterans and their families in the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies square.

Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights | dates TBD
Experience the magic of the Gatlinburg Christmas lights – $1 million worth of them – aboard a climate-controlled Gatlinburg trolley during the Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. The all-LED displays feature favorite holiday favorites like snowmen, Santa Claus, whimsical fountains, and reindeer.

Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show | November 21 – 26
The perfect place to get a feel for the arts culture in the mountains and get a jumpstart on holiday shopping, the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center is a showcase of the pottery, leather goods, baskets, paintings, dishes, and more. Artists are also on hand for demonstrations, showing firsthand how they create their one-of-a-kind masterpieces.

Winter Magic Tunes and Tales | weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas
What could make strolls along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg even more magical this winter? How about costumed carolers singing the songs of the season and telling the stories of the mountains as you go? Winter Magic Tunes and Tales brings a touch of whimsy and holiday cheer to the streets of Gatlinburg through Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees | date TBD
Browse the beautifully decorated trees, and give back to local charities, during Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Guests can pose with their favorite themed tree while enjoying an evening of family fun and holiday cheer.

Great Smoky Christmas Arts and Crafts Show | November 27 – December 3
Get some holiday shopping done early, or find a piece that will become a family heirloom, at this annual holiday craft show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The room will be bursting with holiday cheer, from handmade quilts, baskets, and bears to hand-carved Santas, hand-poured candles, and homemade jellies and jams!


Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade | December 1
The perfect start to a fun holiday season in the Smokies, the 42nd Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade will make its way through the streets of Gatlinburg with marching bands, horses, floats, giant balloons, festive music, and your favorite holiday characters! Get there early for a good spot (and bring your cup of hot chocolate)!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show & Ball Drop | December 31
Each year, the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle becomes the hub for New Year’s Eve fun with a huge ball drop and fireworks show! Gather for fun, music, fireworks, favors, and more!