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Fun and (sometimes!) Free Gatlinburg Things to Do, Special Events, Festivals

** This calendar of fun things to do and free events in the Smoky Mountains area is current as of 2014.
Event listings are subject to change without notice to Best Western Ogle's Properties.  Please confirm events, times and locations if your travel plans are contingent on this list of events. **

May 2015 Fun Things to Do

1-June 7
Smoky Mountain Springfest:
  Springtime in the Mountains!  Come celebrate the season in the Great Smoky Mountains area with special events and local craft shows throughout Sevier County.  Includes special family fun events for Gatlinburg's "It's a Spring Thing."

1
Dolly’s Homecoming Parade:
  At 6 p.m., Dolly Parton herself will be heading up the 30th Annual Home Coming Parade followed by decorated floats, school marching bands and local entertainers.  Pigeon Forge Parkway.

10
Happy Mother’s Day!
  We hope all those wonderful women who’ve raised and nurtured children have a fantastic day filled with love and appreciation.

14
Gatlinburg Beans n Cornbread Blast:
   Downtown Gatlinburg will be the scene of a foot stompin' good time with great entertainment and recipe sampling of the best corn bread and beans of the south!  This street festival is sponsored by Bush Brothers Beans.

15-16
Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass Festival:
  Enjoy free admission to Sevierville’s largest event and Festival of the Year!  Bluegrass concerts, kids games, Smoky Mountain crafts, and delicious BBQ for 2 full days.  New for 2015:  People’s Choice BBQ tasting and voting.  www.BloominBBQ.com

16, 23, 30
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

22-25
Tanger Outlets Memorial Day Weekend Sale:
  Shop at Tanger Mall in Sevierville for extra savings during this 4-day sale.  Visit www.tangeroutlet.com/coupons for current sales and discounts.

23-June 7
Dollyworld Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival:
  It’s a new season for Dolly’s BBQ and Bluegrass, but it the same great fun!  Listen to the sounds of the best names in bluegrass and savor the tastes of great BBQ now through June 7.  dollywood.com

25
Happy Memorial Day!
  Celebrate the memory of the men and women who lost their lives serving in our country’s armed forces.

June 2015 Events and Festival

1-7
Smoky Mountain Springfest:
  Springtime in the Mountains!  Come celebrate the season in the Great Smoky Mountains area with special events and local craft shows throughout Sevier County.  Includes special family fun events for Gatlinburg's "It's a Spring Thing."

Dollyworld Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival:  It’s a new season for Dolly’s BBQ and Bluegrass, but it the same great fun!  Listen to the sounds of the best names in bluegrass and savor the tastes of great BBQ. dollywood.com

6, 13, 20, 27
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

13-August 2
Dollywood’s Great American Summer:
  Pack in more summertime fun with family and friends at Dollywood with longer park hours, news shows, and a fireworks display every night through August 2.  Open until 10 p.m.!  dollywood.com.

13-August 15
Free Parkway Trolley:
  Take a free ride in downtown Gatlinburg between traffic lights #1 and #10 on specially marked trolleys and get on and off as often as you’d like. Free trolley rides offered from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day through August 15.

21
Happy Father’s Day!
  We hope all those wonderful men who’ve raised and nurtured children have a fantastic day filled with love and appreciation.

July 2015 Special Events

1-August 2
Dollywood’s Great American Summer:
  Pack in more summertime fun with family and friends at Dollywood with longer park hours, news shows, and a fireworks display every night through August 2.  Open until 10 p.m.!  dollywood.com.

1- August 15
Free Parkway Trolley:
  Take a free ride in downtown Gatlinburg between traffic lights #1 and #10 on specially marked trolleys and get on and off as often as you’d like. Free trolley rides offered from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day through August 15.

3
4th of July Midnight Parade:
  You’ll have the best seat in the house when staying at Crossroads Inn or Twin Islands for this 40th annual parade!

3-6
Tanger Outlets 4th of July Weekend Sale:
  Shop at Tanger Mall in Sevierville for extra savings during this 4-day sale.  Visit www.tangeroutlet.com/coupons for current sales and discounts.

4
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

River Raft Regatta:  Free and fun unmanned, floatable object race that begins at noon at the Christ in the Smokies Museum and ends at the bridge at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  10 a.m. registration for the 12 p.m. race.

4th of July Fireworks Show:  Be at the Space Needle no later than 10 p.m. in downtown Gatlinburg to mark our nation’s “Independence Day” with a spectacular fireworks show.

25th Annual Patriot Festival:  An all day party beginning around noon in Pigeon Forge that celebrates America’s birthday lots of free kids activities, entertainment and food at Patriot Park.  Fireworks begin at dark.  MyPigeonForge.com/patriot.

11, 18, 25
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

17-26
Summer Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair:
  Live country & bluegrass entertains while you browse and shop for heirloom quality merchandise in downtown Gatlinburg at the Convention Center.  Craft show is open every day from 10 a.m. -6 p.m. and 10 a.m. -5 p.m. on Sunday.

August 2015 Fun Stuff to Do

1-2
Dollywood’s Great American Summer:
  Pack in more summertime fun with family and friends at Dollywood with longer park hours, news shows, and a fireworks display every night through August 2.  Open until 10 p.m.!  dollywood.com.

1-31
Celebrate Freedom:
  Twin Islands and participating Pigeon Forge businesses honor active and retired military discounts throughout the month.

1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

1-15
Free Parkway Trolley:
  Take a free ride in downtown Gatlinburg between traffic lights #1 and #10 on specially marked trolleys and get on and off as often as you’d like. Free trolley rides offered from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day.

7-9
Tennessee Annual Sales Tax-Free Weekend:
  Enjoy tax-free purchases on certain back to school items including computers, clothing and supplies.

Back to School Tax Free Weekend Sidewalk Sales:  Shop Tanger Outlets Mall in Sevierville great back to school savings.  Mall hours are extended on Friday & Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.  Happy Shopping Savings!

19-23
Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival:
  Celebrating the area’s Appalachian musical roots, Gatlinburg hosts its 4th Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival in a variety of Gatlinburg venues. Call (865) 604-9066 or email smswf@yahoo.com for locations and times.

September 2015 Calendar of Events

4-7
Labor Day Weekend Sale:
  Shop Tanger Outlets Mall in Sevierville for excellent end of summer clearances.  Happy Shopping Savings!

5, 12, 19, 26
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

7
Happy Labor Day!
  You’ve worked hard all year long… this is your day (weekend) to kick back and relax.

12-October 31
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival:
  A countywide celebration of harvest season features festivals, special events and autumn-themed displays throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

11-October 29
Dollywood National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration:
  America’s largest southern gospel event brings over 300 concerts from gospel stars and the art of the country’s best crafters to Dollywood Theme Park.

26-October 24
30th Annual Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Fair: 
This craft show brings artists from all over the country to offer unique, possibly never you’ve seen before, handcrafted gifts and products.  Located at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge.

26-27
Smoky Mountain Fall Trout Tournament:
  Fishing tournament and prizes are up for grabs during the largest fall trout tournament in the Smokies.  Open to all ages.  Contact Rocky Top Outfitters or visit smokymountaintrouttournament.com for full details.

25-November 2
Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg:
  Bavarian-style food, beverages, music and live entertainment fuel this festival through November 2.  Multiple shows Fridays-Sundays.


October 2015 Things to Do

TBA
35th Annual Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Fair:
This craft show brings artists from all over the country to offer unique, possibly never you’ve seen before, handcrafted gifts and products.  Located at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge.

2-31
Dollywood National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration:
  America’s largest southern gospel event brings over 300 concerts from gospel stars and the art of the country’s best crafters to Dollywood Theme Park.

1-November 2
Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg:
  Bavarian-style food, beverages, music and live entertainment fuel this festival through November 2.  Multiple shows Fridays-Sundays.

1-31
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival:
  A countywide celebration of harvest season features festivals, special events and autumn-themed displays throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

3, 10, 17
Gatlinburg Farmers Market:
  Now through October 17, shop for fresh local produce and homemade goods and food every Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Community at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.  www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com

2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30-31
Ripley’s Fright Nights:
  Ripley’s Haunted Adventure spooks up their 17th season with a frightful “Experiment in Terror” show each Friday-Sunday evening in October and on Halloween night.  Not appropriate for young children.

9-12
Columbus Day Sidewalk Sale:
  Visit Tanger Outlet Mall in Sevierville for excellent savings on your favorite Brand Names throughout.  Visit tangeroutlet.com/sevierville/coupons for current sales.

8-25
Fall Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair:
  Live country & bluegrass entertains while you browse and shop for heirloom quality merchandise at over 200 artisan booths.  Craft show is open every day from 10 a.m. -6 p.m. and 10 a.m. -5 p.m. on Sunday.

31
Trick Or Treat Kickoff Carnival:
  Local businesses offer contests, costumed characters, inflatables and candy on Halloween at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Sevier County.  Carnival begins at 1 p.m. and trick-or-treat at local businesses begins around 6 p.m.

November 2015 Fun Stuff to Do

1-2
Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg:
  Bavarian-style food, beverages, music and live entertainment fuel this festival through November 2.  Multiple shows Fridays-Sundays.

7-January 3, 2015
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival:
  Celebrate Christmas in the Smokies and include a day (or two!) at Dollywood for endless Christmas lights and special holiday shows.  Special New Years Eve celebration!!  Closed 12/24, 12/25.  dollywood.com

11
Veterans Day Celebration:
  Gatlinburg, an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day, will salute the men and women of the Armed Forces during a special ceremony at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza at 11 a.m.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff:  Enjoy live entertainment and lots of chili on the downtown strip from 5 to 8 p.m.   Purchase a spoon for unlimited sampling of chili prepared by local businesses.  Lights come on at 8!

11-December 30
Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights:
  Enjoy a guided trolley tour of spectacular Gatlinburg Winter Magic lighting displays. Departure is from the Ripley’s Aquarium Trolley Station. Group reservations are available. Trolley leaves at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30. Tickets can be purchased online from eventsgatlinburg.com.  Excludes December 5, 24, 25.

11-February 28, 2016
Gatlinburg Winter Magic:
  Light up your winter nights with spectacular LED light displays throughout the Parkway, compliments of the city of Gatlinburg.

24-December 6
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Thanksgiving & Holiday Shows:
  Annual craft show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center featuring the unique handcrafted items of the members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.  www.gatlinburgcrafts.com

24-28
Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees:
  Dozens upon dozens of ornately decorated Christmas trees await visitors in this winter wonderland at Gatlinburg Convention Center’s W.L. Mills Conference Center.  Hours vary.  Event benefits Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries. (800) 568-4748

26
Happy Thanksgiving!

27-28
The Nutcracker “Sweet”:
  Holiday classic performance at 7 p.m. by the Smoky Mountain Dance Theater Company at the Gatlinburg Convention Center W.L. Mills Auditorium. Call (865) 680-7369 for ticket purchases.

December 2015 Special Events & Festivals

1-February 28, 2016
Gatlinburg Winter Magic:
  Light up your winter nights with spectacular LED light displays throughout the Parkway, compliments of the city of Gatlinburg.

1-January 3, 2016
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival:
  Celebrate Christmas in the Smokies and include a day (or two!) at Dollywood for endless Christmas lights and special holiday shows.  Special New Years Eve celebration!!  Closed 12/24, 12/25.  dollywood.com

1-6
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Holiday Show:
  Annual craft show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center featuring the unique handcrafted items of the members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.  www.gatlinburgcrafts.com

1-30
Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights:
  Enjoy a guided trolley tour of spectacular Gatlinburg Winter Magic lighting displays. Departure is from the Ripley’s Aquarium Trolley Station. Group reservations are available. Trolley leaves at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30. Tickets can be purchased online from eventsgatlinburg.com.  Excludes December 5, 24, 25.

4
Gatlinburg’s 40th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade:
  Recognized by the International Festival and Events Association, this popular Christmas parade in downtown Gatlinburg features lighted floats, marching bands, equestrian units and helium balloons. Parade begins at 7:30 p.m. at Traffic Light #1A and continues through downtown to Light #10.

25
Merry Christmas!

31
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show & Ball Drop:
  Downtown Gatlinburg’s fabulous fireworks show, live entertainment, and free party favors at the stroke of midnight for the 27th straight year!  Be at the Space Needle area (traffic light #8) for the “South’s Best New Year’s Eve Show.”

 

** This calendar of fun things to do and free events in the Smoky Mountains area is current as of 2014.
Event listings are subject to change without notice to Best Western Ogle's Properties.  Please confirm events, times and locations if your travel plans are contingent on this list of events. **

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800.223.9299
 [Best Western Twin Islands Reservations]
539 Parkway
Gatlinburg, Tennessee  37738
Toll Free: 800.223.9299
Local:  865.436.5121
Fax: 865.436.6208
GPS:  35.713414, -83.511368
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Enjoy a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains at our Gatlinburg hotel located just off the Parkway near Ripley's Aquarium
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