Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Smoky Mountain Winterfest is an annual holiday tradition in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. During this four-month winter festival, these charming mountain towns celebrate with holiday lights, festive decorations, parades and fireworks.
Winterfest in Gatlinburg kicks off in November with the annual Chili Cookoff. The hot and spicy competition also marks the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic when millions of twinkling LED lights adorn the streets of downtown Gatlinburg. Reservations are recommended for the popular Trolley Ride of Lights, which takes passengers on a 45-minute narrated tour of the festive light displays. When December rolls around, thousands of spectators turn out for Gatlinburg's Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, which features marching bands, giant helium balloons, costumed characters aboard colorful floats and, of course, more lights!
In Pigeon Forge, Winterfest commences with an Annual Veteran's Parade at Patriot Park. The day includes musical entertainment, food vendors, a play area for kids, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. As night falls, the evening is capped with the traditional lighting of more than five million lights in Pigeon Forge's Winterfest displays, followed by a fireworks show. Pigeon Forge also hosts its own Trolley Tour of Lights, which includes a personal tour guide who shares stories about the town's history as well as details about the holiday displays.
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