Great Smoky Mountains National Park
During the three-month Springfest celebration that begins in March and continues through the second week in June, visitors witness the Smoky Mountain area transformation into spring when city streets overflow with baskets of beautiful blooming flowers and plants. Pansies, daffodils, tulips, mandevillas, bougainvilleas, lantanas, scaveolas and wave petunias are among the many varieties of flowers seen throughout the towns surrounding the national park.
Live entertainment can be found along sidewalks in downtown Gatlinburg, adding a festive flair to the time-honored Downtown Parkway stroll.
Members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community display unique handcrafted wares as they gather at the Gatlinburg Convention Center to host their annual Easter Arts & Crafts show Easter weekend. On Easter morning, join in the local tradition and attend Ober Gatlinburg’s Annual Easter Sunrise Service enhanced by the beauty of the Smokies. Free tram rides to the mountain top begin at 5:45 a.m. and continue in 15 minute intervals until the service begins. Complimentary parking at the resort is provided for those who prefer to drive. A breakfast buffet will be waiting and available at the Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.
The smell of hickory-smoked barbeque fills the air as folks roll up sleeves and dive in to sample their secret sauces on delectable ribs and wings from more than 30 vendors from all over the Southeast in April at Gatlinburg’s Ribfest & Wings. This festive street party features live blues entertainment, lots of fun and barbeque ribs and wings on the open grill just for your tasting.
The Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is another great event, especially for hikers and nature lovers who love to see delicate wildflowers in bloom. Hosted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the University of Tennessee Botany Department and the Gatlinburg Garden Club, this seven-day program offers more than 150 different hiking tours of trails ranging from easy to strenuous, exhibitions, demonstrations, classroom lectures and delightful motor excursions into the wonderful season of spring in the Smokies.
Spring events continue with Gatlinburg’s Scottish Festival & Games Grand Parade in May in downtown Gatlinburg. All Scots are invited to march or ride in the parade. Mills Park in Gatlinburg becomes competitive ground for the Annual Scottish Festival & Games where clans meet and feature Highland athletics, bagpipe competitions, highland dancing, border collie demonstrations, haggis hurling, entertainment and whiskey tasting, along with food and merchandise vendors.
Gatlinburg's Fine Arts Festival, a family-oriented fine arts festival featuring juried artists from around the country, delicious cuisine and music takes place on Aquarium Plaza and River Road usually the third Saturday and Sunday in May. Proceeds benefit Arrowmont School of Art and Sevier County Arts Council.
In June, enjoy fun-filled days of bluegrass and genuine mountain music with crafters and demonstrations at the kick-off of Gatlinburg’s MountainFest® – A Celebration of Our Heritage. Local crafters will be demonstrating their skills passed down from generation to generation. Enjoy local foods such as beans and cornbread, fried taters and onions and fried green tomatoes by the areas favorite restaurants. Get a taste of some of the areas talent with the Mountain Strings Competition. Fiddles, banjos, and guitar players are invited to compete for awards and cash prizes.
Beginning in early June and continuing through mid-August during MountainFest® is Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales®. You can experience numerous entertainment mini-performances every evening featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans portraying various time periods from the 1800s to today as you stroll in downtown Gatlinburg. Nearly a dozen acts involve the audience as they each perform in simultaneous ten-minute performances throughout the night.