It may be hard to believe, but the leaves are budding and the daffodils are in full bloom in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, and this means that Springfest in the Smokies has begun! This is a beautiful time to visit the Smokies. Traffic is not as heavy as it is in the summertime or the fall, the weather is normally pleasant, and most of the theaters, attractions, restaurants and accommodations are open and ready for business. And, in addition to all of the fun things you can normally do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, there are many special events to enjoy now through the first week in June.
Pigeon Forge is noted for the many car shows and Rod Runs and the season kicks-off with the Pigeon Forge Rod Run on April 11, 12 13 & 14. There you will see classic Chevys, Fords, GMCs and Gold Wing motorcycles. Visitors can drive or walk the Parkway and view thousands of classic cars – most of them in mint condition. Many of the car owners are ready to sell or swap and there are car parts as well as Rod Run merchandise for sale. Pack your cooler, bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the chrome display!
Another Parkway phenomenon is the annual Dolly Parade, with Grand Marshall Dolly Parton. This parade is in Pigeon Forge on May 2 and begins at 6:00 pm. There will be marching bands, horse patrols, clowns, Shriners and floats filled with performers from the area theaters, and personnel and equipment from the area attractions like go-kart tracks, ziplines and whitewater rafting.
If music is your thing you can combine great tunes with great views at Music of the Mountains held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on April 25, 26 and 27. You will hear mountain music, bluegrass music and modern music in three locations in the Park: Friday at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN; Saturday at Sugarlands Visitor Center in Gatlinburg, TN; and Sunday afternoon at the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center in Cosby, TN.
Now if you are ready for a rip-roaring good time, then you need to attend Gatlinburg’s Beans & Cornbread Blast on May 8th. This is a street fair with art and crafts and also with local food vendors competing against each other with bean recipes. The City of Gatlinburg promises you a “Rootin’, Tootin’ Good Time!”
The City of Sevierville hosts Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass May 16-17 and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Association hosts their Easter craft show April 15-19.
Then, from the ridiculous to the sublime – so to speak – come to the National Park in early June to see a natural phenomenon that occurs in the Great Smoky Mountains. This naturally occurring event at Elkmont is called Synchronous Fireflies and is one of the mysteries of the Smokies. Every year during the first few days of June, the fireflies at Elkmont all light up together, and blink on-and-off in sync!
For more information on events in the area you can call the three major cities close to the Smokies: Gatlinburg at 800-568-4748, Pigeon Forge at 800-251-9100 and Sevierville at 888-738-4378. Or, go to https://bestreadguidesmokymountains.com for coupons and information on the area.