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7 Events in Gatlinburg That Festival-Goers Can't Miss

By Amelia Gibson, Posted on 11 Dec, 2022 at 12:43 am

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Gatlinburg Events

With its spectacular mountain views and year-round outdoor activities, Gatlinburg is a premier resort city nestled in the gorgeous Sevier County of Tennessee. Situated 39 miles (63 km) east of Knoxville, this area makes the perfect getaway. Gatlinburg is known for its Gatlinburg Strip, a 4-mile (6 km) strip of the city’s best attractions. The Gatlinburg strip is full of restaurants, shops, and amusement parks such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Dollywood.


Annual Events in Gatlinburg

Enjoy the beauty and excitement of Gatlinburg all year round by attending events that create treasured memories you'll never forget. Discover what excitement awaits you this year with our list of annual activities and fun things to do!


New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show:

New Year's Eve in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is an event you do not want to miss! The New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show attracts thousands of revelers annually. As midnight approaches, watch the giant illuminated ball drop from a rooftop and enjoy the cascading fireworks that light up the night sky.

For over 30 years, this free and family-friendly event has been one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in America. And this year's celebration promises to be an unforgettable way to end the year with a bang!

Ring in the New Year with Gatlinburg and its iconic Space Needle at the 33rd Annual Ball Drop and Fireworks Show on Saturday, December 31st! Celebrate among thousands as you bring in 2023 under a starry sky full of dazzling fireworks.


Gatlinburg-The Town of Smoky Mountains


Gatlinburg's 4th of July Midnight Parade:

Gatlinburg's 4th of July Midnight Parade is one of the most unique celebrations in the nation. It kicks off at an earlier hour than usual, so that people from all over can join in on the festivities. The after-dark celebration includes a massive fireworks show that lights up Gatlinburg and points beyond. Along with the colorful lighting displays, there are countless floats, marching bands, entertainers, themed vehicles and more — creating a visual extravaganza during this special holiday event. Gatlinburg's 4th of July Midnight Parade draws huge crowds every year, offering families and friends a memorable way to celebrate America's birthday!


Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair:

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair is an annual family-friendly event that showcases the work of talented artisans from all over the country. This event offers something for everyone – with over 200 exhibitors, there are handmade arts and crafts displays as well as workshops, classes and demonstrations. Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair celebrates the unique talent of craftspeople throughout the region and encourages individuals to appreciate traditional craft techniques. Take some time to explore Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair next year to view beautiful handmade items crafted by artisans and watch them demonstrate their skill. You may even learn a new craft or two!

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Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival:

Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is an exciting and unique event held annually in the Smoky Mountains area. It is a chance for locals and tourists alike to experience the beauty of fall in the Smokies through harvest-themed activities that honor both local Appalachian traditions as well as modern entertainment. Attendees can expect to enjoy such offerings as live music, locally sourced food, artisanal craft-making demonstrations, and traditional storytelling––all while taking in the stunning autumnal views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Whether you're a resident of the Smokies or just passing through, there's no better way to get into the spirit of fall than at Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival!


Fall Colors Report:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is known for its breathtaking views during the fall season. Gatlinburg offers an amazing variety of natural landscapes that are filled with vibrant colors of both the trees and the leaves. If you're planning a trip this fall, Gatlinburg should be at the top of your list. The Gatlinburg Fall Colors Report informs tourists on what days and times provide the best views so that plans can be crafted around maximizing one's experience. Even more exciting, Gatlinburg provides hikes and treks to certain peaks that provide stunning panoramic views of unique fall foliage patterns and mountain ranges. There is no better way to close out summer than visiting Gatlinburg in the fall season!


Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade:

Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is a beloved Gatlinburg holiday tradition that has been bringing cheer to the city for years. This remarkable parade takes place in early December and features nightmarishly spectacular 3-D floats, unique costumes, national award-winning marching bands and other performers as they march along Gatlinburg’s world-famous Parkway. The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade captivates spectators with its delightful wintry display of creative light designs that glitters throughout the city. It's no wonder this Gatlinburg tradition recently won the “Best Holiday Event in America” award from the National Festivals & Events Association! There is just something special about watching twinkling lights as they move along one of Tennessee’s most popular destinations - Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade!


What You Need To Know For Your Trip To The Gatlinburg Strip


St. Patrick's Day Celebration:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a hot spot for celebrating St. Patrick's Day with its annual Gatlinburg St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. Every year, Gatlinburg turns into a sea of green as the town comes alive with music, dancing, food and fun! Entertainment includes live music, Irish dancers and local vendors selling unique crafts, souvenirs, and festive apparel. Attendees can also enjoy some of Gatlinburg's most popular attractions such as Anakeesta or take part in on-the-street activities like dancing to toe-tapping Irish tunes or drinking Irish beer at one of Gatlinburg's many bars. With many family friendly events to participate in throughout the day and late into the night there is something for everyone at this fun-filled celebrated centered around the Emerald Isle!


Places to stay in Gatlinburg, TN:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a great vacation destination for travelers of all ages. Thanks to its close proximity to the Gatlinburg Airport and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, there are many wonderful places to stay in and around Gatlinburg that cater to different budgets and needs. From cozy cabins tucked away in the woods, to luxurious resorts with all the amenities, to boutique accommodations near downtown, you're sure to find something that suits your style and budget. For those looking for a unique experience, there are also plenty of lodges and bed & breakfasts tucked away in the scenic Smoky Mountains. Whether you're flying into Gatlinburg or driving in from out of town, there's a place to stay that's perfect for you.


The following are our top picks for the most unique hotel stays:


Gatlinburg is a great place to visit any time of year, but the fall colors and Christmas parade are definitely not to be missed! There's also plenty of St. Patrick's Day fun to be had in Gatlinburg, so make sure to add it to your list of places to visit. And finally, no trip would be complete without finding a place to stay - luckily, there are plenty of options in Gatlinburg that will fit any budget. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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About Author

Amelia Gibson

Amelia Gibson is a 28 years old travel blogger who quit her career in finance for her passion for exploring the planet. She's been traveling for six years now and has traveled across 40 countries. She is working with top brands and sponsors from all around the world. She is extremely talented in photography, a good writer, and a content creator.