By Leif Palmer
Posted on September 18, 2019
Yep, it still feels like summer out there, and there's still a few days left before the official beginning of fall. But those crispy days and turning leaves will be here before you know it. And the folks in the Great Smoky Mountains aren't waiting. In fact, Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival kicked off on September 6, and it will run through November 22.
“We could not live in a more picturesque area for viewing the fall colors,” said Mark Adams, Gatlinburg CVB CEO/President. “We wanted to capitalize on the seasonal beauty by extending our Harvest Festival to the end of November, thus giving visitors more opportunities to experience autumn in the Smokies.”
The city of Gatlinburg is pulling out the stops when it comes to seasonal decorations. This year, they have added new life-size, three-dimensional scarecrow people to go along with traditional décor like hay bales, pumpkins and gourds.
Within the broader framework of Harvest Festival in Gatlinburg, visitors will find a wide array of individual events presented by local businesses and organizations. For example, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort hosts its annual Oktoberfest celebration, 9/27 through 11/3, complete with Bavarian-style food, drink and music. Then downtown, you might run into Tunes and Tales performers from 10/2 through 10/24. These costumed storytellers, musicians and cloggers will be portraying Appalachian characters along the Parkway on Friday and Saturday evenings.
If you're into fishing, try to make it to the annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, October 4 and 5, which will allow kids and adults, locals and visitors a chance to fish local streams stocked with thousands of trout. Participants will be competing for prizes and awards.
As we approach Halloween, Ripley's Haunted Adventure will present their annual Fright Nights on Fridays throughout the month of October, and Ripley's Aquarium will host their annual Trick or Treat Kick-Off Karnival on Halloween Day.
Meanwhile, one of the most popular craft events in the region, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, returns to the Gatlinburg Convention Center October 10 through 27. This event welcomes elite crafts people from all over the country, and they will be on hand to sell their works and demonstrate their skills.
Continue following our blog over the next couple of months, as we will post more detailed information about some of these events as their time approaches. And if you're planning on attending multiple events during your stay, remember that we offer plenty of options for Gatlinburg trolley parking.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.