By Leif Palmer
Posted on October 7, 2021
Gatlinburg is well into this year's Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, and this week sees the kickoff of one of the city's most popular seasonal activities-the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair. The annual event showcases the work of talented artisans and craftspeople who hail not just from the Smokies region but also from around the country. Participants are juried, which means their work is evaluated and selected for inclusion in the event based on its uniqueness and quality. This ensures that only the top artists will be in attendance and that their work is original and handcrafted.
This year's Craftsmen's Fair runs October 7 through 24 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center on Historic Nature Trail in downtown Gatlinburg. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $10. Kids 17 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult. This marks the 46th year for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, which was ranked as one of the top five craft fairs in the nation by artisans who have attended more than 400 such craft events around the country.
On the convention center's 150,000-square-foot floor, attendees will discover two hundred booths occupied by artists displaying their one-of-a-kind products. All items represented are handmade, top quality and unique. Look for everything from pottery work and molded leather to copper art and homemade candy. Other creations include seasonal décor like holiday wreaths, ceramic Christmas trees, festive reindeer and a wide variety of ornaments, wall hangings and holiday-themed treats. That makes Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair and a wonderful opportunity to get a leg up on this year's Christmas shopping.
In addition to the displays of handcrafted merchandise for sale, guests will be able to see many of the participating artists demonstrating their crafts on site, and all the craftspeople will be on hand to talk about their work and answer questions. And as always, the Craftsmen's Fair showcases more than just arts and crafts. Live country, gospel and bluegrass music shows are scheduled daily and are free with fair admission. Shows take place at 12 and 3 p.m. daily. This year's lineup of performers includes The Dennis Lee Band, Monroeville and Misty River.
If you're wondering about where to park for this year's fair, no worries. We have plenty of parking near Gatlinburg Convention Center-several different lots that offer reasonable daily rates and the added convenience of being within easy walking distance of the Craftsmen's Fair. And if you want to explore other areas of downtown Gatlinburg that day as well, you can leave your car in one handy location and move around town by foot or by trolley.
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.