By Leif Palmer
Posted on July 8, 2022
Usually, autumn is the big season for craft fairs in the Great Smoky Mountains. But one popular craft event stages shows both in fall and in summer: The Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair. This year, the summer edition of the fair takes place July 8 through 17 at the Gatlinburg Convention center.
Typically, the event features more than 200 booths, collectively occupied by artisans and crafts people from all over the country. Participants showcase their one-of-a-kind, hand-made products on site, and many of them will be demonstrating their skills on the convention center floor as well. That makes it easy for guests to see how the crafts get made and even interact with the artisans if they choose.
What makes the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair special is the quality of its artists. Each participant is subjected to a rigorous jury process to ensure the uniqueness of their respective products. All items must be handmade and of the highest quality.
And with some 200 artisans on site, you can be guaranteed that a wide variety of arts and crafts will be on display and for sale. Look for everything from pottery, painted art, molded leather and copper art to candy making, photography, homemade brooms and many, many more varieties of products.
The fair is also a very kid-friendly event. For starters, guests ages 17 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult admission, and historically, the younger guests enjoy watching and talking with the artists and learning something new. There are even hands-on art projects that kids can take home with them.
Another component that makes the Craftsmen's Fair popular among Smokies visitors is the live music. Country, bluegrass and gospel acts take the stage at 12 and 3 p.m. daily. Concerts are included as part of daily admission, which is $10 per person. Multi-day passes are available. In addition, food concessions are sold on site, there are free push wheelchairs (while they last), and pets are welcome as long as they are contained in a pet container or stroller.
We recommend setting aside the better part of a day to fully enjoy the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, but there's good news when it comes to parking. We operate several parking lots within just a block or two of the Gatlinburg Convention Center, so you won't have to worry about your vehicle all day. And our Gatlinburg parking rates are among the best day-long rates you'll find in town.
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.