By Leif Palmer
Posted on July 20, 2018
In addition to the mountains themselves, one of the top reasons that people visit the Smokies region is the abundance of arts and crafts. It makes sense when you consider that the natural proliferation of arts and crafts was partially responsible for helping launch the tourism industry here in the first place.
More than seven decades later, arts and crafts, like tourism, is still a big draw and going strong. Folks from all over the world make the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community in Gatlinburg one of the main stops on their itinerary when they come to the Smokies, and there are also several craft shows in our area each year that add even more appeal to those who appreciate that special aspect of Appalachian culture.
One of the biggest shows in town each year is the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, which is in the middle of its annual summer show. That event is currently taking place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center downtown and runs through this Sunday, July 22.
One unique characteristic of this annual event is the fact that artisans not only make their art available for viewing and for sale, but they also demonstrate their special talents and skills on the convention center floor during the show. You'll see displays and demonstrations of a wide range of craft forms, including pottery, leather work, candy making, candle making, glass work, metal work and many more. And because this is a juried event, only the top crafts people in the country are allowed to display their wares and share their skills with show guests.
This has been such a popular event in Gatlinburg over the years that the Southeast Tourism Society has ranked it as one of their top 20 events in the Southern U.S.
In addition to the many craft vendors and demo areas, this fair includes multiple live country and bluegrass performances each day. Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for a closing time of 5 p.m. on Sunday. Music performances take place at 12, 2 and 4 p.m. daily, except there's no 4 p.m. show on Sunday.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center is within easy walking distance of most of our downtown parking lots, and when you compare our rates to Gatlinburg parking garage prices, we think you'll conclude that parking in one of our handy lots for the day is the most economical and convenient option.
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.