As I walked into my favorite hometown restaurant last Sunday, I quickly came to the realization that fall is upon us. In fact, I have found that in many restaurants and stores, the beginning of fall decorations- -changing leaves, scarecrows, cornucopias and the like- -have actually been completely skipped over in favor of cute kids’ costumes and black and orange Halloween decorations. I have even spotted the errant Christmas tree, tucked in a not-so-inconspicuous corner of the store! I am a consumer, and I am not fooled by this flit skip of the pure enjoyment of fall, in the absence of a holiday. I know businesses make a lot of money from Halloween and Christmas, and so it is understandable that they would be so hasty to push us into those holidays.
But, despite their efforts, I love fall simply because of its essence. I love the bright colors of the leaves, the cool, crisp air, and the warm, comforting foods. Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the greatest places to take all of these things in, and at the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, all the goodness of fall awaits anyone wishing to relish in good food, great art, and fun times.
September 15th to October 31st in Gatlinburg, TN, boasts the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, with an endless spread of food, art, history, and mountain culture. Throughout the entire fall season, visitors of the Smoky Mountains will find themselves privy to a number of festivals. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is held October 6th through the 23rd, and is just one of many events at which the art and craftsmanship of Gatlinburg is showcased.
Arts and crafts are an important part of the culture in and around Gatlinburg and the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In fact, the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, located in the northeast corner of Gatlinburg, is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Here, during the Festival and year round, guests can indulge their fall craft cravings with shops and demonstrations featuring candle making, quilting, basket weaving, wood carving and painting. In addition, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is in Gatlinburg, and offers a wide range of classes for students from beginners up.
Fall is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to visit Gatlinburg, so plan a trip, and when you get here, be sure to get to know a little more about the rich heritage of this wonderful city.