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Springfest in Gatlinburg

It’s that time again! Drum roll please…spring has sprung! When spring arrives in the Smokies. You know that it is time for Springfest once again! Lasting three full months, Springfest is an annually celebrated event located in the popular Smoky Mountain cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, TN. Beginning in early March, this festival is packed with events such as: the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Show, the Dollywood Parade, Dollywood's Festival of Nations, Ribfest, Spring Grand Rod Run, Synchronous Fireflies, the Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival, the Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Gatlinburg's Scottish Festival & Games, Quiltfest, and so much more.

With the frost of the last fallen snow newly melted, this spring weather is being welcomed with open arms. From the locals to the vacationers, the excitement of the impending warm weather is giving everyone an itch to get outdoors, never mind the allergies! Whether you frequent the Smokies for crafts, nature, food, or simple family time, you will find something for everyone to enjoy during your Springfest visit!
Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival
Every year in Sevierville, Tennessee, the Bloomin BBQ & Bluegrass festival brings locals and visitors together for great food and music. The two-day May event will be packed full of activities for all! Some of the special events include:

  • Mountain Soul Vocal Competition is an event in April that honors the works of over 3,000 songs penned by Dolly Parton herself. The two age groups are 12 and under and 13 and over. The deadline for the preliminary round of The Mountain Soul Vocal Competition will be posted on the official website annually. You can also send in audition tapes that will then be judged by a panel of entertainment professionals. The winners of this competition will be given cash and prizes to take home. You need only sing your favorite Dolly Parton song to enter this competition. Choose your favorite song by Dolly, sing it in your own way, and dress how you want!
  • The SteelDrivers in concert - This Bluegrass band of five are all seasoned artists with many accomplishments of their own under their belts. Having released two previous albums in 2008 and 2010, this three-time Grammy-nominated group has also been nominated for the American Music Association’s New Artist of the year Award, four IBMA awards, was featured in a movie in 2009 entitled Get Low, and had four of their songs featured on the movie’s soundtrack. This well-known group has gotten a lot of attention from some pretty big names over the years. British artist Adele has been known to sing the SteelDrivers song “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” in some of her live performances. The SteelDrivers have performed many places, including The Grand Ole Opry, NPR’s Mountain Stage, and the Conan O’Brien Show.
  • Every May, you can look for the Barbeque Cookers event during Springfest! See the official website to sign up for a barbeque cook team. Sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque Society, this event is the place that many contestants from all over the U.S enter to have their barbeque tasted and judged in hopes of winning! Each year, there are two individuals that are recognized for their award-winning barbeque. Contestants can enter to win as Grand Champion and the Reserve Champion.
  • With vendors from all over, the arts & crafts show in the Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival is one event that many people attend to show off their creative side. To enter this year’s festival as a vendor, simply go onto the official website and submit your application. This entry form is deadline sensitive.
  • Various bluegrass bands gather every year, traveling from all over to be a part of the Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival! The concerts are part of the two-day festival and are usually free, unless otherwise advertised.

Synchronous Fireflies
A truly unique and magical experience, the Synchronous Fireflies is a spectacular event to witness! The dates for this event vary annually, because the light display involves the mating habits of the fireflies. These last two weeks per year, typically around June. The habits never stay the same, and scientists have yet to find a pattern.

Some simple rules to remember:

  • Stay on the trail at all times
  • Do not catch fireflies
  • Cover your flashlight with red or blue cellophane
  • Only point your flashlight at the ground

The annual Quiltfest happens every March in the Smokies. To register to enter one of your own quilts into the festival, simply pay $10 and fill out the official online form. This competition gives participants the chance to win over $20,000 in cash and prizes! There are more than 60 different quilting classes and 10 different categories. The quilt show displays a variety of different quilts. The city of Pigeon Forge is proud to produce the Mountain Quiltfest, and this event is hosted by the Piecemakers and the Sevier Valley Quilters Guild.