Redbud trees dot the landscape. Forsythia and rhododendron have begun to bloom. Dogwood-lined roads wait to greet you as you drive down a winding mountain road. Finally—spring has sprung in the Smokies!
Tennessee Special Olympics Winter Games 2016
Every year, an excited group of special athletes gear up for the exciting annual competition, the Tenneessee Special Olympics Winter Games! This January marks the 31st year for the games at Ober Gatlinburg. Bring your group to cheer on the contestants and witness all the action during your 2016 winter vacation to the Smokies.
For those who would like to know a little more about the Special Olympics, see our FAQs below. We’ve tried to answer all your top questions about this event, and we’re looking forward to seeing you on the sidelines at the end of January!
Upcoming Winter Events in the Smokies
With the holidays are behind us, that doesn’t mean you’ve run out of ways to have fun in the Smoky Mountains this winter. There are still plenty of fun-filled activities on the calendar for January and February. So pack your bags and get ready for some good times with friends and family this winter in the Smokies!
For the 28th year in a row, the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in the Smokies invite you to join thousands of other guests as they celebrate the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. Gatlinburg has plenty in store for you to enjoy leading up until midnight, including free music near the Gatlinburg Convention Center at traffic light number 8. For other fun-filled activities on the schedule for New Year’s Eve, check out these local attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Chili Cookoff and Veterans Day Kickoff Winterfest
The annual Winterfest in the Smoky Mountains, with events in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is the celebration of the holiday season. It is the culmination of all things Christmas and winter with more than 3 million holiday lights, decorated storefronts, kids’ activities, holiday events, and more. Smoky Mountain Winterfest is a big deal, and such a big event calls for an equally impressive kickoff! That’s where the annual Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff comes in. Each year, Winterfest gets started with a fun downtown Gatlinburg event focused on a favorite winter comfort food – chili. This year, the Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff lands on November 11, perfectly lined up with Veterans Day. To celebrate, Gatlinburg will be blending the annual Veterans Day celebration with the kickoff and cookoff.
The holiday season is a magical time to visit the Smokies. Starting in November, the streets of Gatlinburg will light up with $1.6 million worth of lights and displays that commemorate this special time of year. Enjoy walking the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, or you can ride the Gatlinburg Trolley to take in this amazing sight. The Trolley Ride of Lights runs at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 each evening from November 12, 2015 to January 31, 2016 and costs $5 per person.
Your Smoky Mountain vacation is incomplete without a visit to the one-of-a-kind Ober Gatlinburg. This one-stop shop for family recreation and fun is so much more than a wintertime ski resort. All year long you can enjoy shopping, dining, ice skating, mini golf, outdoor activities (including a ride on the Aerial Tramway or the Scenic Chairlift), the family-friendly Wildlife Encounter, Kiddie Land, and so much more!
It’s never too early to start planning your 2015 fall getaway to the Smokies! In fact, fall is one of the most popular times to visit the Smoky Mountains, so you’ll want to book your cabin early to make sure you get all the space and amenities you need for a comfortable and pleasurable time away.
Free summer concert series at Sugarlands Distilling Co
This summer, you’ll find more than locally made moonshine at the Sugarlands Distilling Co. All summer long, new and exciting artists will be bringing their unique sounds to the Sugarlands stage in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Back Porch Concert Series will feature talented artists and bands from across the country, showcasing their toe-tapping Southern sounds. Stop by for a taste of the Appalachian culture, through both music and moonshine. As you listen, sip on a jar of Sugarlands Distilling Company’s moonshine – offered in a variety of delicious flavors.
Moonshine Flavors Continue reading
Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is just another great attraction that brings so many visitors to the area each year. At Rocky Top Sports World, a professional tournament and events team works alongside the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau to help host parties, special events, and sports tournaments and camps throughout the year. Just this year, the complex will play host to football camp, basketball tournaments, the Smoky Mountain Lacrosse Classic, soccer camp, the All American Football and Combine, the Harlem Globetrotters Summer Camp, volleyball camp, and the 2015 Thanksgiving Bowl, just to name a few. You can stop by to see athletes in action, or you can call Rocky Top Sports World to set up your own tournament!