Okay, we will admit it: all the touristy attractions that have sprung up around the Gatlinburg area are pretty stinkin’ fun, like shooting zombies at Outbreak: Dread the Undead, trying to break out at The Escape Game Pigeon Forge, or playing blacklight mini-golf and laser tag at the LazerPort Fun Center. But you did not come all the way to the beautiful Smoky Mountains only for the tourist stops, especially when there is such a rich culture steeped in the old American way of life in heart of downtown Gatlinburg!
The original settlers in the Appalachian area made what they needed: baskets, brooms, pottery, leather goods, and the list goes on. Over 100 years later, Gatlinburg has preserved handmade artisanship, a pillar of historical culture in the Smokies, through an established arts and crafts organization and constant events to celebrate and share with visitors and locals! Imagine being able to watch every stroke of a painting, the flames of a blowtorch shaping the metal of a banjo, or the magical formation of animals from simple blocks of wood. Take advantage of a really special opportunity you can share with the whole family and get to know the long-standing traditions of the Great Smoky Mountains!
The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair Summer 2018 is set for July 13 through 22. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (only closing one hour early on Sundays), come witness some of the best artisans of their trade who have gathered to show off their talents and finished works in over 200 booths in the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Voted as one the Southeast’s “Most Popular Events,” watch incredible pottery slowly take shape, intricate and complex birdhouses in construction, metal artwork take formation, and so much more at the 2018 craftsmen’s fair! Across 3 stages, listen to bluegrass, contemporary country, and Southern gospel performances serenading audiences daily. The little ones can discover their own inner artists in the Kid’s Corner, where they can create and take their artwork home!
Through meticulous hands and age-old techniques passed down through generations, here are some of the incredible arts you will experience in the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair for only $7 per person and FREE for kids 12 and under:
- Candy making
- Blown glass
- Antique keepsakes
- Stained glass
- TONS MORE!
Your souvenirs take on more meaning and stories to share with friends when you buy directly from the craftsmen. After having watched your gift being made while the artist explains the processes and the passion that go into their work, you will see so much more than a charming birdhouse or intricate necklace. Additionally, you are skipping over the middle-man and the extra costs that are often tacked onto the art, so the artist is getting every penny they deserve.
Show your appreciation for the art and the work that goes into the beautifully designed pottery, rocking chairs, and leather purses, and pick a souvenir from the thousands of unique pieces! Since we all have at least one quirky person to shop for on birthdays and Christmas, you are sure to have better luck finding a personalized gift in the aisles of the 2018 Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair!
Have fun at the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair? Another piece of rich culture year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains, you will love your visit to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community!
Three miles after your turn at Traffic Light #3 from the downtown Parkway of Gatlinburg (Highway 321 North), enter a community that values hard work and a passion for their history. There is ample free parking, but for a small fee you can take a ride on the Arts and Crafts Trolley. The trolley makes numerous stops, and once you have bought your ticket, you may exit and board the trolley as much as you would like that day!
A little bit of backstory for this historic community tucked just a few miles outside of Gatlinburg:
- North America’s largest and oldest organization of independent artisans
- Established in 1937 by a few of the area’s founding families as a way to bring growing tourism to the themselves, instead of carrying their goods into town and standing in the streets for long hours
- 8-mile loop home to over 120 artists and craftsmen, where you can watch, talk, and buy from the artisans
- More art and handmade crafts, the GSMAC is also home to some very charming cafés, restaurants, tea rooms, and candy shops
Much like the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, visitors to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community are afforded an intimate look into the skill and love that goes into every piece, conversations with the artists, and a budget-friendly way to make the most out of their visit to the Great Smoky Mountains!
Experience the Smoky Mountains in a charming cabin with all the convenient modern amenities of home and great extras like indoor pools, theater rooms, pool tables, and more when you choose a Cabins for YOU lodge close to all the awesome cultural and fun attractions of Gatlinburg!