Smoky Mountain Winter Events

My favorite place to spend the winter is the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! After succumbing to the cold winter air, the hospitality of a crackling fire and a kind smile warm both the body and spirit. And my family and I cannot get enough of the abundant light displays! But that’s not all that makes Gatlinburg great in the winter time! Here are a few events you may also find interesting:

Trolley of Lights: For only $5.00, you can enjoy all the beautiful lights that Gatlinburg has to offer in a cozy Gatlinburg Trolley. November 9 – January 30, you can enjoy a relaxing, guided excursion through glittering Gatlinburg. For more information, call 865-436-0535.

Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff: On November 9, in downtown Gatlinburg, you will find the 22nd annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff from 5pm until 8pm. What type of chili you ask? Mild chili, grandma’s chili, adventurous chili, and down right wild chili, all homemade will be there for you to sample and indulge in.

Festival of Trees: This is a favorite for my husband and children! They LOVE Christmas trees. We have one up in almost every room of the house this time of year! They get all kinds of ideas from the beautifully decorated Christmas trees on display. This festival runs from November 22 – 26, at the W.L. Conference Center. For more information regarding this event, visit

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade: If you enjoy parades, plan your visit to include the date of December 2! This is the night that the streets come alive with all things Christmas. Gatlinburg’s 36th annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade will begin at 7:30, but you better get there early for a good seat!

Winter Magic Tunes & Tales: On the Downtown Parkway, from November 25 through December 17, you will find characters, storytellers, and carolers wondering along the parkway. Feel free to talk to them, have your picture made with them, or join in on a few carols! The streets will be teeming with this display of yuletide cheer ever Friday and Saturday evening during this 4th annual event.

The Nutcracker “Sweet”: A Christmas season without a the Nutcracker experience is not complete! November 25 and 26, the Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre will present this holiday classic at the W.L. Mills Auditorium. Both performances begin at 7pm. For more information and reservations, call 865-680-7369.

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