The unique mountain towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN are equal parts charming and bustling. The Great Smoky Mountains all around, natural beauty is a given. Visitors to the area – and there are A LOT of visitors to the area – can soak in the rolling hills, sprawling valleys, wildlife, gorgeous wildflowers, expansive blue skies, changing leaves, and soaring mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the nation, and with FREE admission and 800+ miles of hiking trails, it’s no surprise.
But natural beauty and relaxing cabins in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg aren’t the only things the area offers. The downtowns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are jam packed with family-friendly attractions, great restaurants, perfect-for-couples activities, attractions that accommodate large groups, unique shops, art galleries, and annual events that celebrate everything from Easter, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve to chili, art, and the great outdoors.
But there is another important aspect of the Smokies that draws in tons of visitors and is about as quintessential Tennessee as you can get: car shows. Classic cars, hot rods, Jeeps, and more roll into these mountain towns several times each year so owners can showcase their work and guests can drool over the beauty of these works of art. Truly, car shows in TN are a must-do when visiting the area, even if you’re not a car enthusiast.
2021 CAR SHOWS IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS
- $10,000 cash giveaway
- Top 25 & Ultimate 5 Awards
- Swap meet & car corral
Bronco Super Celebration
April 21 - 24
Talley Ho Inn
Grand National F-100 Reunion
May 13 - 15
LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge
Chevy Classic Roundup
May 21 - 23
What to Expect at Car Shows in TN
If you have a gorgeous classic car or hot rod you’ve been working on and want to show off, then a rod run or car show in Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to start. Typically the car shows run 2 to 3 days, and many are held at the LeConte Center or other large area venues. Awards range at each show, but the Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run, for instance, offers an $8,000 cash giveaway and more awards!
At each you’ll find swap meets, official merchandise and cool gear, and of course, many more cars and car enthusiasts! It’s the perfect time to chat with others who love classic cars and hot rods as much as you do – and maybe learn more! Signing up as early as possible is always recommended, so check out the dates and start planning today! P.S. We have plenty of great cabins in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that are close to downtown and packed with amenities to keep you comfortable during the car show weekend!
Grab Some Gear
What’s a great event without some great gear? From t-shirts, rims, and specialty car parts to vintage upholstery, licensed merchandise, and beyond, you’ll find plenty of awesome gifts and gear at the car shows in the Smoky Mountains.
For the Spectators
Don’t own a car for the show but LOVE cars? The car shows and rod runs in the Smokies aren’t just for car owners. Even if you’re not super into cars, you’ll be truly impressed by the gorgeous automobiles rolling into town. Candy-colored paints, shiny chrome, incredible details, vintage accuracy…it’s all on display! When the cars roll into town, you can stroll through many area parking lots to check them out up close or just stand along the Parkway to see them driving in. Of course, heading to the event venue and meeting the owners will give you even more of an inside scoop!
Tips for Car Shows
- Be prepared for traffic – it’s always VERY busy along the Parkway and in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg during car shows.
- Take your time. Don’t rush through; give yourself time to stroll, look around, and chat with other car enthusiasts!
- If you’re showing a car, get there early and:
- Clear out the trunk and car
- Give your car a final look over and wipe down
- Keep your windows rolled up
- Ask judges for any tips for improving next time (after the show!)
More Fun in the Smokies
While you’re here in the Smokies, you’ll probably want to explore more than just the car show. Stretch it out to a long weekend (or a week!) and check out:
- Shows and rides at Dollywood
- Shopping & The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at The Island in Pigeon Forge
- Tour the Titanic Museum Attraction
- Take the kids or grandkids to WonderWorks (the upside-down building)
- Have some kid-like fun at the Big Top Arcade
- Get in some laughs – and a good dinner – at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
- Learn more about historic crimes at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum
- Pick up some fresh and creamy fudge downtown
- Listen to live music – and try some moonshine – in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler
- Head up to Ober Gatlinburg and explore!
- Spend a day on the Rocky Top Wine Trail