The birds are singing, bears begin emerging and stretching after months of hibernation, and deer are bouncing around the green mountain valleys. Rivers melt and the waterfalls begin pouring down the mountainsides. Bright green leaves emerge along the bare limbs on the trees while thickets of green shrubbery give way to the blooms of wildflowers. It is springtime in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as nature reawakens from winter!
The bears and flowers aren’t the only things rushing into the springtime sunlight; the people are throwing off the blankets and layers of clothing after the long, cold months of winter and heading outside, too! From internationally recognized events to the everyday beauty of the Smokies, the entire season turns into an experience you will want to run outside and enjoy in Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Spring Fest!
All of these events take place during Gatlinburg Spring Fest annually! From early March to the end of May, Spring Fest hosts events celebrating nature, local culture, and so much more!
Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales
Every Friday and Saturday evening in April and May is a treat for visitors in downtown Gatlinburg. The city seemingly travels back in time as mountain folk take to the streets to play their banjos, sing mountain songs, tell stories, and show off their artisanship in an authentic display of Smoky Mountain culture! Experience this foothill festival for free!
Easter Sunrise Service at Ober Gatlinburg
Attend a soul-stirring Easter Sunday service sponsored by the Gatlinburg Ministerial Association at Ober Gatlinburg for a service you will cherish for years! The Ober Aerial Tramway operates free of charge for those attending the Sunrise Service every 15 minutes in downtown Gatlinburg from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., when the service starts! Facing east, celebrate Easter as the sun begins to peek over the mountain skyline for an incredibly beautiful service. Stay after the worship service for an Easter Breakfast at the Seasons of Ober Restaurant available from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.!
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
Every April, hundreds of pilgrims from all of the country head to the Smokies to pay homage to the rich natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with over 150 classes, guided hikes, artistic lectures, and more! Learn all about the environment, wildlife, environmental conservation and preservation efforts, nature journaling, photography, and park history while accompanied by other nature lovers. Day passes and week passes are available, along with a great discount for students! Get to know the Smoky Mountains like never before in the peak of flowering season at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage!
Earth Week Festival
Often coinciding with the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Earth Week is an extended celebration around the Earth Day Festival in Gatlinburg on April 26! During the week-long celebration, visitors can help do their part and participate in a clean-up competition starting at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center, learn about regional renewable energy efforts at the Green Breakfast Seminar, raise awareness in an Earth Day 5K Run/Walk, and attend a huge Earth Day Festival with live music, games, and food!
Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
Bring the family for an extra-special fishing trip in the Smoky Mountains! At the beginning of fishing season in the Smokies, over 10,000 trout are released into 20 miles of streams near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The tournament lasts 2 days, and there are cash prizes for both the largest and the smallest catch and a separate youth tournament!
Gatlinburg Farmers Market
Get a taste of locally grown produce and peruse artisan handmade goods at the Covered Bridge in the Glades every Saturday morning beginning in May! From baked goods, honey, jellies, and fresh cut flowers to health and wellness goods, the Gatlinburg Farmers Market is a great way to support the local small businesses and farmers of the Smokies!
Gatlinburg Spring Craftsmen’s Fair
Watch as pottery comes into form, beautiful painted landscapes emerge, and gorgeous one-of-kind metal jewelry takes shape under the flame, all at the hands of hundreds of artisans from all over the country at the Craftsmen’s Fair! The Gatlinburg convention center hosts this bi-annual event in downtown for visitors to the Smokies to converse with artists, be in awe of the artisanship of local and visiting crafters, and shop the most unique gifts made right in front of your eyes!
Gatlinburg Wine Weekend
Whether you are new to wine or consider yourself a connoisseur, Gatlinburg Wine Weekend is adult fun perfect for a girls’ weekend getaway or couple’s escape to the mountains! This event is a two-parter! Friday begins with a guided Gatlinburg Wine Tour through the area’s most prestigious wineries; get your ticket in advance, because there are limited seats on the shuttle. Saturday’s festivities are hosted by the historic Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts from 1 pm to 6 pm, for a beautiful spring afternoon touring booths from more than 18 of the Smokies’ award-winning wineries and top restaurants offering delicious food pairings and wine tastings. As an added bonus to this wonderful experience, ticket purchases come with a souvenir wine glass to take home!
Wilderness Wildlife Week
Free to the public, experience a smaller-scale version of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in May! Guided hikes, workshops, educational programs designed for kids, and exhibits all hinged on the rich wildlife of the Smoky Mountains make this event a great budget-friendly learning experience for the whole family!
Springtime in a Smoky Mountain Cabin
While Spring Fest in Gatlinburg is an exciting place to be, get some much-needed relaxation in between your days of touring downtown, attending shows, and thrilling outdoor adventures in a peaceful Smoky Mountain cabin with Cabins for YOU.
Imagine waking up to the sounds of birds singing as their hatchlings chirp and to the quiet rustling of the trees uninterrupted by cars, city construction, and the low hum of a nearby highway. Make this Smoky Mountain daydream a reality when you stay in a secluded Cabins for YOU lodge. Stay close to all the exciting events in downtown in a Gatlinburg cabin within walking distance! Whatever your dream Smoky Mountain vacation is in your mind, Cabins for YOU can help make it a reality.
After brewing a cup of coffee in the kitchen, open the door to the patio and settle into a rocking chair to soak in serene views of mountains, valleys, rivers, or lush green forestry. Each Cabins for YOU listing provides pictures and descriptions of the exact views you will be afforded when you book your cabin. Bring your fishing poles and relax by the stream when you stay in one of our cabins on a river. Sip on therapeutic tea while reading your favorite book, surrounded by tall evergreens and thick forestry in a secluded cabin in the woods. Watch the dogs play in the front yard with the kids in your pet-friendly cabin overlooking a peaceful valley in the foothills of the Smokies.
Surprise your partner with a romantic 1-bedroom cabin during Gatlinburg Wine Weekend for divine wine tastings before returning to the relaxation of the hot tub. Plan a youth retreat to a large group cabin during the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage for the learning experience of a lifetime among the Smoky Mountain wilderness and roomy common areas to discuss their favorite hikes and lectures! Experience Gatlinburg Spring Fest with the family, a group of friends, or an entire class; Cabins for YOU invites you to stay in a beautiful Smoky Mountain cabin rather than a boring hotel!