Gatlinburg Events for 2018 | July - Decmber

2018 Gatlinburg Events | July - December

Ole Smoky Annual Summer of ‘Shine Entertainment Series | now – October 26
The Ole Smoky Distillery always has something happening in summer, so there are plenty of opportunities to tap your toes to the sounds of the Smokies. For 2018, they’re expanding from bluegrass, also offering rock and country! Here’s what’s in store for summer 2018:

  • Lonesome River Band | 7/27
  • The Wayfarers | 8/11
  • Ralph Stanley II | 9/21
  • Hogslop String Band | 10/6
  • The Cleverlys | 10/12
  • Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out | 10/26

Ober Gatlinburg – Saturdays in the Summer | now – August 25 Everyone’s joining the music in the mountains fun, including Ober Gatlinburg! Head up to this ski and amusement park for live music every Saturday through August 25 from local musicians showcasing everything from soul, neo-soul, and jazz to classic rock, today’s hits, and country! Stop by the Seasons of Ober main stage from 6 – 8 p.m. each Saturday night from now until August 25!

Sugarlands Distilling Co. Saturday Nights | now – August 31
Find the back porch of the Sugarlands Distilling Co. distillery in Gatlinburg, and you’ve found the site for great live music every Saturday night from 7 – 10 p.m. this summer. 2018 lineup includes:

  • Bluegrass Sweethearts | July 7
  • Jon Hatchett Band | July 21
  • The Novel Idea | July 28
  • Clay Jamerson | August 4
  • Chamomile & Whiskey | August 18

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales | June 22 – August 11
Gatlinburg comes alive each summer, with the sounds of the Smoky Mountains filling the air. Costumed musicians and storytellers roam the streets, giving passersby a FREE glimpse into what music and arts in the Smokies are all about.

FREE Parkway Trolley | June 16 – August 15
Hop aboard the FREE summer trolley in Gatlinburg, an easy, fun, and unique way to get around. Summertime means FREE rides, but fares start at under $1 throughout the year, so it’s always a great choice!

First Independence Day Parade in the Nation | July 3-4
Salute the men and women of our nation’s military at the first Independence Day parade in the nation – kicking off at midnight on the 4th of July! Floats, marching bands, and balloons will bring the streets of downtown Gatlinburg alive, bursting with pride and patriotism. And be sure to stick around for the fireworks finale!

Gatlinburg's Fireworks Finale | July 4
Finish the 4th of July celebration off right with a fantastic fireworks display that will light up downtown Gatlinburg!

Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta | July 4
Kids and families always love the Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta, held on the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road. Send your Trash (not handmade) and Treasure (handmade) rafts down the river for some friendly competition, with the top 3 in each category receiving awards! Young and old can participate, and registration starts at 10 a.m. (race at noon).

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | July 13 – 22
Start your holiday shopping early, find the perfect Smoky Mountain souvenir, or choose a soon-to-be-family-heirloom at the annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair at the Gatlinburg Convention Center! Browse aisle upon aisle of unique, handmade goods, with everything from pottery and baskets to jewelry and wood carvings. Plus, enjoy FREE live music each day!


Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival | August 13 – 22
The 6th annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is around the corner, and it will be bringing in 130+ talented and up-and-coming musicians, singers, and songwriters! Participants will come to Gatlinburg for workshops, mentoring sessions, and live performances throughout the city. Come by to watch or sign up to showcase your talent! Call 865.604.9066 for more information.


Taste of Autumn | September 13
Taste the best of the best in the Smokies at Gatlinburg’s Taste of Autumn this fall. Food and drink from area vendors and restaurants will impress and leave you wanting to come back again and again! From 5 – 8 p.m., enjoy samples and live music in the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Your $30 ticket gets you samples throughout the evening and goes to a great cause!

Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival | dates TBD
Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains is amazing. Imagine all the quintessential fall favorites, and you’ll find them all bundled up in a cozy little package in Gatlinburg. Hot apple cider, mums, scarecrows, pumpkins, cinnamon, freshly baked bread, haybales, pumpkin-spiced everything…it’s all waiting for YOU! During the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, enjoy tons of seasonal events, décor, music, food, and more!

Mountain Life Festival | September 15
Get a taste of the mountains – way back when – during the Mountain Life Festival at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center Mountain Farm Museum this fall. Costumed performers offer live demonstrations of how life would have been in the Appalachians in the day. Watch blacksmiths, lye soap making, chair bottoming, hearth cooking, and more.

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament | September 28 – 29
Cast a line in the cool waters of the Great Smoky Mountains this fall for your chance at $10,000+ in cash and prizes at the fall Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament! 20+ miles of streams will be stocked with more than 10,000 trout for a weekend of fun competition.


OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg | September 28 – October 30
Celebrate OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain-style! Toast with German biers, dance along to traditional Bavarian music, and enjoy mouthwatering brats on the side at this Southern take on the long-standing festival.

Tennessee Whiskey Experience | October 6
Held at The Park Vista Hotel, this unique event will celebrate local distilleries along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Enjoy samples and cocktails as you mingle and nosh on authentic Appalachian dishes by Chef Jeremy Hemen. Your ticket includes shuttle service, a commemorative glass, unlimited sampling of whiskey and signature cocktails, live music, an Appalachian dinner, and more!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | October 4 – 21
Handmade goods by talented local craftsmen and artists from around the country are waiting in the 200+ booths of the fall Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair at the Gatlinburg Convention Center! Check out photos, paintings, baskets, wood carvings, leather goods, pottery, jewelry, and so much more!

Trick or Treat Kickoff Carnival | October 31
Enjoy a safe and fun Halloween with the kids during Gatlinburg’s Trick or Treat Kickoff Carnival! Kids will love games, candy, costume contests, costumed characters, inflatables, and more at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies plaza from 1 – 5 p.m.


Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff | November 7
Warm up on the streets of downtown Gatlinburg this winter during the annual Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff! Enjoy samples of hearty chili – from spicy to sweet – from area businesses, restaurants, and vendors. Then vote for your favorite and enjoy the lights, sounds, and views of the Smoky Mountains in winter.

Veterans Day Celebration | November 11
Salute our nation’s heroes at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies square during the memorable Veterans Day Celebration this year. It will feature patriotic music and speeches by veterans and their families – a truly moving experience!

Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights | dates TBD
Hop aboard your climate-controlled Gatlinburg trolley to check out $1 million worth of glittering holiday lights on the Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights! Romantic for couples, fun for kids, it’s perfect for all ages. The LED displays feature snowmen, Santa Claus, reindeer, and more.

Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show | November 20
Get Christmas shopping done early or find the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table at this annual fall event. Talented artists from the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community will showcase and sell their work, from pottery and leather goods to paintings and baskets – and so much more. Artists also love showing their skills, offering guests an up-close look at how these items are made!

Winter Magic Tunes and Tales | weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas
Gatlinburg is truly magical in winter, with costumed carolers jollying up the streets, millions of glittering holiday lights, the smells of the season wafting out of each local restaurant, and a touch of holiday whimsy around every corner!

Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees | November 21 – 25
A week of holiday fun for the whole family, Gatlinburg’s Festival of trees hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains isn’t one you want to miss. Start with the Candy Canes & Cocktails Preview Party and Silent Auction on Tuesday, November 20, before the event opens to the public. From 6 – 9 p.m., enjoy appetizers, drinks, and entertainment – plus the chance to buy trees, holiday décor, and wreaths! Call 865.209.9097 to purchase your ticket ($35)! Throughout the week, browse the trees (for FREE) and snap photos along the way. And on Saturday, November 24, take the kids to Breakfast with Santa at 8:30 a.m.! Get a photo with Santa, make crafts with the kids, and start checking out the trees before the public arrives that day. Tickets are just $15.

Great Smoky Christmas Arts and Crafts Show | November 26 – December 2
Start the holidays right with a stroll through the aisles of this Christmas extravaganza! Local artists from the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community will showcase and sell their work, with lots of special seasonal pieces! Find the perfect hand-carved Santa, choose a hand-poured, holiday-scented candle, or get Mom the perfect gift.


Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade | December 7
Gatlinburg knows how to kick off the holidays! Bundle up and head downtown for the 43rd Annual Fantasy of Lights Parade! Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, seasonal music, horses, holiday characters…it all adds up to a magical night in the Great Smoky Mountains. Get there early for a good spot and watch out for Santa himself!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show & Ball Drop | December 31
Start 2019 with a bang at one of Gatlinburg’s biggest celebrations of the year! Gather at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle for fireworks, favors, and more as you say goodbye to 2018!