Springfest in the Smokies - Food, Festivals & Fun
By: Jim Watson
After a long, cold season of snowball fights, skiing and snuggling by the fireplace, Old Man Winter steps aside as Mother Nature revives us with warmer weather. This changing of the seasons is a notable time in the Smoky Mountains. To commemorate, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosts Springfest, an annual celebration that marks the arrival of spring.
This three-month long event kicks off in mid-March and runs through early June. You'll find basket loads of beautiful flowers that thrive in the Smokies including colorful pansies, bright daffodils, a rainbow of tulips, plus mandevillas, bougainvilleas, lantanas, scaevolas, petunias and dozens more.
Each city puts its own spin on this giant, countywide event. Serving up their best in food, fun and festivals, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville pull out all the stops for Springfest.
Pigeon Forge Springfest Events
The Dolly Parade
The Queen of the Smokies herself, Dolly Parton, is Grand Marshal of the Dolly Parade that takes floats, marching bands and local celebrities down the Parkway for this annual affair.
A Mountain Quiltfest
More than 20,000 visitors will flood Pigeon Forge to participate in and view gorgeous, handmade quilts. Over 300 entries are expected, all of which will display enormous talent and skill in making these functional and beautiful blankets. In addition, quilting classes, demonstrations and vendors will be on hand.
Gatlinburg Springfest Events
Easter Sunrise Service at Ober Gatlinburg
There's nothing more special than celebrating the resurrection of our Lord on Easter morning atop a gorgeous mountaintop. Led by pastors of the Gatlinburg Ministerial Association, worship will be held at 6:30 a.m. followed by a hearty breakfast buffet at 7:00.
Ribfest & Wings
Grab a handful of napkins… you'll need them for this mouthwatering competition. Ribfest & Wings brings local restaurants into a heated competition for the best ribs and wings in six different categories. Loosen your belt and buy your ticket today!
Get an up-close-and-personal view of the area’s most breathtaking flora and fauna as you attend a Wildflower Pilgrimage at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). For five days you can participate in history walks, motorcades, photographic tours and indoor seminars all centered on the wildflowers found in and around the GSMNP. For almost 60 years, this has been one of the most unique ventures the Smokies has to offer.
Sevierville Springfest Events
Bloomin' Barbecue & Bluegrass is just what the name states. Crafts, flowers, food and some of the best bluegrass music this side of the Mississippi will fill your days and nights for an entire weekend. Six blocks of downtown Sevierville will come alive with performance stages, eating tents, exhibitors, vocal competitions and more.
If you're looking for an excuse to celebrate this spring, visit the Smoky Mountains during Springfest. The food, fun and festivals will keep your belly full and a smile on your face.
Jim Watson is Owner of Timbercreek Cabins, offering lodging near Gatlingburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. Vacation rentals are now available. Visit http://www.timbercreekcabins.com today for a complete listing of cabin rentals. © 2009, All Rights Reserved
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