The holiday season will soon be upon us, and no one celebrates the holidays like Gatlinburg. I don’t know how many towns celebrate the start of the winter holidays with fireworks, but it is a heart warming way to have it all begin. If you are one of those folks that cry at parades, you’d better bring your Kleenex. Here are just a handful of ‘bright” ways to celebrate the season starting the first week of November each year and stretching through to February!
1. Gatlinburg Winter Magic Lights. Listed as one of winter’s “Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Society, Gatlinburg’s four-month Winterfest Celebration transforms the mountain resort town of Gatlinburg into a spectacular winter wonderland from November through February. The light display has received a $1.5 million injection of new displays plus a 100-percent conversion to energy-efficient LED bulbs over the past three years reduced the City’s electricity cost for the program by some 85 percent. Check out this map of all the light displays. Gorgeous holiday lighting displays–and fireworks to boot!
2. Gatlinburg Chili Cook-off. Offering mouth-watering recipes of home-style chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg hosts its 20th annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff ( in 2009) on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 4 to 9 p.m. on the popular Downtown Parkway. With the purchase of a ticket, receive a spoon and a voting ballot, then starting at 5 p.m. be pleasantly tempted and tested before casting your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also, judges will select winners in categories including Best Taste, Booth Presentation, Apron Design and Most Unique Chili Name.
3. Smoky Mountain Christmas. See one of the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Don’t miss Santa’s Workshop, where larger-than-life-sized toys and an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree fill guests of all ages with wide-eyed wonder as they discover a giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and more amid the hustle and bustle as Santa and his helpers ready for their big night!
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.