Christmas in TN Smoky Mountains
Step into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, hearty holiday foods, stunning scenery, and friendly locals with Christmas in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains.
Every winter, the Smoky Mountains Winterfest transforms the Tennessee mountains into a magical holiday destination. Millions of Christmas lights twinkle in the mountain towns, Christmas parades light up the night, live music has people dancing in the streets, while delicious holiday food and drink tempt the tastebuds.
From the Christmas musicals at Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood to the light displays in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, and the annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, there’s something for everyone. Including a Christmas shopping extravaganza for those who are looking for the perfect present.
Smoky Mountains Winterfest
Celebrating its 20th year in 2009, the Smoky Mountains Winterfest is a four-month holiday that runs from November to February every year. Christmas is one of the highlights of the festival, with light displays, parades, and special events.
Each town pulls out the stops to put on a magnificent lighting display, with more than five million lights shimmering in Pigeon Forge, and millions more in neighboring Gatlinburg and Sevierville. Visitors can take advantage of the special trolley tours that take people around the best light displays, or simply walk around the streets, soaking up the Christmas spirit.
To make the displays even more spectacular, the Sevierville Visitor Center offers free 3D glasses which can make the Christmas lights look like snowflakes,. The center can be found on Hwy 66, 1.5 miles from I-40 Exit 407. Glasses are available while supplies last.
Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg’s award-winning “Fantasy of Lights” Christmas Parade is considered one of the Top Twenty Events in the South by the Southeast Tourism Society. The parade features more than a hundred entries, including floats, marching bands, dancers, equestrian units, and giant helium balloons.
More than 80,000 people are expected to turn out for the 2009 Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, which will take place on the 4th of December. The parade starts at 7.30pm in downtown Gatlinburg.
Smoky Mountains Christmas at Dollywood
Country music star and actress Dolly Parton loves Christmas and loves to share it with fans from around the world. The star of the 1986 movie, A Smoky Mountains Christmas, Dolly takes pride in spreading her own holiday magic through her theme park, Dollywood.
More than four million twinkling lights turn Dollywood into a winter wonderland. There are elaborate stage musicals such as Babes in Toyland, and Christmas in the Smokies. Santa loves Dollywood and has set up one of his workshops in the park. Guests can enjoy the larger than life toys, including a giant sailboat and dollhouse in Santa’s Workshop, and then wave to the big man as he stars in Dollywood’s Parade of Lights.
There are times when Dolly Parton visits Dollywood during the holiday season, and all of her fans’ Christmases come at once. But even when she’s not there in body, Dolly is there in spirit, and a trip to Dollywood is something that is rarely forgotten.
Smoky Mountains Christmas Shopping – An Outlets Extravaganza
The Christmas lights and parades aren’t the only things to excite visitors on a Smoky Mountains holiday. Bargain hunters know that the area is also home to hundreds of outlet stores, making Christmas shopping a breeze whether they’re after something for a loved one or their office Secret Santa.
The “World’s Largest Outlet Extravaganza” is held in Pigeon Forge in December, while nearby Sevierville boasts 150 name-brand outlet stores, including Calvin Klein, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Some outlets offer extra discounts with vouchers from their websites.
Treasure hunters can have a ball losing themselves in the Great Smokies Flea Market. With more than a thousand rotating vendors spread out over 200,000 square feet, the flea markets are the perfect place to find an unusual Christmas gift or just something to remember the mountains by.
But remember, there’s more to Christmas than presents. After all the shopping, it’s time to get back into the crisp air, grab a hot cocoa, enjoy the light displays, and soak up the magic of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.