12 Upcoming Spring Events in the Smokies

Is anybody else ready for spring out there?

Oh, it’s cold. And dreary. And I’m just plain done with it.

Yes. I have a bad case of spring fever.

I’m dreaming of flowers. And rainstorms. And sweatshirts. And no gloves. And long walks outside. And the very scent of new life.

Right now, spring feels like a long way off. But it’s really not. The temps will start to creep up in the next month or so. Already the days are getting longer. There’s promise!

February, I always find, is a good time to dream and plan a trip for when it’s warmer. In case you have spring fever and are dreaming, too, here are some events you might want to plan around for a spring trip to the Smokies:

Pirate’s Ball

  • Date: March 7 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg
  • Cost: $60 per adult (or $100 per pair); $10 for kids age 3-11
  • Highlights: 100% of proceeds go to Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. Festivities include food, beverages, door prizes, and live music.
  • For more information: Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce website

A Mountain Quiltfest

  • Dates: March 12-16
  • Where: Music Road Convention Center, Pigeon Forge
  • Cost: Varies, based on number of quilts entered
  • Highlights: Quilters compete for prize money and take classes. Quilt show is open to the public for FREE.
  • For more information: Mountain Quiltfest website

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show

  • Dates: March 28-30
  • Where: Gatlinburg Convention Center
  • Cost: Admission is free
  • Highlights: Unique handcrafted gifts and products are produced by members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are offered for sale. Demonstrations are part of the show.
  • For more information: Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community website

Easter Sunrise Service

  • Dates: March 31
  • Where: Ober Gatlinburg at sunrise (6:30 a.m.)
  • Cost: Service is free, and Ober Gatlinburg provided a free tram service starting at 5:45 a.m. and continuing until the service starts. Complimentary parking is also available.
  • Highlights: Local pastors lead this service that lasts approximately 40 minutes. Offering collected will be used in assisting the county’s needy. Breakfast buffet available afterward.
  • For more information: Ober Gatlinburg website

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament

  • Dates: April 6-7
  • Where: 20 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Cost: $25 for one day; $40 for two day
  • Highlights: More than 10,000 trout will be stocked in over 20 miles of rivers. More than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Lots of categories to win in.
  • For more information: Rocky Top Outfitters

Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon

  • Date: April 13 at 8:15 a.m.
  • Where: Gatlinburg Community Center
  • Cost: Pre-registration is required
  • Highlights: Anyone age 15 years and older is welcome to participate. Awards given in multiple categories.
  • For more information: Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce

Smoky Mountain Nabc Regional Bridge Tournament

  • Dates: April 15-21
  • Where: Gatlinburg Convention Center, Parkway and Historic Nature Trail
  • Cost: Fee
  • Highlights: About 4,000 national and international players attend this event. With more than 9,500 tables in play, this tourney has lots of food, lots of options, lots of everything.
  • For more information: Gatlinburg MABC Regional Homepage

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

  • Dates: April 23-27
  • Where: W.L. Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg and various other venues
  • Cost: Mostly free
  • Highlights: Everyone from the serious botanist to the weekend gardener can experience unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts, as well as Appalachian wildlife authorities. Also features a photography contest, with a youth division.
  • For more information: Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage website

Food Ministry Fiesta

  • Date: April 18 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
  • Cost: Fee
  • Highlights: This fundraiser benefits the Sevier County Food Ministries. 100% of profits go to the SCFM’s projects. Entertainment and food included.
  • For more information: Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce website

Mountain Man Memorial March

  • Dates: April 19-20
  • Where: Downtown Gatlinuburg at 9 a.m. on Saturday
  • Cost: $55 for full marathon; $45 for half marathon, $35 for 10K (for run); march costs depend on rank and are based on a team price
  • Highlights: Event includes a run and a march for military and civilian participants, teams, and individuals. Military members march in full uniform.
  • For more information: Mountain Man Memorial March website

Dolly Parade

  • Date: May 10, 2013, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Begins on River Road near traffic light #7 and ends at the Belz Factory Outlet World at traffic light #3, in Pigeon Forge
  • Cost: Free!
  • Highlights: Dolly Parton is the grand marshal. In years past, more than 50,000 parade watchers show up to see the floats, bands, entertainers, and local celebrities.
  • For more information: Pigeon Forge website

Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass

  • Date: May 17-18
  • Where: Downtown Sevierville
  • Cost: Small costs for food
  • Highlights: An official barbeque championship of the state of Tennessee. Amateurs can submit their barbeque for judging. Event also includes world-class bluegrass music.
  • For more information: Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass website
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