Posted by Phil Rodgers in Pigeon Forge Attraction
You can feel it in the air; summer is starting to slip away, and the days are starting to feel cooler and less oppressively humid - just in time for the official arrival of autumn this week. Here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we don't take such transitions lightly. In fact, fall is one of the most celebrated seasons in the Smokies, and if you read on, you'll get a 30,000-foot overview of how each of our communities - Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg - is celebrating Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.
Harvest Festival is a time when the entire area gets into the spirit of the seasonal change. Homes and businesses add festive decorations to their exteriors, often specifically related to Halloween but also more traditional embellishments like hay bales, pumpkins and gourds, and scarecrows. It all complements the changes taking place in nature, as the regional foliage undergoes its annual transformation from the greens of summer to the oranges, reds and yellows of autumn.
Another facet of Harvest Festival is the lineup of special events being hosted by each city as well as the businesses located within it. From mid-September well into November, you'll find that the event calendars in the Smokies are jam-packed with happenings and activities that are geared toward celebrating the wonder, the natural beauty and the cooler days of fall.
Here's a peek at what's going on in each community:
Did you know that Sevierville has seven different self-guided Fall Driving Tours? These tours in general let you explore the city's history and its scenic back roads as you enjoy the backdrop of the fall colors. Look for historic homes and other sites as well beautiful views of the local mountains and valleys. Tours include Steeples and Farmsteads, Rocky Flats, Bluff Mountain, Douglas Lake and Boyd's Creek.
Other events in town include Kyker Farms Corn Maze (beginning 9/30), Slammedenuff Car Show (9/30 and 10/1), Farm to Fork on Court (10/3), Circle Yer Wagens Volkswagen show (10/7-8), History & Haunts (10/19) and the Sheriff's Halloween Spooktacular (10/31).
One of the highlights of Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood theme park's own Harvest Festival & Great Pumpkin Luminights, which runs September 20 through October 30.
Experience all of Dollywood's rides, attractions, shows, shops and restaurants during one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. You'll also enjoy a special slate of guest performers during Harvest Festival, representing everything from Southern gospel and bluegrass to Americana and country music. Meanwhile, fall foods like chicken and smoked-sausage gumbo and pulled-pork sandwiches as well as funnel cakes and pumpkin pie punch will satisfy your taste buds.
At nights, Great Pumpkin Luminights adds a whimsical and dazzling touch to the streets of Dollywood. More than 12,000 glowing pumpkins will be on display, including the return of the enchanting Hoot Owl Hollow.
Elsewhere in Pigeon Forge, Harvest Festival will be going strong with other special events such as the Pigeon Forge Bluegrass Festival (9/22-23), Rotary Club Craft Fair (9/29 through 10/28) and Chalkfest at The Island (10/8).
And if you do happen to visit Pigeon Forge during this year's Harvest Festival, be sure to drop by Goats on the Roof for a visit. The hillside that our Goat Coaster is built on is a beautiful site for sure once the leaves start turning.
There's a lot of fall celebration going on in Gatlinburg during Harvest Festival. Like its neighbors, the city is rolling out all the stops with fall displays, which include life-size, three-dimensional scarecrow people. Here's a quick run-down of special events taking place at various sites in town: