The The Great Smoky Mountains are steeped in centuries of tradition and Appalachian culture. For many generations, rich regional art forms have been developed and passed down through families: Gospel and bluegrass music, arts and crafts, festivals and harvests are all important part of the area's heritage.
If you're looking to learn more about Appalachian culture through music, you're in luck. Fall in the Smoky Mountains means festivals, and several upcoming events will allow folks from all walks of life to experience Smoky Mountain heritage!
Upcoming Bluegrass Events Around Pigeon Forge
The Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival
brings some of the biggest names in bluegrass music right to Pigeon Forge's backyard. This year's event kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with a big potluck dinner and wraps up Sunday, Sept. 21 with a full day of music! This annual event offers a long weekend of rich bluegrass music and brings in fans from around the country. This family-friendly event invites attendees to stop and spend the weekend enjoying music, friendship and more.
Bluegrass might be an old-time genre, but that doesn't mean it's not appreciated by younger folks, too! The Young Pickers' Competition
at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. This special contest is open to musicians ages 18 and under. Only acoustic instruments only are permitted in the contest: guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. Pickers will have a chance to compete to win cash prizes, ribbons, CD mastering opportunities and more! Request registration form at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-448-0044 with questions.
The East Tennessee River Valley, located north of the Pigeon Forge and Smoky Mountain region, is a hotbed of Appalachian culture. This year the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, TN, will celebrate its 34th Tennessee Fall Homecoming
, kicking off on Friday, Oct. 11 and wrapping up on Monday, Oct. 13 This three-day event is packed with visitors from all over the world celebrating and embracing the culture and heritage of the Appalachian region. Visitors can meander through the picturesque museum grounds, stopping into historic log buildings to watch a demonstration or sit down in front of one of the five stages for performances to soak in gospel, bluegrass, mountain folk music or old-time country music.
For more information about upcoming events in and around Pigeon Forge, see the events calendar!
Not a fan of bluegrass? Not a problem! There are all sorts of shows and theaters in Pigeon Forge
! From Motown classics to modern country rock, you'll find your favorite at one of Pigeon Forge's famous shows and theaters!
There's no denying it: I'm one of those people who goes nuts over the change in seasons. This hasn't always been the case, though. Growing up in Indiana, I took the shift from summer to fall for granted. Sure, I loved carving pumpkins and learning to identify the changing leaves, but I didn't realize how important the changing season was until I moved to Florida in my early 20s.
They say there are two seasons in Florida: Summer and Christmas. And I think they might be on to something. I loved my life in Central Florida, but it certainly lacked changing seasons. I missed seeing the fall foliage change. I missed the excitement of transitioning from summer heat to autumn chill. And besides, there's something kind of strange about drinking a pumpkin spice latte on the beach in a tankini.
Now that I call East Tennessee home, I'm thrilled to be back in a part of the world in where the change in seasons is more pronounced. That means I'm absolutely tickled about taking in everything that is related to fall in Tennessee.
I spent a long Labor Day weekend welcoming fall in the best possible way: Exploring autumn traditions in East Tennessee. Read about my experience in an upcoming post, and then use it as a guide to plan your own Tennessee weekend itinerary. I promise you won't be let down.