Celebrate the holiday season with the charm of a bygone era returns this weekend at the Sugarlands Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
with the 38th annual Festival of Christmas Past.
This free event is open to the public and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. This year’s incarnation of the longest-running holiday celebration in the Smokies promises more old-time music, storytelling and craft demonstrations than ever before.
The festival will open with old-fashioned harp singing, then will be followed by a group discussion led by the Smoky Mountain Historical Society,
covering “Christmas Stories of the Past.” At noon, Kathy and Mike Gwinn will tell stories about Appalachian heritage.
Additionally, visitors will also have a chance to learn how the holidays were celebrated once upon a time and watch artisan crafters show off homestead skills like quilting, rug making, apple butter making and more throughout the day.
Other scheduled events at Saturday’s festival include:
Christmas Memories Walk will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to teach visitors about the spirit of the season in the mountains from the 1880s to the 1930s.
Old time music, including South of the River Boys will perform at 1 p.m., followed by the Boogertown Gap Band at 2 p.m., and the Lost Mill String Band at 3 p.m.
Talks and walks with costumed interpreters at 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and from 2-3:30 p.m. costumed interpreters covering life in the Smoky Mountains before the national park was established.
The celebration is co-sponsored by the Great Smoky Mountain Association. For more information, click over to NPS.gov.
Sugarlands Visitor Center is located inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441.
Also happening this weekend in and around Pigeon Forge:
Parker's Knife Collectors Show - at Sevierville Convention Center.
Santa Hustle 5K & Half Marathon - Be a part of one of the largest growing races as thousands of Santas will hit the streets of Sevierville at the Third Annual Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5k Run/Walk at the Wilderness Resort! Meet up with fellow runners and walkers at 7:30 a.m. for the race, then enjoy outrageous holiday decorations, festive music, and a large after party!
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales - Through the holiday season, Gatlinburg visitors can meet characters and storytellers and enjoy caroling along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, TN every Friday and Saturday evening. Dickens-style holiday carolers dressed in traditional Victorian era costumes stroll along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg from 5 to 9 p.m.
Titanic Celebrates Christmas with Snow - Starting Thanksgiving evening and every SATURDAY throughout Christmas enjoy snow off the bow of the ship at Titanic Pigeon Forge. For more information, call: 1-800-381-7670
While you’re in town, make the most of the Winterfest lights by taking a trolley tour
or checking out one of our world-class shows!
Make the most of holiday magic in the Smokies this weekend!
We loving saving money when we travel. Not only does it make the trip easier on the pocketbook, but it also allows us to experience more!
Pigeon Forge is an affordable destination as-is, but a little savvy can go long way here in the Smoky Mountains! Here are 5 money-saving tips you can use when visiting Pigeon Forge this winter!
5. Check out discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
Use group buying power to make seeing the sights in Pigeon Forge easier on the wallet! Right now, Groupon
is offering discounts on all kinds of Smoky Mountain favorites -- from classic old timey photos to marked-down admission the the Titanic Museum Attraction
! Our friends at Knucklebuster’s Speed Shop
have teamed up with LivingSocial
to offer half off bike rentals or bike service. Taking a few minutes to research available coupons can definitely pay off! While you're at it, check out PigeonForge.com's coupons and deals page, too!
4. Take in nature’s wonder at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
The best attraction in Pigeon Forge just so happens to be free! The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
is the area’s biggest draw! See the park as a Winter Wonderland by taking a scenic drive through the park
or, if weather allows, taking a hike through the hills on one of our favorite trails
3. Make lunch your main meal.
The Pigeon Forge Parkway is lined with restaurants.
Save on eating out by making lunch your main meal and opting for a lighter (and more budget-friendly) dinner! Many of the best restaurants in Pigeon Forge
offer discounts at lunch, often between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Stretch your dining dollar with a mid-day feast!
2. Catch a matinee.
Many Pigeon Forge shows offer afternoon and evening shows. Matinees or afternoon shows offer the same great entertainment, but with friendlier ticket prices! We’ve also heard rave reviews of the Blackwoods Morning Variety Show
, which you can catch at 10 a.m. at the Smoky Mountain Opry.
1. Sign up for PigeonForge.com’s e-mails.
Each week, PigeonForge.com
sends out an e-newsletter
chock full of information about Smoky Mountain happenings and events. You’ll also find discounts and coupons galore -- on everything from cabins to hotels to activities. Sign up at www.PigeonForge.com/Plan-Your-Visit/E-Newsletter
The boys of summer might be long gone, but Smokie Stadium in Sevierville is buzzing with activity. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland has taken over!
The annual event features more than 1,600 individual channels simultaneously directing this orchestra of lights. The event relies on some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the light show industry and is a fun way to experience the lights and sound of the season!
The drive-through light show portion has been timed and choreographed to music you can tune in to with your car’s radio and watch perfectly programmed lights dance across their stage. The event has won all kinds of awards for its vast array, including mentions from MSN, Forbes, Southwest Airline’s in-flight magazine and more!
Watch this video to get a glimpse of the event.
In addition to the drive through display (which should take about 20 minutes), this year’s event features Santa’s Village with a free petting soon, camel and pony rides and more. Through December 23, Santa will be available for portraits! Other attractions for little ones include Santa’s Train, an inflatable slide, trampoline bungee jump and a family-friendly Ferris wheel! Snacks will be available too, including seasonal favorites like hot cocoa, apple cider, funnel cakes, christmas cookies, kettle corn and more!
You'll have a chance to see Shadrack's Christwas Wonderland each evening through January 6. The event opens at dusk and closes around 10 p.m. Admission prices to the event are charged per car:
Cars or family vans: $20
Activity van, limo or mini/half Bus: $30
Tour/school bus: $75
Credit cards ARE accepted. For more information, click over to www.ShadrackChristmas.com. Smokies Park Stadium (where the event takes place) is located at 3549 Line Drive, in Kodak, Tennessee.
I-40 East to Hwy. 66 (Exit 407). Turn left onto Hwy 66. Stadium is directly on the right.
From Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg:
Take Hwy 66 North; the stadium is directly on the right, immediately after you cross over I-40
From the East (Morristown, Jefferson City):
I-40 West to Hwy 66 (Exit 407). Turn right onto Hwy 66; stadium is directly on the right.