Fall is a time for flannels, football, and most importantly, festivals. Who doesn’t love a good festival when they’re bored and searching for weekend plans? As for who hosts the best festivals around, the Smokies win the prize. Although the list of fall festivals in the Smokies is best described as endless, we’ve decided to tell you about a few of our favorites.
Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair
Starting on October 8th and running through October 25th, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair is a place for both crafters and non-crafters. Coming from all over the country, the Gatlinburg Convention Center is filled with artisans and their latest works. A defining aspect of this festival is that artisans perform and create their work live — right in front of the visitors. Whether it’s fine art, glass blowing sculptures, wood and metal workings, pottery, or textiles, you can find it all the Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair.
Oktoberfest at Ober
Although you may have seen Oktoberfests being put on in other cities, none compare to the six-week party at the local ski resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Oktoberfest at Ober is a free flow of food, beer, and music. Various food dishes range anywhere from schnitzel to strudels and are the highlights of the festival. However, if you want to stick to what you know, there are also more familiar food vendors in order to satisfy everyone. Beer is far from scarce and can be found in the Outdoor Biergarten as well as in various beer tents. To top off the festival, visitors can relax in the company of entertainment from the Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band, folk bands, folk dancing, and even yodeling.
Fall Harvest at the Island
Get your dress-up box out for this one, and show up in your harvest-themed outfit — but don’t worry, you won’t be the only one dressed up! Pigeon Forge’s premier entertainment center, The Island, will be dressed head-to-toe as well. As you prepare for the event, get ready for some memorable photos, seasonal food samplings, and live music that will have you out of your seat in no time. A crowd favorite at Fall Harvest at The Island tends to be The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. From the top of the wheel, visitors have the perfect view of the Smokies in the fall.
Annual Chili Cook-Off and Car Show
The Annual Chili Cook-Off and Car show is a tradition that definitely won’t leave you with an empty stomach. Whether the chili is spicy or mild, meaty or not meaty, beans or no beans, visitors will have the opportunity to try them all. If the chili wasn’t convincing enough, the event also hosts live music, artisan booths, and other food vendors, as well as a display of unique, vintage automobiles.
Smoky Mountain Wood Carving Festival
Typically falling during the first days of October, the Smoky Mountain Wood Carving Festival brings wood-carvers from all over the region for a show and competition. With a wide variety of carvings, you will be blown away that such things can be carved out of wood. Carvings include, but are not limited to, human figures, wood burning, relief carving, bark houses, bark furniture, and even Santa. For a small admission fee if $5, the festival is an event for the whole family. In addition to the showings and competition, items are also sold to visitors.
The list could go on and on, further proving that the Smokies are the place to be during the months of fall. Whether you are spending an entire October weekend in the Smokies, or even just a day, a fall festival is a fun event for the whole family.