Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Townsend. In the face of disaster and tragedy at the end of the year, there was a silver lining — the people of East Tennessee stepped up and came together to help our neighbors. More than enough goods and services were donated to meet the needs of the people who were affected. Thanks to donations from Dolly Parton and donors in Tennessee and across the country, $9.3 million was raised to help support those who lost their homes (and more). Now, with the New Year approaching, Gatlinburg is slowly but surely beginning to rebuild — and we need YOUR help to make that happen! Each visitor can really make a difference in the effort to rebuild our special town. Here are a few events coming up in the next few months in our beloved Great Smoky Mountains area:
See the Lights
The holidays and winter months are a special time to be in the Smoky Mountains. Although Christmas is over, there are still several activities that are still going strong. Winterfest is a four-month-long festival that lasts until the end of February. During this time, the City of Gatlinburg sparkles with over 5 million twinkling lights and lighted displays. Guests can also enjoy the Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights, a relaxing trolley ride through downtown Gatlinburg that features one-of-a-kind LED light displays, until January 31st.
Visit Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination that draws visitors from all over the South. Although the resort did not suffer any structural damage from the fires, it required hard work from many people to get it up and running again due to debris from the heavy winds. Also, all the ice in the ice rink was lost, causing it to have to be resurfaced by hand. In addition, many employees lost their homes and had to stay in shelters during this time. Fortunately, the resort opened back up on December 9th! The resort has several thrilling slopes for skiing and snowboarding, but it offers plenty of other activities as well. Go snow tubing, ice skating, play a game of mini golf, or take a ride on the Ski Mountain Coaster or the scenic chairlift. No matter what you do, you’re sure to have a fun-filled day at Ober Gatlinburg!
Spend a Day at Dollywood
Like Ober Gatlinburg, Dollywood theme park is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Between exciting rides, shows, and food, the park provides an entire day full of fun for the whole family. Whether you’re soaring above the clouds on the Sky Rider in the Country Fair, getting your adrenaline pumping on one of the several roller coasters, or enjoying a show, Dollywood is the place to be. So bundle up and head down to Dollywood! Check out the Dollywood calendar for the upcoming dates and hours for the next few months.
After a disaster that threatened and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, Gatlinburg is looking to the future. Make it a New Year’s resolution to visit Gatlinburg in 2017!