When you visit Gatlinburg in the fall you can enjoy a variety of events that have delighted locals and travelers alike for decades. The seemingly endless summer days of August give way to a touch of cooler air in September. Almost imperceptibly harvest-time decorations pop up around town; a pumpkin on a porch, a scarecrow outside a shop, or bunches of multi-colored Indian corn gracing doors. After a few weeks the autumn cycle is in full swing, and special events usher in the season. We've collected some information on five of the most popular fairs, festivals and activities so you'll know where and when fall celebrations are happening in Gatlinburg!
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
September 12, 2014 - October 31, 2014
Fall in Gatlinburg is a magical time. Come visit and see how all the shops decorate for the season. View crafts exhibits at the 39th Annual Craftsmen's Fair (October 9 through 26, 2014) at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, attend an arts and crafts workshop at the famous Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, or spend your day at the Arts & Crafts Community meeting over 100 different local artisans who demonstrate their crafts and offer their unique handiwork for sale. You'll see leather work, weaving, candle making, pottery, quilting and many more skills that have been handed down through hundreds of years.
39th Annual Craftsmen's Fair
A major part of the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, the 39th Annual Craftsmen's Fair (October 9 through 26, 2014) offers a cornucopia of sights and sounds at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Come meet artisans from around the country and see some of the most beautiful and unique arts and crafts items (these are for sale) and artisan demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. You can also enjoy free country and bluegrass music shows at the fair. These are held at 12, 2 and 4 p.m. daily, 12 and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg
September 26, 2014 - November 2, 2014
Visit Ober Gatlinburg, the famous Tennessee ski resort (the only one in the state) for 38 days of fun and frivolity that commemorates the 204 anniversary of Munich's Oktoberfest. Come enjoy Bavarian food, drink and all the dancing, singing, music and merrymaking you can handle. The Bavarian Fun Makers Band adds great authenticity to the event. The band show schedule for this year is:
Monday - Thursday: 1pm & 5pm
Friday - Sunday: Noon, 2, 4 & 6pm
The menu will make you think you were in Germany with its variety and deliciousness. Try schnitzel, sauerkraut, strudel, pretzels, traditional German wurst and much more. See the menu here.
And what would a fest like this be without beer? Enjoy Special Oktoberfest Biers on tap at the Beer Tent which is open Friday - Sunday from noon - 6pm. Get more information about OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg's website.
A Taste of Autumn
October 28, 2014
5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Gatlinburg Convention Center
Tickets are $25 (children under 7 are free)
Enjoy a great night sampling delicious local fare while you support the United Way of Sevier County at the same time. 100% of the event's proceeds go to the United Way, so you can feel good about your donation as you eat and drink some incredible, unlimited samples created by chefs from the area's leading restaurants.
The cost of your ticket will allow United Way to support the work of important local organizations, including Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cook Off
25th annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cook Off
Wednesday, November 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. downtown Gatlinburg
This is one of the most beloved Gatlinburg events. Every kind of chili you can think of is served here and while sampling these great chili recipes is certainly fun, the competition is pretty intense! Emerging victorious with the best chili around makes all the entrants work hard to impress you with their chili cooking mastery!
Be sure to check out the hot chili eating contest too!
Vote for your favorite chili and have a say in who wins the People’s Choice Award. There are other awards too, like Best Chili Apron, Best Presentation and Best Chili.
This event also opens the Winter Magic season in Gatlinburg. The evening of November 12 will truly be magical as millions of LED lights will be switched on throughout the city.