This might be getting little ahead of things with the holiday season not even having peaked yet, but once the decorations are put away and all the gifts have been wrapped, gifted, and returned, Gatlinburg is looking at quite a 2013 in terms of events, etc. once the ball drops on the parkway.
Following New Years, visitors can still take part in the town’s Trolley Ride of Lights and see the sights downtown by way of one of the old town’s beautiful trolleys.
By January 1, things are usually in full swing at Ober Gatlinburg and it looks to be that way again this year with the snow tubing area having already opened and slopes scheduled to open December 7. This early scheduled opening is thanks in large part to some new snow making equipment that has made it possible to start making snow in less than perfect weather conditions. Follow that up with Ober’s biggest event to start the year – the Tennessee Winter Special Olympics. It’s a chance to cheer on some very talented people and enjoy Ober Gatlinburg at its finest.
A few short months later, Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Springfest begins in earnest with decorations, events, and other Spring-like happenings. It’s a great time for a hike in the Smokies. Get out your nature books and enjoy all the wildflowers springing up everywhere.
Two of the bigger events to begin the year are the annual Easter Arts & Crafts show and the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. The Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community puts on a terrific craft show every spring that brings in crafters and buyers from all over the country. Typically held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, isn’t a show that’s not to be missed. For crafters, it’s a show that’s never the same as new items appear every season.
As far as the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage goes, this 60-plus year tradition is the perfect event for the botanist in all of us. Through seminars and guided tours, come listen to some of the country’s foremost leaders in fields of botany and gardening. These tours showcase the multitude of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians that call the Great Smoky Mountains home.