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Beauty in the Mountains Signal the Arrival of Spring

What better way to celebrate spring than to get outdoors and enjoy the warm sunshine and blooming spectacle of nature? Each year, Gatlinburg holds a five-day event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that showcases the beauty of our area.

  The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is being held April 25-28 and consists of natural history, wildflower, and fauna walks, photographic tours, motorcades, art classes, and indoor seminars. There are more than 130 professionally guided walks and indoor seminars. Most of the programs are held outdoors in the park and the indoor programs are held around Gatlinburg. You can register online or in person. There will be a gallery of artists and exhibitors at the Mills Auditorium. If you’d like to volunteer to help during the Pilgrimage, there are opportunities for that also. You can look at the list of speakers, download maps of the walks, find places to stay and see a schedule by clicking on the link above.   There is also a photography contest that is open to everyone, with a variety of entry categories. Amateur and professional entries will be accepted. There will be prizes for First, Second and Third place finishers, along with Honorable Mention.   The first Pilgrimage was held in 1951. That two-day event had 400 participants from 20 states. National Geographic magazine sent a photographer and did an article about the event. Today, more than 800 people attend from 32 states to take part in a fantastic tour of discovery that gives a true sense of the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.