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.
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.