2012 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

Balloon toy soldier playing the trumpetThe mountainous resort city of Gatlinburg in Tennessee is full of excitement. It is hosting its Gatlinburg Christmas Parade on Friday, December 7, 2012. This popular parade is also known as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade and takes place in downtown Gatlinburg. The parade is held annually and this year will take it to the 37th mark. This parade is full of excitement and attracts extremely large crowds in the upper tens of thousands, this year the parade is expecting an impressively large turnout of 80,000 attendees.

The parade is open to all and there admission is free. The parade is full of life with over 100 parade entries including beautifully lighted floats; Santa Claus’s all around who hand out small treats, if you are able to make it to the Riverbend Mall located at Traffic Light No. 3 in between 6:00 and 7:00 in the evening, a special autograph party is being held which will include a very special Santa Claus and his little elves; many marching bands from throughout the state as well as from other states including North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama; equestrian units; a display of gigantic helium balloons; and much more. The parade will block sidewalks and balconies as it travels down its route and offers the huge turnout of spectators to enjoy and be amazed by the illuminating glow of the lights.

The parade begins promptly at 7:30 in the evening and will last approximately 1 1/2 hours, thereby ending around 9:00 p.m. The starting point of the parade will be at Traffic Light #1A located at Hwy 321 and the finishing point will be at Traffic Light #10 located on the Parkway and Ski Mountain Road. For out of town visitors who are not staying in the city, it is strongly advised that you arrive early, as lines are known to go all the way down the strip even hours prior to the start of the parade.

The best place to view the parade is in the downtown area along the strip or from a balcony if you are staying in a hotel located downtown with a balcony. In addition, there are a limited number of seats on the bleachers located at the front of the parking garage which you will find on Traffic Light No. 3. All of these options will give you a great view and will allow you to take stunning pictures.

The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade is known to consistently deliver and to draw large crowds. It has been given high recognition by the International Festival and Events Association and is considered a first class parade. It is also among the Top 20 events ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society. This year, the parade was appropriated funds in the sum of $1.6 million for the displays as well as to fully convert to energy efficient light emitting diode bulbs.

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Festival of Trees and Nutcracker Sweet Gatlinburg TN

Close up picture of two nutcrackersThroughout the year visitors travel to Gatlinburg, TN to explore the Smoky Mountains and enjoy all of the natural wonders that the area is famous for. Though summer is a very popular time to visit this area, another great time to travel to Gatlinburg is in November. November is a wonderful time to visit Gatlinburg, not only to experience the Smoky Mountains, but also to take part in the historic festivities that are held in the city. One of the most popular events that is held annually in Gatlinburg during November is the Festival of Trees and Nutcracker Sweet, an extravaganza that is filled with popular sights, sounds and smells that symbolize everything that is great about the upcoming holiday season.

The Festival of Trees is truly a must attend event for visitors coming to Gatlinburg in November. Every year the festival features hundreds of trees decorated to the hilt for the upcoming Christmas Season. There is truly a tree to fit every personality, with ones decorated with brightly colored lights to other trees that are decorated with a specific theme in mind. The festival is held at the W.L. Mills Conference Center and the center is packed not only with the trees themselves, but also with local crafts people’s homemade items. This event is truly a great warm up for the Christmas Season because of all of the things to see and do, as well as being a way to get an early start on the Christmas Shopping Season. Purchasing one of the items being sold by the local crafts people not only guarantees a great gift for a loved one, but it also helps support the long history of homemade crafts in the area.

There are also a number of events that go along with the festival including a Gingerbread House Competition, Best Holiday Sweater Competition and a Silent Auction. Pictures with Santa, a popular feature with families, are also available at this event. The Festival of Trees is free to attend, but donations to the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Missions are encouraged. These donations go on to help the people of the area all year long.

One of the biggest events that is held along with the Festival of Trees is The Nutcracker Sweet. This ballet is performed by the Smoky Mountain Dance Theater Company at the W. L Mills Conference Center as well. The ballet is based on the story by E.T.A Hoffman and it follows a young girl and her dream about the Nutcracker Prince and his battle with the Mouse King. The Nutcracker Sweet is truly a ballet that appeals to visitors of all ages.

Winter is truly a great time to visit Gatlinburg, TN and take in all of the down home wonders the area is famous for. A trip to the Festival of Trees and Nutcracker Sweet, Gatlinburg is really the most perfect way to usher in the Christmas Season and experience all of the joy people association with this holiday.

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Winterfest Gatlinburg TN 2012 Continues Annual Traditions

Winterfest signThe Gatlinburg, Tennessee Winterfest officially begins with the annual chili cook-off. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Great Smoky Mountains offers people a “bit of the heavenly” holiday traditions that have been celebrated for generations. The setting is perfect for a winter vacation.

Gatlinburg is a very open and friendly community that welcomes people annually from around the world. The winter magic begins as October ends in the Smoky Mountains, as the fall season wraps up and Gatlinburg residents and businesses provide “treats” for everyone. The community honors the magic of All Hallows Eve, with all of the mystery and “mystical” fun that it provides, for children and adults alike.

Many vendors line the main street for the chili cook off Gatlinburg TN to bring out what they each hope to be the best chili you have ever tasted. On November 7th, these vendors will treat you to their very best recipes as a kick-off for this year’s amazing Winterfest. Chili, with all of its wonderful ingredients, is great on a cold, snowy day. This day involving hot, spicy chili and warm cocoa creates an opportunity to meet others and to watch your children play at a variety of “play stations” along the way. Traditionally, live entertainment is provided, and the evening ends with the miraculous “lights on for the Winterfest” event.

The Nutcracker “Sweet” is presented on November 23rd, 2012 and November 24th, 2012. The show is put on by the Smoky Mountain Dance Theater Company. This performance always adds a special touch to the holiday events.

December 7th is the day for The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Gatlinburg has received International praise for this particular event. The Festival of Trees and the Arts and Crafts Show both lend a bit of magic to all of the festivities in this Great Smoky Mountain region.

The Old Mill Square in nearby Pigeon Forge offers a tour of the old mill with an opportunity to see flour grinding done and candy being made. The square itself is full of unique shops and homey restaurants. The town and the event project the simpler life and atmosphere that exist here in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This year’s tour takes place on December 10th, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Smoky Mountain Gospel Christmas will be sung on December 14th, 2012 in the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in the Pigeon Forge – Gatlinburg area. This is their second annual event.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a “ball drop” and fireworks. If you choose to stay awhile into 2013, you can participate in the Regional Ice Carving Competition on January 19th.

This region of the world is ideal for a fantasy-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas. Snowy mountain tops draping evergreen trees and sparkling lights, both up-close and in the distance, will escort your every move during this wonderful vacation experience. You will be amazed at all of the events and just what winter magic awaits your arrival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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What to do in Gatlinburg, TN in November

Soldier saluting American flagIf you are wondering what to do in Gatlinburg in November then one special day to remember is Veterans Day a day we honor all of the Veterans who have served our country so faithfully. One special day of the year, we stop and recognize the sacrifice of our men and women who have served in the military. Gatlinburg, Tennessee is one of official Veterans Day Site. This means their Veterans Day observances coincide with celebrations held at Arlington Memorial Cemetery. It is one of only 65 cities that is

This year’s event will be held on November 11, 2012 with festivities starting at 2 PM with speeches from notable Military heroes. Veterans from all wars will be honored for their sacrifice and attending veterans will be given special recognition. The event will take plaza at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Spirited music from local bands will stir the patriotic soul as will the traditional military flyover.

Why celebrate Veterans Day in Gatlinburg? Gatlinburg has one of the finest celebrations of winter found in the United States. Winterfest in Gatlinburg is a time of wonder with millions of tiny, twinkling lights and special activities from the beginning of November through the end of February. Get in the spirit of Christmas with many local attractions. Check out the shows in Pigeon Forge, take a tour of the Great Smoky Mountains or take a trolley ride to see the wonderful array of Holiday lights.

While celebrating Veterans Day, take a walk through Gatlinburg, visit the shops and dine in one of many fine restaurants. Enjoy their Southern cuisine and hospitality while you are getting into the Christmas spirit. Make it a long weekend to enjoy all of the attractions that Gatlinburg and the surrounding area has to offer.

Pigeon Forge and Dollywood offer special Christmas programs and shows during Winterfest. One admission price will allow you to see any of them you want to see for one price.

Smoky Mountains during Winterfest is a beautiful sight and a great place for a family vacation. Try skiing or snowboarding in the mountains or just relaxing in front of a fire and enjoying the view. Christmas in Gatlinburg is a marvelous time of the year.

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