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Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration Kicks Off with Three Days of Festivities

Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration Kicks Off with Three Days of Festivities

Get in the holiday spirit by joining in the Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration.

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Sevier County will kick off their 26th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest, which begins Nov. 9, 2015 and continues through February 2016, with three days worth of music and entertainment. More than 14 million lights adorn the streetscapes and businesses throughout Sevier County, and a series of fun holiday events, shows and shopping are planned through the season.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest Kickoff in Sevierville on Nov. 9, 2015

Sevierville takes the stage first with their Music, Lights & Magic event 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Sevierville Municipal Complex, 110 Gary Wade Blvd. in Sevierville. About 7,000 spectators usually turn out to enjoy entertainment, free food, kids’ games and fireworks.

This year’s Music, Lights & Magic event will feature fun crafts, delicious hot chocolate and those famous fried bologna sandwiches. Fireworks will also be back for the 2015 Winterfest Kickoff. Other event highlights include larger-than-life characters, Santa’s arrival on an antique fire truck, Christine the Balloon Artist, face painting by Aubrie Glitters, and fun games!

Attendees are encouraged to bring a camera to snap photos with Santa from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Plus, Bloomie the Pig and other area mascots will also make appearances and participate in a special “Mascot Dance Off” contest during the event.

This show schedule includes performances from M+M Drama Team, school dance teams, Move Dance Factory, Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry, SCHS Cheerleaders, 3D Studio of Dance, Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas of Light at Smoky Mountain Palace, Miss PattyCake, Elizabeth Williams School of Dance, and Chad McWilliams.

Show Schedule

3:15 p.m. – M+M Drama Team

3:35 p.m. – School Dance Teams

3:55 p.m. – Move Dance Factory

4:30 p.m. – Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry

5:00 p.m. – SCHS Cheerleaders

5:15 p.m. – 3D Studio of Dance

5:50 p.m. – Thomas Kinkade Christmas of Light

6:05 p.m. – Miss PattyCake

6:25 p.m. – Elizabeth Williams School of Dance

6:55 p.m. – Mascot Dance Off

7:15 p.m. – Chad McWilliams

7:45 p.m. – Lighting Ceremony

To help event goers easily find parking, an expanded parking area and shuttle service will be introduced this year. Suggested parking areas close to the event will be designated with Event Parking signs and include:

  • Handicapped Parking Only:
    – Sevierville Police Department/Community Center (9 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Sevierville Middle and Intermediate Schools (3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Sevier County Electric System-Main Street Lot (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Sevier County King Family Library (3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Front and rear of Parkway Academy, Bruce Street and Cedar Street (3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Shuttle Bus Serviced Parking Areas (City shuttle buses will run from the parking areas below to the side of the Police Department on Bruce Street, please note shuttle bus service times)
    – Sevierville City Park on Park Road (3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
    – Trula Lawson Center (Eastgate Road) (3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
    – First United Methodist Parking Lot on Cedar Street (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
    – First United Methodist Church Parking Lot on Bruce Street (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Parking is allowed on streets in the area, except Bruce Street between Parkway and Gary Wade Blvd., Prince Street, Eastgate Road, Railroad Street and Gary Wade Blvd.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest Kickoff in Pigeon Forge on Nov. 10, 2015

Pigeon Forge will begin their Smoky Mountain Winterfest kickoff party at 4 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2015 at Patriot Park, 186 Old Mill Ave. in Pigeon Forge. There will be old time games for the kids and entertainment begins on the main stage at 5 p.m. The Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, Boogertown Gap, Hills-N-Hollows and Lost Mill String Band will each perform. To conclude the festivities, spectators will depart on a free Trolley Tour of Lights at 6 p.m. to view more than five million twinkling lights on the Winterfest displays.

Parking is available onsite in the Patriot Park lot.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest Kickoff in Gatlinburg on Nov. 11, 2015

Gatlinburg will kick off Smoky Mountain Winterfest with the annual Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff presented by Bush Brothers and Company and Winter Magic Kickoff on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. City dignitaries will signify the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic with a ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights throughout the city.

This year, Chili Cookoff presented by Bush Brothers and Company and Winter Magic Kickoff fall on Veterans Day and in tribute, Gatlinburg will honor all service men and women with the annual Veterans Day Celebration on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza at 11 a.m.

Gatlinburg’s Veterans Day Celebration is recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as an official site for the observance of Veterans Day. In accordance with honoring our military, The Ladies for Liberty will provide entertainment for Chili Cookoff presented by Bush Brothers and Company and Winter Magic Kickoff. The Ladies for Liberty perform in WWII Andrews Sisters style with their own rendition of vocals, costumes and the spirit of patriotism reminiscent of the 1940s. The Ladies have performed at patriotic ceremonies around the U.S. and their act is done in order “to honor America – the Greatest Nation on Earth!”

“November 11 is going to be a day packed full of both recognition and celebration,” said Vicki Simms, executive director of Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “First and foremost, we want to honor our Veterans. But also, we will be kicking off Winterfest and highlighting Gatlinburg as a popular winter destination. Winterfest has obviously had an unbelievable economic impact on all of Sevier County.”

Participants in Chili Cookoff presented by Bush Brothers and Company will be competing for the coveted People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation and Best Apron. While the street event is free, tickets for chili sampling are $10 and available for purchase online. There is also a special edition t-shirt available for purchase.

Parking is available in parking garages and lots throughout Gatlinburg, as well as along River Road.

For a complete list of Smoky Mountain Winterfest events running November through February, see the events calendar at http://comeexperiencethesmokies.com/events

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