Each spring when the mountains turn green, Gatlinburg celebrates “Going Green” in a big way during the annual Gatlinburg Earth Week Celebration.
The week-long celebration running Monday, April 17 to Saturday, April 21, 2017, presented by Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg, features a daily event designed to share easy green practices through games, crafts and music, opportunities to get outside and maybe even get your hands dirty!
Gatlinburg Earth Week kicks off Monday, April 17 with a favorite event at a NEW time. The educational Gatlinburg Goes Green Seminar has moved to 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. Nigel Fields, chief of Resource Education for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will present a compelling presentation on wildfire ecology. Fields has been at the heart of helping to understand the scope of the wildfires and the resiliency of the Great Smoky Mountains as we look towards recovery.
Get hands-on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Spur Clean Up. Gatlinburg will partner with Keep Sevier Beautiful to pick up trash along the Spur, a stretch of Great Smoky Mountains National Park between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. To participate, bring a pair of gloves and meet at Gatlinburg’s Spur Welcome Center at 9 a.m. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to assemble teams in a competition for who can collect the most litter! The winner will receive a company pizza party, courtesy of Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will be on site with free ice cream for all participants.
New this year is E-Waste Recycling Day. It is easy to accumulate outdated and unused electronic devices but not so easy to discard them. The CVB Events Team will be gathering unwanted computers, small electronics, ink cartridges and more at the Events Office located at 207 Cherokee Orchard Road from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19. The materials will be collected and properly disposed or recycled.
In honor of the 10th Annual Earth Day Festival presented by Hilton Garden Inn, the festival will be held along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. Area green businesses, community organizations, state and local agencies will provide free activities and games, craft stations in four locations downtown including: The Village, Reagan Terrace Mall, The Gatlinburg Inn and Ole Smoky Parking Lot beside Earthquake the Ride. Participants can participate in a Scavenger Hunt and win a prize. Earth Week t-shirts featuring the artwork of a local student will be available for purchase at the festival and Boogertown Gap will be providing musical entertainment. It’s a great way to spend a green spring afternoon.
Runners and walkers are invited to celebrate Earth Week with the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk presented by Hilton Garden Inn in beautiful downtown Gatlinburg. The night race is scheduled for Friday, April 22 at 10 p.m. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USA Track and Field sanctioned event. Race day registration begins at 8 p.m. at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Register online at www.Gatlinburg.com/events.
Going Green is more than just a saying in Gatlinburg. It’s something we do every day and celebrate in a big way. Presenting sponsors The Hilton Garden Inn and the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation provide traditional and non-traditional scholarships to members of the community. For more information about Gatlinburg Earth Week and other Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring events, visit www.gatlinburg.com/events or call (800) 588-1817.