Santa Parade in Gatlinburg: ClausFest 2014

image courtesy of ClausFest

Santa Claus may run deliveries out of the North Pole but he hangs his hat where his heart is, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The proof is in the parade – which happens this Saturday, when a whole convention of Santas and Mrs. Santas take to the streets of Gatlinburg to turn the seasons upside-down for all the Spring Break vacationers!

Santa needs a break too, and that’s why Santa families from across the country and around the world have descended on Gatlinburg again this year for the annual ClausFest, held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center March 15-19.

The event is by registration only, and creates a rare opportunity for inveterate and professional Santas to meet in joyous fellowship and share tips and tricks about the art and craft of being Santa and Mrs Claus.

The Santas have an action-filled agenda for themselves throughout the event, with workshops, vendor shows, variety shows and dinner celebrations.

But to kick off ClausFest in style – and ever generously – the Santa crews step out to give us a sight to behold in their Grand Santa Parade, complete with Mrs Clauses, helpers and elves. They say that the REAL Santa will be in the parade somewhere, but it’ll be the children who have to determine just who he is!

To close the ClausFest convention on Wednesday, March 19, from 11 am to 12:30 pm weather permitting, our jolly red friends will take to the snows again with snow-tubing Santa Races at Ober Gatlinburg’s Snow Tubing run!

The Grand Santa Parade starts at 4 pm this Saturday, March 15, at Traffic Light #10 and proceeds for an hour or more to Light #6.

UPDATE: Here’s a slideshow of photographs we took of the parade!


About Carrie Waxler

I've worked for Gatlinburg Falls since March 2011. Lived in TN since 1996. I have now hiked Mt. LeConte three times. I've been on every trail that leads to the top. The last one we hiked up the Boulevard. I have walked my first 2.7 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Only 2176 miles to go. I plan to hike the Appalachian Trail when my children graduate. I also love lake kayaking on Cherokee Lake and Douglas Lake. We take our kayaks camping to middle Tennessee as well for river kayaking. I love talking to guests from the places I've visited or lived. Brings back many good memories. I love to be where people are having fun.