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Things To Do in April 2019 in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Here’s what’s happening in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in this month of April, 2019. There’s a lot going on as always – see the full list below.

And note our current Cabin Specials with deals up to HALF-PRICE. Check the Specials page for our Two Weekends in May 50% off large cabins (round up the gang!) as well as our Weeknights (Sun-Thurs through May 17) “Buy 2 Get 2 Free” specials on all cabins – that’s half price on a 4-night stay!

UPDATE: The Lottery for a parking pass to view the Synchronous Fireflies is open April 26-29. You can register here: Lottery winners will be announced May 10. The dates for the viewing are May 30 – June 5, 2019.

March 16-April 14. At Dollywod, the annual Festival of Nations is in full swing, and will continue through April 14. A visit to Dollywood is always an adventure and Festival of Nations brings a multi-cultural world of food, dance, costume and song.

April 6. You can Sleep With The Sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. This opportunity occurs a few times each year, and kids love it. If you’re 5 years old or above, you can spend the evening watching a diving show, participating in a scavenger hunt and late night activity, and then drift off to sleep while the sharks keep a watchful eye on you!

April 6-7. The first full weekend of April always brings the annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, a fun time for fishing in the best local waters, stocked with trout. Many prizes for young and old. See our feature story for full information.

April 8-10. Townsend, a few miles to the west of Gatlinburg, offers a visit to the Quiet Side of the Smoky Mountains. Close to Cades Cove, the town has unique events year round at its Heritage Center. You can see some custom jewelry on these dates, and more by different artists on April 15-18 and 19-20. Tuesdays are special too, with afternoon programs in summer. Want some expert advice on how to can food properly? On April 23 you can get some. Check the calendar for more.

April 11-13. Pigeon Forge hosts the annual Spring Rod Run, when the town fills up with muscle cars and gleaming chrome in the great American sport of Cruising the Strip. It’s a friendly – and congested – street party for 3 days.

April 11-13. Out in Townsend meanwhile, there’s a gathering of Ford Broncos in the largest Bronco show in the country. The Bronco Super Celebration features daily scenic drives in the mountains, food trucks, kid’s games, vendors and contest awards.

April 12-13. The Wine Weekend offers a chance to sample wines from Tennessee wineries along with small dish fare from some of the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains. This is a popular event held on the campus of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts – and any reason to visit this scenic campus in Gatlinburg is worth taking, for an in-town getaway.

April 12-14. Townsend hosts its annual Fiber Arts Festival at the Heritage Center, a place filled with history and local lore. Not all the artisans are in Gatlinburg: there are weavers and spinners out this way also, and this show presented by the Artisan Guild will demonstrate the “sheep to shawl” process with llamas, sheep, goats and angora rabbits.

April 12-14. Meanwhile in Gatlinburg, one of the largest communities in the country of independent artisans offers a chance to visit studios and enroll in personal instruction in a number of genres. This is Hands-On Gatlinburg, a recent festival that has become extremely popular, and now offers both a Spring and Fall event.

April 17-20. The Great Smoky Easter Arts and Crafts Show is a free event in Gatlinburg where many of the local artisans show their wares and demonstrate how to make them. These are always fun shows, with unique handmade items of high quality, to buy or simply peruse.

April 20. Breakfast or Brunch with the Easter Bunny. Every year there’s a chance in Pigeon Forge to spend brunch with the Easter Bunny at The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grille from 9:30-11:00 am. After breakfast enjoy door prizes and activities for kids. Reservations are required – call (865) 428-0771.

April 20. After brunch with the Easter Bunny, step over to Patriot Park for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Pigeon Forge hosts this free event for all kids ages 0-12, with thousands of eggs and also prizes. This usually starts at noon but get there early to be safe, and the action will be happening from 11 am on.

April 21. There are many places of worship in the area, but the Easter Sunrise service at the top of the mountain at Ober Gatlinburg is one of the more unique. The Aerial Tramway offers a free round trip that morning from downtown Gatlinburg.

April 24-27. The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage annual event has been held since 1950 each year in spring. This is the short window of just a few weeks that produces a miraculous display of millions of vibrant flowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Pilgrimage ranks as the best way to explore many of the wildflower highlights. Led by experts and park rangers, the Pilgrimage draws people from all over the world to view the wildflower profusion.

April 26. It’s Earth Day and Earth Week, and runners and walkers are invited to celebrate by participating in the annual Earth Day 5k Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg. This is a night race scheduled to start at 10:00 pm. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USATF sanctioned event.

April 27. Just a few miles up the road from Pigeon Forge, at NASCAR Speedpark in Sevierville, it’s race day for walkers and runners – especially those who want to take their dog along. The Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K features awards and medals in several categories, and a Pet Parade. Non-toxic fun colors are available to liven up your looks, and all proceeds go to help service dogs.

April 28 – May 5. The Yellow Mustang Registry Gathering offers yet another gathering of classic vehicles, this time it’s the Ford pony. This annual event is located at The Christmas Place Inn on Parkway in Pigeon Forge. View mustangs from the 60’s to current models. Call 888-465-9644 for information.

April 30. Finish off the month with some Appalachian music. Head to Townsend and the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center to hear the highly acclaimed Libby Weitnauer Perform Appalachian Music – with a jam session afterwards. Libby is both a classical violinist and a fiddle player of the more traditional sounds of Appalachia. Bring your instrument to jam after the show! It’s just another Tuesday at the Heritage Center, and the show is at 2 pm.

That’s the roundup for April. There are always plenty of things to do in the Smoky Mountains area, whether taking in the shows in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the numerous outdoor Smoky Mountains activities, exploring the countless things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, or just hanging in the cabin.

On that score, we have Pigeon Forge cabins, Gatlinburg cabin rentals, and the rather more peaceful Wears Valley cabins to accommodate you during your stay.

21st Annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament in April 2019

Image courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The first full weekend in April means it’s time for the 21st Annual Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, 2019. Cash and gift prizes are awarded in multiple categories, with hundreds of entrants fishing, and thousands of rainbow trout stocked in over 20 miles of local streams.

Keeping things fair, there are different divisions for children and adults as well as for locals and visitors – but wait, it’s even more fair than that, with a $500 cash prize for largest trout caught AND $500 for the smallest trout caught! A total of $10,000 is awarded in the spring and fall contests, while 10,000 trout are stocked each year in the largest trout tournament in the Smokies, acclaimed as the best.


Synchronous Fireflies in 2019: Two Ways to View This Event

The world-famous Synchronous Fireflies natural occurrence will happen again this year, in early June 2019, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area. Now is the time to be thinking about how to to watch this unique event that, outside of the U.S., happens only in southeast Asia.

There are two ways to get a seat at the show.


Vacation for a Large Family in a Smoky Mountain Cabin

Shay is a mother of seven who blogs about her family life and a variety of topics at Wonderfully Chaotic, and recently she and her husband brought their family to Gatlinburg for a vacation. Shay and her family stayed in The Crown Jewel, one of our 5-bedroom luxury cabins that sleeps up to 18 people. After the trip, she shared her unique perspective about what makes our cabins such a great choice for anyone trying to navigate the complexities of traveling with a large group of friends or family.


Family Reunion Cabin Vacation in the Smoky Mountains

This February, we were delighted to welcome writer Shelley and her extended family to our 5 Star Lodge at Gatlinburg Falls Resort. Shelley had visited Gatlinburg before, and enjoyed her stays, but this was her first time at our resort. Happily, she tells us it was also her favorite visit!

Shelley’s cabin featured 5 king bedrooms, 2 queen sleeper sofas, and 2 twin sleeper sofas — perfect for her entire family. Other amenities included a fireplace, premium cable and 7 flat screen TVs, a home theater, and a game room. Everyone in the group loved the beauty of the Smoky Mountain views right outside their windows and found the stay just what they needed for quality time together.


The Gatlinburg Lodge 20-Bedroom Cabin

What would you do with a luxury cabin in the Smoky Mountains that had 20 bedrooms? Well, if you were a group of 60 people, you’d just move in and enjoy your stay! Welcome to the Gatlinburg Lodge, one of the largest rental cabins in the Smoky Mountains.

Weighing in at 10,000 square feet, the Gatlinburg Lodge is a perfect venue for a business retreat or a family gathering. The Lodge has 20 bedrooms with 20 full, en-suite bathrooms. Built at a cost of $2.5 million, the Lodge offers creatively designed places to come together and nooks and crannies everywhere to be separate.


Cabin Living – the Ultimate Escape

Ondria came to stay in one of our cabins recently, and wrote about what a great experience it was. It was a family reunion with 3 generations, so space and privacy were important. With our 2-bedroom cabin, Ultimate Escape, 6 adults and 2 kids were able to spend a fun week in totally relaxed comfort – the only way to have a vacation trip.


A Mountain Quiltfest 2019

A cozy mountain cabin and a nice warm and beautiful quilt just naturally go together, so it’s no surprise that the A Mountain Quiltfest is one of the most popular annual events in the Smoky Mountains. This year’s iteration is the 25th Annual and it’s taking place from March 19-23 in Pigeon Forge. Saturday, March 23, 2019 is the final day of the event, and it coincides with National Quilting Day which is coordinated by the Quilt Alliance and the National Quilt Museum.

Images courtesy of A Mountain Quiltfest


Santa Family Reunion March 2019 in Gatlinburg – Santa Comes Home!

Santa and Mrs. Claus work hard all year to make children’s eye sparkle with delight and warm the hearts of friends and family. While they live in the snowy climes of the North Pole, their hearts belong in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. That’s why when you arrive for your family spring break vacation this year, you may do a double take!

Between Thursday March 14th and Monday March 18th, the Gatlinburg Convention Center will host the Santa Family Reunion. This convention brings together Santa Clauses from around the country to spend time together, share ideas and learn professional trade secrets. This is all while having good fun and filling the streets of Gatlinburg with love and laughter.


Winter Carnival of Magic 2019

The 45th Annual Winter Carnival of Magic takes place this year on Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9 at Country Tonite Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The three-day convention consists of two evening shows, a stage competition, a close-up competition, several lectures, and a dealer’s room.

The Carnival attracts professional magicians from throughout the United States, who perform and lecture. This event is great to see some out-of-town talent passing through, and also for those who want to learn more about the art of magic itself, and improve their own skills.

Image courtesy of the Carnival of Magic