What’s Happening in March in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

March in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of the Smoky Mountains is a time when the land starts to awaken after the winter, the very tip of spring. It’s a shoulder season for rental accommodations, and a good time to visit for those who like less crowds. The spring break is often a time when families can get away for a trip to shake off winter and start to welcome the warmer days.

Images courtesy of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Natural events occur in March such as the beginning of the famous wildflower profusion in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding area. In March, the first daffodils have often already appeared in Cades Cove. Wildlife too, is waking from the winter hibernation, with some giving birth to newborns, and the chance to see bear cubs is looming greater.

People too are waking up, and doing it in style at Dollywood, which opens from its winter closure for the new season, usually kicking off in the first part of March with a new themed festival and celebration, featuring live music, much food, and stage [performance [2023 is a celebration of Dolly Parton’s music].

Up on the mountain the snow remains, and Ober Mountain continues its skiing and snow tubing. While the ski run usually closes sometime in March, the resorts can usually keep the snow tubing slope open until Easter.

In the lower elevations, rainfall is common in March, with temperatures in the low 60’s and dropping to overnight 30’s. The many waters of the area are running fast from the snow melt, and the whitewater rafting outfitters and guides start their season typically now.

On the dry land, auto buffs are preparing their vehicles for the multiple car shows that happen from March on. While April is the big Rod Run in Pigeon Forge, March sees the celebration of the classic Mustangs and Corvettes in their own gatherings of fans and drivers, as well as Chevelles. Early in the month look for a Chuck Wagon Cook-off happening at Clabough’s Campground on Wears Valley Road, usually a 3-day event, with some mouthwatering food.

St. Patrick’s Day happens in March on the 17th each year, regular as clockwork, and the lively restaurants and taverns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge step up to the occasion with all the usual razzmatazz, including green beer (and wine) and song and celebration. Some venues, such as Sky Lift Park, extend the theme through the month of March with special arrangements, while destinations such as the Island can be counted on to put on a grand show on the day itself.

The magical month of March features real magic also, as the Country Tonite theater in Pigeon Forge hosts the annual Winter Carnival of Magic, a 3-day convention, with shows open to the public providing fun for the whole family, and expert classes and professional lectures for aspiring and practicing magicians – literally an amazing time.

Music comes alive in March, and Gospel music features strongly with the annual Smoky Mountain Jubilee in Pigeon Forge. For country lovers, there’s the mammoth North American Country Music Association International, a week-long country, bluegrass and gospel convention at Country Tonite, free and open to the public with some ticketed star shows. All star dancers also gather in Pigeon Forge during March to compete and show off to the public, all part of the national contests that happen through the year across the nation.

March can be a great time to rent a vacation cabin also, on either side of spring break, as this “shoulder” period offers up special that can be as much as Half-Price cabins – see our Specials page for the latest great deals.

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About Tony Perez

I'm a people person, and I enjoy the atmosphere that working with Cabins Of The Smoky Mountains entails, interacting with different types of people and trying to relate to each one uniquely. From Michigan originally, I've been coming to the Smoky Mountains since I was a child, with family in Wears Valley. Summer fun for me is exploring the Cades Cove area, swimming in the creeks, and hiking Mount LeConte and many other trails. I love the Smoky Mountains.