Fall in the Smokies: What’s Happening in September 2019

Here’s our calendar of things happening in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of the Smoky Mountains during the month of September, 2019 – from pumpkins and Harvest Festivals to the famous Fall Colors as the leaves begin to turn through the changing season.

[And note our cabin discounts all through September – if you can make a weekday trip, check out our “Buy 2 Get 2 Free” special on any of Sunday-Thursday night stay. It’s a mid-week getaway special and it’s on all through September.]

Images courtesy of various sources

August 30. To end the month of August, the Oak Ridge Boys are playing in this Friday night show at Country Tonite in Pigeon Forge – part of the theater’s Celebrity Concert series. The show starts at 8 pm, and if there are any tickets left, reservations would be a good idea.

August 27 – September 2. The Sevier County Fair is happening in Sevierville, just a few minutes up the road from Pigeon Forge. The fair offers concerts every night, lots of kids activities, rides, food, livestock shows, contests and fun for the whole family. It’s at the Sevier County Fairgrounds, every evening from 5-11 pm. Kids 10 and under get in Free.

August 30 – September 2. If it’s shopping you’re after, the Labor Day Sale at Tanger Outlets in Sevierville may catch your eye away from the countless shopping venues in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. And Saturday afternoon, September 31, is a free Block Party from noon til 4 pm.

September 5. The 18th Annual Taste of Blount happens 6-8 pm on this Thursday evening, featuring a vast arrays of foods and drinks from local venues, and taking place in the Theater in the Park in Maryville. Blount County is our neighboring county and is home to Townsend and Maryville, both towns filled with history and festivity. This is a scenic drive to the west of Gatlinburg, on the Quiet Side of the Smokies.

September 6. The cars are coming to Pigeon Forge again for the fall season of muscle cars, as the 37th Annual Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup happens again at Dollywood’s Splash Country. Thousands of visitors stream in for this event, with some of America’s greatest cars ever built on  display, and some wild custom mods.

September 6 – October 25. The Jars & Jams Concert Series has been going on all summer at Ole Smoky Distillery, between its famous Holler location on Parkway in Gatlinburg and the Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Free shows during the fall season are on 9/6, 9/19, 10/4 and 10/25.

September 12. As Gatlinburg’s Harvest Festival season decorates the town with straw, pumpkins and the famous Pumpkin People themselves, the first gig of the season is the annual Taste of Autumn, at the Convention Center, 5-8 pm. This ticketed event features lots of food treats from Gatlinburg’s many venues, along with live music.

September 12-14. Pigeon Forge, meanwhile, begins a 3-day and night street party known as the Fall Rod Run. Hundreds of classic cars and thousands of visitors throng Parkway until late at night – bring a lawn chair and forget trying to drive on Parkway, unless you’re cruising the strip.

September 13 – November 2. Anakeesta presents yet another innovative attraction in its mountaintop world with the Legend of Hallow Mountain – a super-scary adventure after dark, but very family-friendly during the day, so you can find your own level of scare or non-scare. This will happen on selected dates through these months.

September 19-21. Its the 20th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival up at Kodak, just past Sevierville. This is a high-quality event that remains a hidden gem to most visitors, but it’s no secret to the world-class musicians who come to play, and jam into the night. Very kid-friendly, check it out.

September 21. Here’s a fun way for the younger kids to spend this Saturday. Dolly Parton’s famous Stampede is putting on its 13th Annual Whoadeo – where 3 categories of age group up to 12 years old can take part in a stick-horse parade and other contests for great prizes, and lots of other activities in the morning. It’s free to join in, and later in the afternoon, all participants get free tickets to the exciting afternoon show.

September 27-28. A horse of a different color happens the following weekend at Townsend to the west with the annual Heritage Festival. It’s food, music and crafts in a very relaxed atmosphere. Live bands play from noon til night, and several related events are folded into the Festival, including Old Timers Day on the 28th in Cades Cove to learn the history and Appalachian heritage of the area.

September 27-28. Meanwhile that same weekend up at Smokies Stadium to the north, it’s horsepower of a different color, with the Great Smoky Mountain Auto Fest Motorama, with classic cars, muscle, chrome and paint! Vendors and a swap meet form part of the event.

September 27 – November 2. Dollywood starts its fall season of fun with the annual Harvest Festival, featuring music and crafts, and the Great Pumpkin LumiNights. with huge glowing pumpkin characters throughout the theme park village, and lights everywhere, face painting, Halloween surprises and the usual Dollywood spectacular fun.

September 27 – November 3. Up on the mountain above town, Ober Gatlinburg welcomes the season with Oktoberfest, for Bavarian-style drink, food and music, with traditional fare on the menu and a Bier Garten for sampling numerous brews. The ski area has been counting the days to winter since spring, and the air is filled with excitement during this festival. Yodeling and lederhosen are NOT mandatory to attend!

September 28 – October 26. In Pigeon Forge, the annual Rotary Club Crafts Festival presents local artisans and artists displaying their craft items in a free event at Patriot Park, the town’s premier gathering and festival place. If you love handmade and unique treasures, take a stroll though the park.

September 28. Rounding out the month on this Saturday is a very popular event, Heritage Day at the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge – this is the 16th Annual. The iconic mill and stream with its great restaurant hosts a day of live Bluegrass music, dance, food, crafts, antiques and history, with demonstrations of the old arts, including moonshine making!

Don’t think the fun is over just because the month is done – check the countless events happening in October, including the turning of the leaves for the spectacular Fall Colors, which starts at the higher elevations in late September and rolls down the mountain slope through October, as we all try to guess when the peak color will appear. Stay tuned!


If you’re here during Fall we have the cabin for you to stay in – check our Gatlinburg cabin rentals, our Pigeon Forge cabins, and our Wears Valley cabins out on the Quiet Side of the Smoky Mountains.

And remember that each cabin offers our Trip Cash book of Gatlinburg coupons and Pigeon Forge coupons, with free tickets to some of the best attractions in the area – and worth over $700!

And if you’re still looking for more fun ways to explore in your stay in the Smokies, check out our guide to Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains as well as our Smoky Mountains activities pages, and especially our guide to Things to Do in Gatlinburg With Kids. And keep up with current festivals and happenings with our Gatlinburg Events guide.

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.