Here’s what’s happening in the month of November, 2021 in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. Lots of events and attractions as always. Thanksgiving is coming and the wonderful fall season will eventually give way to winter (not just yet though). The Harvest Festival season continues into November, which means the Pumpkin People and Scarecrows will still be on the streets, to be replaced with Snow People eventually.
November 1 starts the Winterfest season for several of the local dinner shows and theaters. Country Tonite begins its holiday show season, and the Hatfield and McCoy clans keep going at it with their Christmas Disaster Dinner Show. And the unique Buttonwillow Civil War Theater begins its Christmas themed enactments. And Dolly Parton’s Stampede follows closely with a season start on November 2 for its holiday offerings.
November 5 marks the start of the first winter lights glowing, as Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland opens, with the famous drive-through light show. The next day, November 6, Dollywood lights up its own many millions of lights for the Christmas season, with many wondrous attractions and displays throughout the famous theme park.
Also on November 6 is the Grains & Grits Festival in Townsend for an evening of fun on that Saturday night. And November 10 brings the trade show anticipated by vendors across the country, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show offering gift and craft products.
November 11 is Veterans Day, and kicks off the Winterfest season with the lighting of the lights in the area, across 3 days. Gatlinburg starts its Winter Magic season with its annual Chili Cookoff in downtown. The event is free, and great fun, but the food sampling takes a ticket. This year it’s held at Anakeesta Plaza, while up on the mountain, Anakeesta begins its Enchanted Winter holiday season.
November 12 and Pigeon Forge fires up its many millions of lights to begin its Winterfest season of holiday fun, and the Old Mill offers a Neighborhood Stroll event on that day and the next, Friday and Saturday, November 12-13.
On November 13, Sevierville takes its turn to light up not just the town but also the highway leading into town from the interstate, welcoming the holiday season visitors. Meanwhile over in Townsend, November 13 brings the Holiday Handcrafters Fair, displaying wares at the Heritage Center.
Do we feel a pause for breath here? Not for long, as Ober Gatlinburg gets busy with its snow grooming for the ski season, and kicks things off on November 19 with the annual Back in Blue Rail Jam – where the skilled can practice their board and ski moves, and maybe show off a little, in the Freestyle Terrain Park.
November 20 brings the Holiday Homecoming annual celebration to Townsend at the Heritage Center, which also begins its season of Christmas in the Village pioneer demonstrations of Appalachian history on selected Saturdays. And on this day also, the aforesaid Ober Gatlinburg opens everyone’s favorite fun, the annual Snow Tubing – usually booked ahead so make reservations.
Also on November 20, the Comedy Barn keeps us laughing with its holiday season. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud begins its own Christmas Show season starting the next day, November 21. And on November 23, the Grand Majestic Theater begins its holiday season.
At the same time, the Arts and Crafts community of Gatlinburg opens its very special annual offering, with the Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show lasting for a week at the Gatlinburg Convention Center on November 13-28.
This is not the only event to straddle Thanksgiving, as Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees offers a visit with Santa, gifts and prizes and delicious treats, in a fundraising special that happens every year. This festival runs November 24-28.
Somewhere in there is Thanksgiving of course, on November 25. Anakeesta will be offering its own special celebration, and many restaurants in the area will offer a Thanksgiving menu – or you can stay in the cabin and celebrate as a family around the table, in front of the fireplace, or even in the hot tub on the deck.
Santa loves a good Aquarium and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg is one of the best in the country. Santa’s Village opens up there on November 26 for the season.
Meanwhile, the artisan community will be preparing to switch gears, swapping its harvest wares for magical craft items of a more winter season. The Christmas Arts & Crafts Show runs from November 29 through December 5 – and by then we know which holiday event is going to be on everyone’s mind.
More on THAT, as the time draws closer.