Smoky Mountain Winter Fun – and Millions of Winter Lights

Fall was fantastic but now it’s time for Winter Fun in the Smoky Mountains! Literally millions of festive lights are turning on across the area, and for the next few months, night time is the light time!

Yesterday, November 12, Pigeon Forge opened its Winterfest season with its annual Salute to Veterans Parade followed by the great switch-on of 5 million decorative and display light across the town.

image courtesy of Dollywood

image courtesy of Dollywood

Tomorrow, November 14, Dollywood lights up its months-long Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival with its own set of 4 million holiday lights.

Meanwhile in Gatlinburg today the city kicks off its Winter Magic season of celebration by turning on its own millions of lights, in a fantastic and unique array of LED lights all around town. We first saw the new lights last year and they made for some amazingly crisp displays and animations – looking sharp Gatlinburg!

Here’s a view of Gatlinburg’s lights from last year by photographer Dean Brown (and click to see more photographs of Gatlinburg lights):


Good places to watch Gatlinburg lights are the Space Needle at 400 Feet high, and the ski area Ober Gatlinburg, mountain-high and with a great tramway for a moving experience! Meanwhile in Pigeon Forge the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel offers its own 200-ft high moving view of the area, and also makes its own considerable light magic.

An experience not to be missed during this Winter Fun season is a trolley tour of the best lights in town. You can take a Gatlinburg tour and also a Pigeon Forge tour, using each town’s trolley service. The tours in the heated and disabled-accessible trolleys also feature a local guide steeped in the history and secrets of the towns.

It’s much more than lights, of course – there’s lots more fun to be had this winter! Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge as well as Dollywood have numerous attractions and entertainments in store for us as we progress through the winter holidays, and we’ll keep you posted here.


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.