The county-wide Winterfest celebration of the joy, the fun and the splendor of winter in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee has begun. The three cities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville throw the switches that kick-off the season on November 12 and 13. Lighting ceremonies with celebrities like Rocky Bleier and Santa Claus help to start the fun that includes Parades, Chili Cook-offs and fireworks. The Christmas lights and displays make our Smoky Mountains shine even brighter as millions of holiday lights shine, dazzle, flicker, delight and brighten up the streets, stores, restaurants theaters and attractions of the entire area. Winterfest continues through the last week in February.
This is the 24th Annual Winterfest Kick-off for the City of Pigeon Forge, which will begin with the Annual Salute to Veterans Parade, followed by the key note speaker Rocky Bleier, former Pittsburgh Steeler and Vietnam Veteran. Pigeon Forge hosts the Trolley Tour of Lights through the end of January; the 14th Annual Saddle Up! event February 19-23, 2014; and the 24th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week, held from January 25 through February 1 2014. This year the event will be held in the new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge. And Dollywood boasts displays with over 5 million lights in displays around the park.
Gatlinburg is also packed with Winterfest events. Their Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights runs through January, the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show runs November 26 through December 1, 2013, and the characters from Winter Magic Tunes & Tales entertain from November 29 through December 21, 2013. Other events include the Nutcracker "Sweet", the Festival of Trees, the Fantasy of Lights Parade, Christmas on Ice at Ober Gatlinburg, and the New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show.
There is plenty to see and do in Sevierville whose lights are 100% LED and you can purchase a pair of 3D glasses at the Welcome Center to turn every point of light into a snowflake! You can enjoy Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium where thousands of light dance to music in a drive-through experience; you can watch Sevierville's 50th Annual Christmas Parade where Santa is the Grand Marshall, and you can run or walk in the Santa Hustle Half-Marathon and 5K Run at Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort.
Winterfest gives visitors over 15 million reason to come to the Smokies in the winter. In addition to Winterfest lights you can snuggle-up in front of a fireplace in a mountainside cabin; see first-class live entertainment in the area theaters - many of which do special Christmas shows; do your holiday shopping at the outlet malls and unique shops and arts and crafts areas; enjoy great food and have fun in the dozens of attractions and museums; play outdoors on the ziplines, stables and rides, or spend time at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.
For more details visit the Local Events tab on the left side of Best Read Guide home page: http://bestreadguidesmokymountains.com/ .