Posted by Leif Palmer in Things To Do
Does it feel like the holiday season just slips by in a rush of activity, and that you don't get to spend family time like you enjoyed when you were a kid? Those are the memories that we treasure, but too often these days we let the crazy pace of everyday life get in the way of creating those moments. The holiday season is the best time to give your kids something to cherish about their childhood, and there's no better place to do that than Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.
Gatlinburg knows how to throw a party. Perhaps one of the most popular events of the year takes place this November 12, when the holiday season officially begins with the 25th Annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff. Millions of Christmas lights brighten the city, marking the beginning of everyone's favorite time of year.
Hop a trolley for a tour of downtown and enjoy the stunning views in comfort, or wander the sidewalks and admire the sights from a more intimate perspective. Whichever you choose, you'll be happy to know that Gatlinburg's millions of lights are not only beautiful to see, but they're eco-friendly as well. These tiny LED wonders reduced the energy needed to power the event by 95% when they replaced the old incandescent bulbs, so you can feel good about enjoying the show.
If you get hungry, head over to the Parkway to sample the finest area chili selections from participating vendors. This hotly contested match gives the winner bragging rights for a year, so be sure to vote for your favorite in the "People's Choice" awards. And if you're feeling adventurous, join in the hot-chili eating contest to see just how much heat you can take.
Ready for Christmas? You won't want to miss the Festival of Trees. This annual event features dozens of stunning Christmas trees, each covered in lights and bedecked with ornaments. From traditional to whimsical, there's a tree to fit every taste. Not only that, but you'll have an opportunity to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift from the many vendors on hand, including handmade centerpieces, Appalachian crafts and more.
Also, don't miss the Gingerbread House Competition. This local favorite features fantastic creations you'll have to see to believe. Crafted entirely of edible treats, these miniature houses, trains, and other holiday-themed displays are truly enchanting to both young and old. The Festival of Trees is open to the public from November 25 to November 29, and is located in the Mills Conference Center.
Don't let another holiday season slip by in the chaos of day-to-day life. Pack up the kids, turn off your cell phone, and spend a few days just enjoying the Christmas cheer in Gatlinburg, TN. The memories you make will be cherished by everyone in your family. And who knows? Maybe you'll even start a new family tradition that you'll look forward to every year.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.