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Smoky Mountain Lights and Winterfest includes yule log burnings, millions of lights and other special events from late November to February. The festival spans over three towns — Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville — and is sponsored by local businesses to make it one of the most festive holiday celebrations around. Sure, all the lights are pretty, but there is more to Winterfest than the twinkling towns - it’s also the perfect time to hit the slopes in the Smoky Mountains. You can also enjoy parades from town to town, sales at a variety of stores for last-minute shopping and even a few chili cook-offs. There are usually discounts at the local hotels. Events vary by town, which creates another reason to visit all three.
After more than 60 years, the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is still taking people’s breath away. The five-day April event began with 400 pilgrims from 20 different states showcasing their photography, plant arrangements and paintings spread over two days. It also offered tours, field trips and evening sessions. Today, more than 1,000 modern-day pilgrims travel to Gatlinburg for more than 130 indoor and outdoor programs. The event has numerous wildflower, fauna and natural history walks, seminars, art classes and a variety of other programs. It is held outdoors at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as in a variety of indoor venues around Gatlinburg.