Now’s the time to plan ahead for late summer in the Smoky Mountains! Late summer is less crowded, but there are still plenty of entertainment opportunities. Below are events in the Smoky Mountain areas of Blount County (including Townsend and Maryville) and Sevier County (including Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Gatlinburg). However, I am still focusing on outdoor events that can be attended safely while COVID is still a factor.
August – September Outdoor Events
Thru October. SUNSET CONCERT SERIES AT GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS HERITAGE CENTER, Townsend. Every other Friday evening. Reservations required; tickets $10. Spacious, covered outdoor amphitheater. Concerts in August and September include local bands and Neil Diamond and Tom Petty tributes. https://www.gsmheritagecenter.org/events/concerts/
Thru mid-August. FREE PARKWAY TROLLEY. The City of Gatlinburg offers free trolley service along the length of the Parkway. The open-air shuttles operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with extra stops established between traffic lights 1 and 10 along Parkway.
August 21. 4th ANNUAL GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL. Townsend Visitor’s Center. Professional balloonists light up the evening sky with a beautiful balloon glow and spectacular tethered rides. The sky will be filled with a spectrum of color like never before, against a backdrop of a breathtaking Tennessee Smoky Mountain sunset! https://gsmballoonfest.com/
September 10-11. THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS HALF MARATHON & 5K. Townsend. These races features gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains and Tennessee countryside and finish in front of the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend. https://vacationraces.com/half-marathons/great-smoky-mountains/
September 24-25. TOWNSEND FALL HERITAGE AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL. Townsend Visitors Center. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy genuine bluegrass music, arts and crafts, food, and Fall festivities for the entire family. https://m.smokymountains.org/what-to-see/fall
September 24 – October 30. DOLLYWOOD’S HARVEST FESTIVAL. Pigeon Forge. Journey into Wildwood Grove, where the Wildwood Tree, all aglow in fall colors, takes center stage and Dolly Parton narrates the autumnal transformation of this hidden land. Pumpkin displays, unique treats, festive entertainment and so much more are waiting for you! https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/Festivals/
Do you know of any other outdoor events? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll update this post. What are your favorite events in the Smokies?