Spring in the Mountains

 Spring in the Mountains

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, celebrates the end of winter with a series of special eventsCorinne Minard While Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is full of events all year long it’s particularly event-filled during the spring.

“We’re known for the wildflowers that bloom in April and then also the mountains that turn that spring green,” says Marci Claude, public relations manager for the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Everything just comes alive and the baby bear cubs come out and the baby birds are everywhere and it’s just a wonderful time to be in the Smokies.”

The spring festivities kick off April 12 with the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Weekend. This two-day event features the Gatlinburg Wine Tour on Friday April 12, and continues with the all-day Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest on April 13 at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Twenty wineries will be at the event, and attendees will get to taste wines from them all while attending seminars and workshops.

“New this year you can get a VIP ticket, which allows you to have access to a VIP room where you can go to take a respite from walking outside and there will be drinks there and snacks and things like that,” adds Claude.

Another event happening that weekend is Hands On Gatlinburg. April 12-14, artists and crafters with the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community—the largest collection of working artists and craftsmen in the United States—will offer classes to those who wish to learn their craft.

“We have this beautiful community [of] second- and third-generation artists and crafters who wanted to provide opportunities for visitors to get hands on and make their own marbled scarf or journal or paint their own landscape or paint a gourd or create a piece of turned wood or create a piece of pottery that they could take home for themselves,” says Claude.

No skill or experience is required. Claude advises those who are interested in participating to register ahead of time as classes do fill up.

The last event of the spring in Gatlinburg celebrates spring itself. The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, which is celebrating its 68th year, brings nature enthusiasts from around the world to view the region’s spectacular wildflowers. Held April 24-27, the event features more than 300 different workshops and exhibitions on the flora and fauna of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Attendees can sign up for multiple days of the event or just one. Visit wildflowerpilgrimage.org to learn more.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get out in the Smokies and learn something that you didn’t know,” adds Claude.

The Village Shops

The Village, an outdoor shopping location with a quant European village atmosphere, is celebrating 50 years in 2019. The Village is known for its many unique elements, such as handmade bricks, stained-glass windows and gas-lighting fixtures, that have been collected from across the South. It’s currently home to 27 shops and will be celebrating its anniversary in June with a special event. Visit thevillageshops.com to learn more.