Springfest in Gatlinburg is a wonderful three month long celebration of winter’s end. It starts in early March and is marked by the amazing blooms that are found throughout the area. People come out to enjoy the warmer weather, along with some incredible activities and events that you’ll only find at this time of year.
Several of the Springfest events highlight the talented craftsmen of this area. The Mountain Quiltfest is a spectacular showcase of the Smoky Mountains best stitching from expert quilters. After enjoying the colorful displays of hand sewn quilts throughout the area, visitors can head to the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Here one will find the annual Arts and Crafts Show. Hundreds of local artists are on hand to sell their wares.
What would a Smoky Mountain Springfest be without Dolly Parton. Dolly herself is the grand marshal of her yearly homecoming parade. The Dollywood Parade includes bands, floats, celebrities, and plenty of entertainment. For those who haven’t got their fill of this talented country singer, head over to Dollywood for the Festival of Nations.
Visitors to Gatlinburg know that the local food is a big part of a vacation to the Smoky Mountains, and Springfest is no exception. Ribfest is a tasty street fair on the Parkway where one can sample ribs and sauces from several vendors. Nothing else compares, except maybe for the Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass Festival.
When talking about the Springfest in Gatlinburg, we cannot forget the star of the show. The colorful array of flowers, shrubs, and trees is amazing. People decorate the Parkway with a variety of baskets and planters over flowing with blossoms, but it’s the native plant life that truly delights. The Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage will introduce you to the many species. Shrubs such as Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron, and Azalea are at their peak this time of year. Dogwoods and other spring trees bring the forests to life, along with the spring ephemerals. These appear in late winter and are very special as they flower and are gone quickly. There is a short two month time period in which to view the ephemerals. This category includes all-time favorites like Trillium, Showy Orchids, Lady Slipper, Crested Dwarf Iris, Columbine, Fire Pink, Bleeding Heart, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Phacelia, and Little Brown Jugs.