Pigeon Forge Takes Top IFEA Award for Best International Festival
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee’s family fun destination in the Smokies has not gone unnoticed by the world. Featured in our Summer in the Smokies series, our fave family vacation spot recently swept up 25 Pinnacle Awards from the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA).
Best known for the Dollywood Theme Park, Pigeon Forge’s Wilderness Wildlife Week- an annual event which introduces families to the beauty of the outdoors, received the Grand Pinnacle Award for the Best International Event/Festival for the second year in a row. Other winners included the Singapore Garden Festival, the Netherland’s Rotterdam Festival, and the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Wilderness Wildlife Week
Wilderness Wildlife Week is a week-long annual event. Filled with lectures, workshops, hikes, and concerts, it is a free-to-the-public flurry of activities. This past Wilderness Wildlife Week (May 2017) included lectures about last November’s fires, heritage craft demonstrations such as blacksmithing and basketweaving, guides behind the scenes tours of Cades Cove, and even a trout fishing tournament for the kids.
The 28th Annual Wildlife Wilderness Week will be taking place from May 8th to May 12th, 2018.
Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest
In case Wilderness Wildlife Week seems way too far in the future, the Southeast Tourism Society named Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest as one of the top 20 events in the Southeastern United States for November. Winterfest takes place from November 7th, 2017 until February 28th, 2018. Visitors can ooh and ahh over the 5 million+ lights decorating the city of Pigeon Forge, with Patriot Park being the largest light collection. From fairytale figures to raising the flag. Pigeon Forge decks the halls and hills and a lot more for the Christmas season.
Dollywood Harvest Festival
The last week in September kicks off the Fall Harvest Festival and Southern Gospel Jubilee at Dollywood. Taking place from September 29th to October 28th, 2017, the Dollywood theme park rolls out the red carpet with live concerts, local artisans and carved pumpkins to light up the nights.
Car Shows, Chili Cook-Offs, Quiltfest, Blue Grass Festivals, and more run throughout the year. Check the events page at My Pigeon Forge for the latest Pigeon Forge festivities.
About Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge is a year-round family-friendly destination located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
Shopping in Pigeon Forge
Check out the arts, crafts, and antiques around the Old Mill District in downtown Pigeon Forge. With eclectic galleries, folk arts and crafts, nifty gift shops, scrummy eateries and yes, even a working grist mill, all set next to the Little Pigeon River. Park up at Patriot Park and explore this unique shopping hub.
Eating in Pigeon Forge
You could spend a day eating your way through the places in Dollywood alone. Ham and Beans. Fresh cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Real fried chicken. Sausages with peppers and onions cooked before your eyes. Drool-worthy Appalachian food! Outside Dollywood, the myriad of dining possibilities is mind-boggling as well. From country fried steak and chicken and dumplings at the Old Mill Restaurant to fried green tomatoes and the Elvis Burger (Peanut Butter, Smoked Bacon & Fried Banana) at the Local Goat. And if you take in a dinner show- you’ve upped your evening meal with foot-stomping, first-class Smoky Mountain entertainment. Like pancakes? Pigeon Forge is home to numerous pancake houses and nobody really knows why– but the pancakes are delicious, so who cares, right? Now pass that maple syrup, please!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Be sure to check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while you are in the area. Open year-round, this fee-free national park is a good place to get out and stretch your legs- filled with waterfalls, roaring mountain streams, and endless hiking opportunities. Dress for the weather and check their website for trail and road closures and other warnings.
Too cool for a hike? Bring a thermos of hot chocolate for the kids, coffee for the parents and drive the Cades Cove Motor Trail. Be on the lookout for bears, deer, and elk during your drive across the rolling pastures in this hidden valley high up in the Smoky Mountains.
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