Like most people and most places in the United States, the city of Pigeon Forge is very big on celebrating the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years holiday season. After the equally wondrous Harvest Festival season we celebrate in September and October, it’s only a couple weeks (give or take a few days) before we switch from Harvest Festival’s culmination on Halloween to thinking about Yuletide, turkey, the cold, crisp air of the highlands, carols and caroling, family get-togethers and the coming of the new year… and then it’s only a few hours from that point that we turn on a literal switch for Winterfest to begin with the million-dollar Winterfest Lights that come on all across the city of Pigeon Forge. Once those lights are on, the Smoky Mountain Winterfest magic begins!

So what does Winterfest entail? Besides the aforementioned lights and the general idea that we’ll be decorating and having a festive mood all across the city, Winterfest means that we will be having a multitude of events and other holiday specialties going on in town. Dollywood changes the entire park to a Christmas setting, theaters and shows all over town change their entertainment and schedules to celebrate the season, The Island follows suit, and special events begin.

In this article, we’ll list out, with official information, some of the events visitors to the Smokies can expect to find for Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Pigeon Forge each year we’re blessed to celebrate it. Overview:

“Draped in more than 5 million holiday lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for locals and guests alike to enjoy during the city’s annual Winterfest celebration. The lights of Winterfest shine from early November until February.

From winter light displays to captivating holiday shows and so much more, here are just a few of the fun ways you can experience the delightful Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration.

Visit Dollywood to see more than 4 million lights shine during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, when the park is filled with holiday music, plenty of rides, a nightly Parade of Lights and much more to celebrate the season. Dollywood recently announced the addition of Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors, featuring new floats, specialty characters and songs. The park also adds a new show to its entertainment lineup with the stage production It’s a Wonderful Life.

Old Mill Square’s Holiday Open House features a holiday light display of a covered bridge that is made out of thousands of twinkling lights that lead to one of the most historic areas of Pigeon Forge.

Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede pulls out all the stops when it comes to decorating for the holidays. One of the highlights is their 60-foot-tall tree, adorned with colorful lights, ribbons and sparkling ornaments from the very bottom to the twinkling star on top.

Another must-see is The Island in Pigeon Forge with nearly 40,000 ornaments, half a million lights and more than 5,000 feet of garland. Guests are treated to three different Christmas trees, including one that stands 40 feet tall and allows guests to walk through. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music.

And the best way to take in the beauty and splendor of all the light displays throughout Pigeon Forge is on the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights, which begins at the north end of the Parkway. You can also download the Winterfest Driving Tour here.

Whether this is your first time to visit Pigeon Forge, or you’re making a return trip, Winterfest is the perfect occasion to share special memories with family and friends.”

See the overall summary on Winterfest at

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

“Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana has been honored for ten consecutive years as the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide.

Wander through more than five million holiday lights shining bright throughout the Dollywood park, delight in the spectacular holiday performances, soak up the warm Christmas atmosphere, and it’s easy to see why Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is such a beloved holiday tradition.

Celebrate the season with award-winning holiday musical performances like It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas in the Smokies and many more. Bring your family to Dollywood and experience these cherished holiday stories this Christmas.

The whole family will delight as they wonder through Glacier Ridge, Dollywood’s winter wonderland filled with sparkling displays and a spectacular 50 foot video motion Christmas tree.

More than 20 of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment that is sure to get everyone into the spirit of the season. And guests can indulge in seasonal specialties and treats offered at various eateries throughout the park. “

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Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Dolly Parton knows how to bring the entertainment to Pigeon Forge. While her dinner show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is a fan-favorite year-round, Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is truly something captivating! From twinkling lights to magnificent show horses and the amazing live nativity scene, this is a holiday show for the books. Ready to make forever holiday memories with your family?

Each November, the 35,000-square-foot Stampede arena is magically transformed into a fantasyland with evergreens, poinsettias, old-fashioned holiday costumes and twinkling lights. Guests will instantly feel as if they are experiencing the natural beauty of Christmas from the foothills surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains, while looking into the clear skies above Bethlehem on the night of Jesus’ birth.

See spectacular live nativity – The true meaning of the season will come alive right before your eyes! You’ll marvel at the live nativity, a portrayal that is both dramatic and spectacular. Three kings arrive atop real camels while shepherds guide their flock, all reminding you of the spirit of the season. We hope you come hungry for the 4-course dinner feast, because it is fit for a king! Your plates and tummies will be full after a delicious meal that includes a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory-smoked barbecue pork loin, herb-basted potato, buttery corn on the cob, creamy vegetable soup, and a homemade biscuit. Then, top it all off with a sweet treat – an apple turnover. TIP: Dunk your biscuit in the soup for maximum enjoyment!

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Old Mill Square Holiday Open House in Pigeon Forge, TN

“The Old Mill Square Holiday Open House is the perfect time to sample a bit of down home southern cooking and to shop. Pay a visit to the general store, pottery store, and even the toy bin. Experience the Old Mill Square during the holiday season this year.

During this event, local shops and restaurants will showcase holiday gift items for your next gathering or celebration. From food items to home decorations, you’ll find something for everyone and every occasion.”

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Christmas In The Smokies Bluegrass Festival

“Bluegrass fun for everyone. Come join artists old and new for this one of a kind celebration of bluegrass during the holiday season.”

Bluegrass Artists In Festivals Past Have Included:

  • Daughters of Bluegrass
  • Tim White with Troublesome Hollow
  • Jerry Butler
  • Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
  • Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
  • Brad Hudson Band
  • Amanda Cook Band
  • Remington Ryde
  • Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys
  • Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Danny Stanley and Gentlemen of Bluegrass
  • Carolina Blue
  • Larry Efaw & The Bluegrass Mountaineers
  • Garrett Newton Band
  • Steve Wilson
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • Gentlemen of Bluegrass
  • Carolina Blue
  • Larry Efaw & The Bluegrass Mountaineers
  • Garrett Newton Band
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • The King James Boys
  • Francis Mooney & Fontana Sunset
  • Dewey & Leslie Brown
  • Gary Waldrup Band
  • Williamson Branch
  • Paul Williams & Victory Trio
  • Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers
  • True Grass Show with Carolina Road
  • Junior Sisk
  • Danny Paisley

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Pigeon Forge Theaters With Christmas Shows

  • Dolly’s Stampede (as mentioned above)
  • Hatfield & McCoy Christmas
  • Comedy Barn Christmas
  • Country Tonite Christmas Shows
  • The Grand Majestic
  • Lumberjack Feud Christmas Show
  • Buttonwillow Civil War Theater Christmas Show

See more information on Pigeon Forge theaters at