Pigeon Forge (Tennessee) transforms into a winter wonderland during its 29th annual Winterfest celebration featuring over five million lights displayed throughout the city (Nov. 6-mid-February). NBC’s The Voice season 12 winner Chris Blue headlines a special kickoff event on Nov. 6 to flip the switch and illuminate the popular family vacation destination.
Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, Pigeon Forge draws visitors each year to its colorful light displays depicting popular characters and playful scenes.
The official Winterfest Kick-off event takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. In the city’s Patriot Park, Blue leads the crowd in a countdown to turn on millions of lights beginning at 6:45 p.m. followed by fireworks. At 7 p.m., Blue takes the stage for a free 20-minute concert. Also, free trolley tours of the light displays will be offered at the event for one night only. For the remainder of Winterfest, a free map will be available for download at www.MyPigeonForge.com/events/winterfest.
“The city of Pigeon Forge transforms into a holiday wonderland during Winterfest every year. It’s truly one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit with your family and make memories that last a lifetime,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “Every year we are excited to deliver new experiences in addition to long-lasting holiday traditions.”
Several popular attractions highlight Winterfest 2018 and give families plenty of reasons to visit:
- Pigeon Forge Snow, the only facility of its kind in the U.S., ensures Pigeon Forge guests will have a white Christmas inside the 15-lane tubing facility featuring real snow.
- The Island in Pigeon Forge showcases elaborate decorations throughout the 23-acre property, including approximately 40,000 ornaments, half a million lights and more than 5,000 feet of garland. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music. Paula Deen presides over The Island’s annual tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. There is no admission fee to enjoy the Christmas décor.
- Dollywood’s new Glacier Ridge area opens this season. Wrapped in five million lights, the theme park captures the holiday spirit of giving and generosity with the stage production It’s a Wonderful Life.Both are just part of Dollywood’s award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival (Nov. 10-Jan. 5, 2019).
- The Titanic Attraction’s fifth annual Thanksgiving fireworks spectacular, with a special super-hero theme, takes place on Thursday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. Titanic guests also get to see the ship completely decorated for Christmas (Nov. 10-Dec. 31), including thousands of holiday lights throughout as well as wreaths, trees and garlands. The ship’s built-to-scale grand staircase features décor reminiscent of the Edwardian period.
- The Inn at Christmas Place welcomes Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of literary master Charles Dickens, on Nov. 4-6 for his eighth annual visit to the property. Dickens performs his one-man enactment of A Christmas Carol for inn guests.
Details about all aspects of Winterfest are available at www.mypigeonforge.com.