Family Fun Rolls on with June Festivals in the Heart of the Smoky Mountains
By Bennie McCann © 2008, All Rights Reserved

June… that magical time of year when spring rolls into summer, kids swap their schoolbooks for shorts, and families embark on their annual summer vacations. In the Smoky Mountain's sister cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, the year round fun rolls on with a wide variety of family-friendly attractions and entertainment. From stage shows and storytelling to music and mountain dancers, June festivals offer fun-filled days for people of all ages.

Springfest

Beginning in March and running through June 8th, Smoky Mountain Springfest is a festival of flowers, food, and music: A celebration of the transition from winter into spring. During Springfest, the streets of all three sister cities “spring” to life, bursting with baskets of blooming pansies, tulips, wave petunias and an abundance of other flower varieties. Mouthwatering scents of traditional Appalachian cuisine fill the air from a host of sidewalk food vendors offering anything from fried green tomatoes to beans and cornbread to fried taters and onions. As you stroll along the parkway, you won’t be able to resist doing an occasional jig to the lively bluegrass tunes played by talented fiddlers, guitar pluckers and banjo pickers on the street corners.

Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales™

Learning and fun go hand-in-hand with the summer-long celebration of Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales™. Each evening from June 13th through August 16th, the sidewalks of downtown Gatlinburg are transformed into stages filled with vibrantly costumed performers and personalities. With a dozen acts nightly, the southern Appalachian culture and history is brought to life through dancing, interactive storytelling, and musical performances.

Some of the characters you are likely to meet are Big Hog, a grisly mountain dweller from the 1800’s who shares stories of the mountains, Miss Nan, an unconventional schoolteacher from the early 1900’s, and Horse Jaw Johnny, a local gossip who creates songs out of bits and pieces he gleans from the audience. Kids will want to watch for Zeno the bear, Gatlinburg’s very own mascot, who loves to entertain with his silly antics and crazy dance moves.

Family members of all ages will enjoy learning interesting tidbits about the rich history of the Smoky Mountains from the 1800’s to the present while being entertained with bluegrass music, traditional clogging, and tantalizing tales of life in the Smoky mountains.

KidsFest

Destined to be a hit with the entire family, KidsFest at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge begins June 13th and runs through August 3rd. Folks of all ages will enjoy the multitude of stage shows, activities and exhibits of this fun-filled event.

Animal lovers will delight in learning fascinating facts while getting up-close and personal to a host of different critters, reptiles and bugs at Kamp Kidfest. Kids, adults and even teens will find themselves in stitches over the hilarious adventures of America’s favorite vegetables in Veggie Tales® LIVE, with family-friendly lessons at the heart of every show. And Sandscapes is sure to awe each and all, with eight-foot tall, three-dimensional sand sculptures of animals and trains.

There’s nothing quite as magical as June in the Smoky Mountains. With so many fun festivals to choose from and activities for all ages, it’s easy to see why so many families chose the gateway to the Smokies as the place to spend their family vacation!

Bennie McCann is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Gatlinburg rental cabin. Visit the main website to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.