Festivals and fun make September an exciting time to visit the Smoky Mountains, especially if you like being outdoors. The sun is still bright, but the weather is starting to cool off, making it the perfect time to enjoy Mother Nature. Just take a look at a sample of what’s in store.
Old-Fashioned Wagon Rides
Beginning September 1st and running through November, treat yourself to an old-fashioned wagon ride. Step back in time to the days of gathering the harvest as you ride on a tractor-drawn wagon through downtown Gatlinburg and admire the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains. These rides are available for under $5.00 a person, and run from 5 – 9 pm, Sunday through Thursday. Sign up at traffic light #6 at Mountain Mall where the wagons pull out approximately every 45 minutes. Proceeds benefit United Way.
Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass
If you love good food and great music you won’t want to miss the Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival at Dollywood. This festival starts September 5th and continues through the 28th. There are more than 500 free concerts by some of the biggest names in bluegrass such as Ricky Scaggs, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Riders in the Sky to name a few. After you’ve worked up an appetite from all that toe tappin’, take a stroll to the barbeque headquarters at Market Square. There you can purchase delicious barbeque ribs, juicy chicken or tender pulled pork as well as all the fixins that make your barbeque dinner complete.
Grand Rod Run
If you like hot rods, this is the place for you. From September 11th through the 14th, Pigeon Forge hosts the Grand Fall Rod Run. Located at The Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center, this is one of three huge car shows in Pigeon Forge where auto enthusiasts come to hear revving engines and peeling tires as well as gaze at the incredible sight of these oldies but goodies.
Taste of Autumn
No matter what you like to eat, you’re bound to find it at the Taste of Autumn. Over 30 of the finest restaurants in the Smokies set up stations in the Gatlinburg Convention Center where you can sample their scrumptious food for one small price. You’ll also enjoy live jazz music as well as a live auction. Since all proceeds go to United Way of Sevier County, TN this is an opportunity to have great food and fun and also help a worthy cause.
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
From September 19th until the end of October you can watch the area around the Smoky Mountains show off its fall decorations and handiwork. Stroll through shops where storekeepers display crafts that have been made in these mountains for generations and are a major part of the heritage of the Smokies. Whether you’re looking or buying, you’ll definitely appreciate the workmanship that goes into each one.
Run for the Hills
This 10K run goes right through downtown Gatlinburg - hills and all! The Run for the Hills is a sanctioned race held on September 21st. While the view is incredible, with all the ups and downs you have to be a true athlete or a glutton for punishment to participate. Registration fee is $20 if received before September 8th, and $25 afterwards.
September is a fun-filled month in the Smoky Mountains. With so many activities to choose from you'll want to make plans now to visit at least once during September.
Bennie McCann is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Pigeon Forge cabin rentals. Visit the main website to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.