By Bennie McCann © 2009, All Rights Reserved
What is that magnificent smell? The aroma is enough to make your mouth water and draw you like a magnet toward the Gatlinburg Convention Center. It’s true that the Smoky Mountains are well-known for the incredible beauty of their fall leaves, but for one day in September they’re also known for some scrumptious food.
For over a decade Gatlinburg has been the host of the Taste of Autumn festival. There you’ll find yourself wandering from table to table enjoying the best that over 20 Gatlinburg restaurants have to offer. One price allows you to eat as much as you like from all the participating vendors. Ever feel tempted to try a new dish, but don’t want to spend a lot on something you aren't sure you’ll like? With plenty of chain restaurants and local favorites, the Taste of Autumn festival gives you an opportunity to experiment, trying food you already love as well as new items that peak your curiosity.
Choose from vendors such as the Hard Rock Café, Damon’s Grill, Ben & Jerry’s, Gondolier of Gatlinburg, Cherokee Grill, Smoky Mountain Brewery and more. You’ll find a large assortment of dishes ready to entertain your taste buds.
These restaurants put their best foot forward as they dish out sample-sized servings of their most popular menu items including appetizers, entrees and desserts for you to try. Make an evening of it as you move from station to station tasting everything that captures your attention. You won't find this diverse a menu in any one place at any other time of the year.
Your wallet will be happy too because admission is only $25.00 which gives you unlimited samplings at over 20 fantastic restaurants. There are two different locations offering free parking. You can also participate in an auction; bidding on a variety of items such as trips, prints and paintings from local artists, and dinner for two from each participating restaurant.
Live entertainment rounds out the event. Enjoy fantastic music from local performers throughout the Taste of Autumn.
Your participation may primarily benefit your taste buds, but it will also aid those in the community. United Way of Sevier County will receive 100% of the proceeds from this event. With approximately 500 people attending the Taste of Autumn, this has become one of Gatlinburg’s largest fundraisers. With the income from this event, the United Way is able to do things such as provide help to children and seniors, respond to emergencies and basic needs, and also assist families in crisis all within the local community. While you’re enjoying your evening you can feel good about helping those in need in Sevier County.
Try finding another event where you can take advantage of lots of excellent food, enjoy live entertainment and have a chance to help others… all for a very reasonable price. The Taste of Autumn festival in Gatlinburg is a win-win you'll want to repeat every year.
Bennie McCann is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in luxury Smoky Mountain cabins near Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit our cabins page to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.