Gatlinburg Festival of Trees

Gatlinburg Festival of trees, Christmas trees on display, What are some of your favorite memories of Smoky Mountain Winterfest? Is it the rare but possible chance of seeing it snow before Christmas (even as early as Halloween night)? Is it getting to see the town spirit of Christmas light up when the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Parade comes marching down Highway 321? Is it going to Dollywood to enjoy the park remade as a living Winter Wonderland complete with Christmas shows, carolers and millions of Christmas lights? Maybe it’s going to any or all of the Winterfest kickoff events we have in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville? There’s so many options to choose from our yearly palette of Winterfest events that it can tricky to determine which one gets that coveted title.

We’ll tell you which event is ours, though – the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees that goes on the week of Thanksgiving and extends through the Thanksgiving weekend at the W.L. Mills Auditorium in downtown Gatlinburg.

What makes this event our favorite? Well, this year marks the 45th annual Festival of Trees; and you know that an event that returns every year for nearly 50 years has to be well worth writing an article about! The Festival of Trees is a smaller scale Christmas event than many others here in town, but it’s heart and spirit are huge all the same and there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else around. The Festival of Trees is almost sort of a Christmas museum exhibition where many, many businesses and locals decorate some wonderful and clever-looking trees and fill the convention’s room until it becomes a veritable Christmas Tree forest inside! If you’ve never wandered through an endless selection of yuletide pillars filled with traditional icons and bright sparkling lights of all creation, mixed in with unconventional themes and creative (sometimes even kitschy!) designs while the kids squeal in delight and enjoy the additional Christmas activities onsite, you’ll wonder how you enjoyed the holidays without the Festival of Trees at all!

From their website:

“The proceeds from Gatlinburg Festival of Trees 2018 will benefit Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation. The Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains serve more than 1,600 local youth across Sevier County. The clubs offer youth a safe place to learn and grow through programs designed to build character and strengthen life skills while not at home or school.

The Festival of Trees runs from November 21st to November 25th, and kicks off with Candy Canes and Cocktails Reception on the evening of Tuesday, November 20th. Families are invited to enjoy Breakfast with Santa on November 24th. The Festival will feature a children’s craft and play area, entertainment throughout the week, photos with Santa Claus and, of course, the beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. Please join us in continuing the tradition of ringing in the Christmas season with the 2018 Festival of Trees!


Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Candy Canes & Cocktails Preview Party and Silent Auction

(Tickets: $35.00 per person) RSVP by November 18th

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Festival open from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Festival open from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Festival open from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Meet and Take Photos with Santa Claus:

11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 am and 9:15 am (ticketed event)

Festival open from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Meet and Take Photos with Santa Claus: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 – 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 25th, 2018 – Last chance to visit the Festival

Festival open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Meet and Take Photos with Santa Claus: 1:00 – 4:00 pm”

The Festival of Trees, like many of Gatlinburg’s special events and seasonal celebrations, is within only a few minutes walking distance from our location at Gatlinburg Inn. We are very much looking forward to our favorite holiday event and we hope you get to see it with us as well!

See more on the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees 

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