How To Save Money On Your Smoky Mountains Vacation

Unless you happen to win a $1.33 billion jackpot this week playing Powerball, chances are you and your family usually have to be careful about how and where you spend your money. That challenge applies to everyday living, and it especially comes into play when you’re thinking about taking a vacation. We all want to plan a trip that will create a lifetime of memories, but we also want to make sure we get the most bang for our buck.

That’s why this week, we’ll be sharing some tips and strategies for planning a family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains that won’t break the bank. Each idea on its own will help you chip away at your travel expenses, and when you combine them all into one coordinated effort, you might really notice how much heavier your wallet feels when you get back home.

  • Travel NOW

Winter isn’t typically most people’s favorite travel season, but it does have its advantages when visiting the Smokies. For example, at Timbercreek, our Pigeon Forge cabin rentals are at their lowest rates of the year. On top of that, we have a winter special going through March 15, which allows you to book any three nights and stay one night free.

  • Don’t Fly – Drive!

Unless you live more than a day’s drive from the Smokies, we recommend that you pack up the car and drive to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville. For one thing, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade, and East Tennessee is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population. So it shouldn’t be much of a difficulty to get yourself to the Smokies on the cheap.

  • Stay In A Rental Cabin

Compared to staying in a hotel or motel room, the cost of staying in a cabin is noticeably lower. If you book a larger cabin – say, one that sleeps six to eight guests – you and the rest of your party can split the rental, making it more cost-effective per person. Also, because our rental properties have full kitchens, you can prepare some meals yourself by shopping at a local supermarket. That will lower your food costs tremendously when compared to eating out every meal.

A lot of our guests will typically eat breakfast and possibly also lunch in their cabin and then save their dining out experience for dinner. Or maybe you could eat breakfast in, have lunch on the town while you’re out playing or shopping, and then come back to the cabin and put some steaks on the grill.

  • Get The Coupons

A high percentage of attractions, restaurants and shops publish discount coupons, be they online, in a brochure or rack card, or in a local travel guide. It helps to have some idea ahead of time of what places you’re interested in visiting so that when you arrive in town, you can locate the coupons you’ll be most likely to use.

Embrace Winter at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort

Remember all that warm weather we had here in the South during late December? Folks were walking around in shorts and sandals like it was the middle of summer. Well, it would seem that nature is having the last laugh now that cold and windy days have come back once again. You’d almost think it was winter around here.

While many of us celebrated those pleasant, balmy days just a few weeks back, we can tell you that the folks at Ober Gatlinburg weren’t so happy about it. It was so warm that they even had to shut down their ski slopes for a while because it wasn’t cold enough to manufacture snow at their mountaintop resort.

However, now that winter temperatures have settled back into their normal ranges, they’ve got the snow cranking up at Ober Gatlinburg once again, and all you snow bunnies can start planning your ski trips.

Today (Tuesday 1/5), for example, they’re working with a 10- to 15-inch base of new manufactured snow, with four of the resort’s 10 trails open. Up on the mountaintop, temps are going to be in the 30s today, and skiing will be open until 10 p.m.

Ober Gatlinburg’s 10 trails are geared toward every level of experience, from easy slopes for beginners to steep challenging trails for more seasoned skiers. The resort has ski-instruction classes for beginners and equipment rentals, making it easy for novices to take up their poles for the first time. Also, Ober’s slopes are suited for both traditional downhill skiing as well as snowboarding.

Even if you don’t want to hit the slopes, there’s fun to be had at Ober Gatlinburg. They have a 10-lane snow-tubing course, where you can slide downhill and take the outdoor escalator back to the top for up to 90 minutes per session. Keep in mind that snow tubing requires tickets, and sessions can sell out in advance, so we recommend visiting www.obergatlinburg.com to check tubing availabilities before buying your tickets.

There’s also an outdoor ski coaster, which is open even in winter. It’s a brisk ride, so bundle up, but this exciting downhill attraction lets you enjoy all the fun of a zippy downhill trip without having to know how to ski or snowboard.

Inside at Ober Gatlinburg, there’s even more to do. You can take a few spins around the indoor ice skating rink or check out the merchandise in their many shops or get a bite to eat at the in-house restaurant. And when your day is done, you can enjoy the trip back to downtown Gatlinburg on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway (which is also the recommended way of getting to the top of the mountain).

If you’re planning a ski trip this winter, be sure to call us in advance at Timbercreek Cabin Rentals. We have dozens of properties that are convenient to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley, and we’re offering our most competitive rates this time of year. Give us a call today to make your reservations.

Ring In The New Year In The Smokies

While hanging out at Times Square is perhaps the iconic way to spend New Year’s Eve in our country, it’s not necessarily a practical thing to do every year, especially for those of us who might have to spend a lot of money for a plane ticket to New York and a hotel room in The Big Apple.

However, there are ways to ring in the new year that are a lot more convenient and perhaps just as fun. If you live anywhere in the Southeast United States, you’re within a day’s drive of the Great Smoky Mountains, which means you can easily travel by car to East Tennessee and take advantage of some of the ways we’re ringing in 2016 in our neck of the woods.

In Gatlinburg, that city flips the calendar each year with its annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. The 28th edition of the event takes place on the night of December 31 at the Space Needle attraction in the downtown area, at the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail. The event is free to attend.

Live entertainment will get under way at 10 p.m., and when the clock strikes midnight, a large-scale fireworks show that’s synchronized to music gets underway atop the 400-foot-tall Space Needle. The Space Needle itself is adorned in bright, colorful, synchronized LED lights, adding to the visual spectacle of the evening.

Keep in mind, however, that tens of thousands of people gather for this growing annual event, so if you want prime viewing, we recommend arriving early and claiming your spot. But even if you’re not right at the base of the Space Needle, don’t worry; you’ll be able to see the fireworks from any number of locations throughout the downtown area.

Meanwhile, at The Island in Pigeon Forge, that shopping/dining/lodging destination will be staging a New Year’s Eve happening of its own. It all starts at 8 p.m. with live music by Fairview Union, and all The Island’s attractions – including the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel – will be open to guests. Of course, The Island’s many shops and restaurants will be open as well, including Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. At midnight, attendees will be able to watch a special fireworks show that will kick off 2016 with a bang.

But that’s not all that’s going on when it comes to ringing in the new year. Many of the music theater shows in Pigeon Forge will have New Year’s Eve countdowns and celebrations, although these do not necessarily take place at midnight. Some theaters stage these countdowns near the end of their regular nighttime performances.

Also, if you’re a guest of Timbercreek Cabins, you might prefer to ring in the new year in one of our private cabins in the Smokies. Maybe crowds aren’t your scene, and if that’s the case, you can enjoy welcoming 2016 in the peace and quiet of one of our secluded properties. Sing “Auld Lang Syne” while soaking in a bubbling hot tub or gather everyone around the flat-screen TV inside and watch the Times Square ball drop while staying in warm in front of the fireplace.

5 Reasons To Travel With A Group To The Smokies

Chances are that if you’ve been to the Great Smoky Mountains before, you went with either your spouse/significant other or your family, including the kids. But next time you plan a trip back to the Smokies, consider getting a group of people together. Traveling with six, eight or even 10 or more people in one party has a lot of advantages, both practical and intangible. Continue reading to learn just a few:

  1. It’s fun

That old adage “The more the merrier” is true. There’s just something about getting a bunch of people together that seems to add a certain dynamic energy to the trip. The laughs come a little easier, and having more people traveling together takes the pressure off any one person having to be responsible for all the details of trip planning and execution.

  1. It’s a bonding experience

Whether you’re putting together a family reunion, a church retreat or a group from work getting away for some off-site time, sharing travel time tends to bring people together. This applies when everyone’s participating in a fun activity like a hike or visiting an attraction or dining out. But even when challenges present themselves, a negative experience or unexpected bump in the road can also go a long way toward bringing travel buddies closer together.

  1. It’s more cost-effective

Traveling as a group has financial advantages. Depending on the size of your group, you might be able to get discounts on tickets to attractions in the Smokies, and if you’re booking one of our Wears Valley cabin rentals, you’ll find that everyone splitting the cost of a large cabin compares favorably to everyone getting individual hotel or motel rooms.

  1. There’s something for everyone

Of course, the more people you have involved in a traveling group, the harder it can sometimes be to suit everyone’s preferences. But that’s not really an issue in the Smokies. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re talking about outdoor fun, attractions, shopping or dining. So if you can’t reach a consensus decision about what to do, there’s always the option to split off into subgroups for a few hours and let everyone do what suits his or her fancy.

  1. A large cabin can be just like home

Another advantage to staying in one of our cabin rentals is that we offer all the comforts of home and a whole lot more. Our cabins’ bedrooms cover all the basics that a motel would (bed, television, bathroom, etc.), but most of our master baths include a whirlpool tub, and the cabins themselves are usually packed with amenities. Kick back in an outdoor hot tub, cook steaks on the barbecue grill, prepare a feast in the full kitchen or even launder your dirty clothes on site. Most of our cabins have great entertainment options, too, including large-screen TVs for movies and ballgames, gaming systems, board games, pool tables and more.

Take Flight In The Smokies!

Even though the leaves have fallen and the deciduous trees are bare, there’s still a stark beauty that remains in the Great Smoky Mountains all the way until spring. Especially when their peaks become whitened with snow as winter approaches, the mountains stand tall, powerful and awe-inspiring.

Most of the time, area visitors wind up looking up at the mountains, while some actually hike to their peaks and use them as vantage points to look down on the surrounding region. But there’s one way around here to get a truly unique perspective on the mountains, and that’s by looking down on them from high above.

Fortunately, there are several businesses in the Smokies that take their customers up, up and away, giving them a true bird’s-eye view of the majestic landscapes that the region is known for. From airplanes to helicopters to balloons, here’s a quick run-down of the high-flying options available.

Helicopters

Helicopter tours have been a mainstay attraction in the Smokies for decades. You’ll find two businesses located on Tenn. Hwy. 66 between downtown Sevierville and Interstate 40. Scenic Helicopter Tours and Smoky Mountain Helicopters both take off and land from on-site heliports, and both companies offer a range of tours and price points. The shorter tours span several miles, while the longer ones can cover hundreds of miles. Along the way, guests are treated to aerial views of not just the range of the Smokies but also nearby lakes, rivers, forests and other points of interest.

Airplanes

Some folks actually travel to the Smokies by airplane, most likely taking off and landing at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville. But Sky High Air Tours in Sevierville offers a one-of-a-kind flying experience in a vintage Waco biplane. Their introductory flight lasts six to eight minutes and soars over Sevierville, while the 15-minute flight stretches more toward Pigeon Forge. The 30-minute Barnstormer flight heads out over Douglas Lake and then heads back to Pigeon Forge before ending again in Sevierville. All flights offer panoramic views of the Smokies and nearby geographic points of interest. But in the end, there’s nothing quite like taking in your surroundings from an open cockpit.

Balloon

While there are no companies that currently offer untethered hot-air balloon rides in the Smokies, you can still get a true balloon experience at the Wonders of Flight attraction in Pigeon Forge. Located behind WonderWorks, this tethered balloon ride lasts anywhere from five to 15 minutes and can take as many as 20 guests per flight. The balloon rises under helium power and then is pulled down by a powerful winch that can handle as much as 90,000 pounds.

Next time you plan a trip to the Smokies, consider seeing the sights that can only be afforded by a trip aloft, and also give us a call at Timbercreek to reserve one of our Tennessee cabin rentals.

5 Ideas For Christmas Shopping In The Smokies

Gulp… Christmas is just a little over three weeks away, and if you’re like most of us tend to be this time of year, you may hardly have put a dent in your shopping list. Whether the people on your list have been naughty or nice, the bottom line is that you’re probably going to need some big ideas to come up with enough gifts for your family, friends and co-workers this season.

Don’t despair. If you’re staying in one of our Pigeon Forge cabins within the next few weeks (or even if you’re just thinking about making a daytrip to the Smokies one weekend), we can give you lots of inspiration for places to go that will help you check those names off in no time at all. And with the wide array of specialty merchandise to be found in the Smokies, this is an especially strategic place to visit to shop for those hard-to-buy-for people.

Arts & Crafts

Arts and crafts are so ingrained in the culture of the Great Smoky Mountains that after the mountains themselves, crafts were what helped start the tourism industry here in the early decades of the 20th century. These days, the best place to visit is the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, which is north of Gatlinburg, located on an 8-mile loop along Glades Rd., Buckhorn Rd. and U.S. Hwy. 321. Featuring more than 100 studios, galleries and shops, the residents of the community practice native art and craft forms like pottery, broom making, candle making, jewelry making, woodwork, stained glass and many, many more. The majority of these products are hand-made, in accordance with time-honored traditions, and in addition to being able to buy these one-of-a-kind treasures, you can hang out with the artists and watch them work.

Other craft options include Pigeon River Pottery in Pigeon Forge – the predecessor of which was recognized as being one of the first commercial craft ventures in the Smokies – and the Great Smoky Christmas Arts & Crafts Show, taking place through December 6 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. That show is presented by members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

Big Deals

Who doesn’t like a deal, right? If that’s you, then you need to be doing a lot of your Christmas shopping at the outlet malls of the Smokies. One of the largest and most popular destinations is the Tanger Factory Outlet Center in Sevierville, home to hundreds of individual shops that offer an incredible range of name-brand and specialty merchandise. Look for items like clothing, shoes, accessories, electronics, housewares, music, books and much more. Brands include Aeropostale, Vera Bradley, PacSun, J. Crew, Disney, Reebok, Bath & Body Works and Corningware, just to mention a few. And because these are factory outlet stores, you’ll find merchandise marked down significantly compared to similar items in regular retail stores.

While you’re in the area, also look for additional collections of shops at the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, Z Buda Mall and The Shops of Pigeon Forge as well as the Governor’s Crossing Outlet Mall in Sevierville.

Unique Experiences

We all know that sometimes, a gift card or gift certificate is the simpler solution. And sometimes, it’s even the best solution for the recipient. So this year, think outside the box and consider giving someone a gift certificate or admission to a Smoky Mountains attraction or music theater. That way, the recipient can use it any time during the next year, making it a gift that will continue giving long past Christmas day.

This Week’s Winterfest Events…

Will you be staying in one of our cabins in Wears Valley this week? If so, you might be wondering what’s happening in the Great Smoky Mountains this week – besides Thanksgiving, of course. You’re in luck; there’s a lot going on in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville thanks to Winterfest. This annual four-month-long celebration of winter and the holidays is off to a great start, and if you’re looking for a way to share some seasonal fun with your family, we’ve got a few suggestions for making that happen.

In Gatlinburg, the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show is taking place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center through November 29 and will be immediately followed by the Great Smoky Christmas Arts & Crafts Show November 30 through December 6. At both events, you’ll see exhibitors from Gatlinburg’s own Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community display and demonstrate a wide range of authentic mountain art and craft forms, including pottery, candle making, jewelry, broom making, painting, wood work and many more.

Also in Gatlinburg is the Festival of Trees taking place November 25 through 29 at the W.L. Mills Conference Center on Historic Nature Trail. This annual fund-raiser features beautifully decorated Christmas trees and handmade centerpieces and craft items, the sales of which will raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. The event also includes live entertainment and photo opportunities with Santa Claus himself.

This weekend, November 27 and 28, the Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre presents the Nutcracker “Sweet,” also at the Mills Auditorium in Gatlinburg. The troupe’s take on the classic holiday ballet is a fun event for all ages.

If your travels take you into Pigeon Forge this week, you’ll find that several local attractions are hosting special promotions as part of their Winterfest celebrations. For example, Christmas at Dixie Stampede is the holiday show presented by the long-time equestrian-themed attraction, featuring a live nativity scene with camels and ascending angels. Elves from the North and South serve guests a multi-course feast as part of the fun.

Meanwhile, the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration continues at Dollywood theme park, while the Titanic Museum Attraction hosts a fireworks show on Thanksgiving night. Billed as the largest fireworks event of the year on the Parkway, this pyrotechnics display honors the lives and legacies of the original Titanic’s passengers, crew and rescuers.

In Sevierville, you might want to visit Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, a drive-through tour of dozens of colorful, animated light displays located at Smokies Stadium just off Interstate 40 at exit 407. The attraction is open through January 4.

Speaking of holiday lights, you’ll probably have trouble avoiding them during Winterfest. Each of our communities, in addition to many local businesses, is decked out in twinkling colorful lights and displays throughout the four months of Winterfest.

How To Spend Thanksgiving In The Smokies

So the idea of not celebrating Thanksgiving at home with your family sounds like sacrilege? Then maybe you should give it some more thought. Because that’s what more and more Smoky Mountain visitors are doing every year. In fact, some folks are bringing their Thanksgiving celebration to the mountains and creating a new holiday tradition in the process.

Think about it… You’d still get be spending time with your family – which is probably what you’re most thankful for anyway – and in the process you’d be on vacation in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States. Add the fact that the Smokies area has just kicked off its annual Winterfest celebration, and you have all the makings of a Thanksgiving holiday that you and yours are not likely to forget.

We suggest getting it all started with one of our cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge, TN. We have properties as large as five bedrooms, and most of our cabins have some sort of foldout couch, which increases your sleeping capacity even further. Having everyone under one roof is a great recipe for generating new family memories and traditions and sharing special times together.

Our cabins are also a cost-effective way for a large group to stay several days or more in the Smokies. The cost of a cabin rental is usually less than if you rented enough individual hotel rooms to accommodate everyone in your party. And if you choose to cook some of your meals (or at least have a quick-and-easy breakfast) in the cabin, you’ll save money by buying food at one of our local supermarkets instead of eating out every meal.

Plus cabins have all the amenities of home and more. You’ll be spoiled with luxury features like whirlpool tubs in the master bathrooms, outdoor hot tubs, gas or wood-burning fireplaces, flat-screen TVs with DVD/VCR players, washer and dryer, full kitchens with all the necessary appliances, cookware and serveware, game rooms with pool tables, covered porches with outdoor seating, free wireless Internet and much more.

Most importantly, you’ll be in the Smoky Mountains during Winterfest, which is decked out from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge to Sevierville in millions and millions of colorful, twinkling holiday lights and displays. And during Winterfest, each city has a whole calendar full of special events that provide fun and entertaining ways to celebrate, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the winter season in general.

Of course, we haven’t even touched on all the things that make the Smokies great year ‘round, including the beautiful mountains and all the other fun destinations our communities have to offer. You’ll find music theater shows and other attractions that are open at least through the end of the year, if not all year long, and our outlet malls and other retail centers are great places to go to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done.

And one of the best things about Thanksgiving in the Smokies is that you’ll find several restaurants serving meals that day, so you can dig into your favorite Turkey Day goodies but let someone else do all the cooking and cleaning.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

This week, the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are getting their respective annual Winterfest celebrations off to a start with special events that, in part, showcase each town’s unique light displays. And at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, they’re doing the same thing during their annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

Running now through January 3, 2016, this two-month-long celebration sees Dollywood transformed into a winter wonderland thanks to millions of colorful, twinkling lights adorning structures and trees throughout each of the park’s sections. In fact, they started putting the lights up months ago so they could have them all in place in time for Smoky Mountain Christmas’s November 7 festival kick-off.

One of the unique aspects of Smoky Mountain Christmas is that the stages of Dollywood’s many theaters and music venues feature special holiday-themed shows instead of the usual lineup of country, gospel and bluegrass acts. Highlights include Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, an original musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, as well as Christmas in the Smokies, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, O Holy Night, Appalachian Christmas and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, to name a few.

Families will also enjoy other special Christmas-themed experiences, such as getting to meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends at Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Junction. Meanwhile, the Timber Canyon Festival of Lights features thousands of lights blinking in synchronicity with holiday music to create a seasonal symphony for the senses. And every night, the park’s Parade of Lights wraps up the day with brightly lit Christmas floats meandering their way throughout the park.

At Santa’s Workshop in Celebration Hall, you’ll find a giant toy store, where larger-than-life toys greet guests and invite them to engage with interactive activities like looking through a giant ViewMaster and visiting with Santa.

However, a lot of what you’ve come to know and love about Dollywood will still be taking place during Smoky Mountain Christmas. For example, many of the roller coasters and ride attractions (except the water-based ones) will still be open, weather permitting, and you can still visit Dollywood’s crafts people located in Craftsman’s Valley and other sections of the park.

And Dollywood’s many shops and eateries will be open for business as well, although many will offer more holiday-themed merchandise and menu items to get into the spirit of the season.

When coming to town for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas or any other attraction or special event in the Smokies this season, you’ll need accommodations, and our cabins in Pigeon Forge, TN are within an easy drive of Dollywood. We have a wide selection of properties available, from one bedroom to five bedrooms, and our rates are generally lower during the traditional off-season, compared to peak times like summer and October.

So give us a call or make your reservations online. We hope to see you soon!

Winterfest Kicks Off Next Week!

It may seem like just moments ago that you were lounging by the pool, relaxing on a beach or maybe just drowning in sweat while you mowed your yard. But believe it or not, it’s already time for Winterfest in the Great Smoky Mountains! Winterfest is the annual season-long celebration during which the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville say hello to winter and Christmas with several months’ worth of special events and millions and millions of holiday lights.

Next week, each of those towns launches its official Winterfest activities with a special kick-off event. Fortunately, those events are staggered over the course of several days, so if you wanted, you could actually welcome Winterfest with open arms in each city. And remember that Timbercreek Cabins has properties that are convenient to each community, so if you plan to be here to kick off Winterfest, be sure to contact us for your accommodations.

Here’s what’s in store next week:

Sevierville is the first community to kick off Winterfest, and visitors should make plans to be at the Sevierville Municipal Complex on Gary Wade Blvd. on Monday, November 9 from 3 to 8 p.m. The event will include live entertainment, games, food, fireworks and more as the city turns on its light displays and welcomes the world to the Great Smoky Mountains for winter. Admission and all activities are free.

Those interested in viewing Sevierville’s Winterfest lights should stop at the Sevierville Visitor Center on Tenn. Hwy. 66 to purchase a pair of Winterfest 3D glasses for only $1. The glasses shift each point of light into a snowflake, adding more interest to each of the intricate light displays.

Pigeon Forge is next up for Winterfest, kicking off its 26th annual festival on Tuesday, November 10 at Patriot Park. The free event starts at 5 p.m. with live musical entertainment, then beginning at 6 p.m., the city will host free trolley rides as part of its annual Trolley Tour of Lights. Passengers will get to see more than 5 million twinkling lights among the dozens of Winterfest displays.

Or you can enjoy the lights at your own pace on the city’s Winterfest Lights Driving Tour. You can pick up a tour map at the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center at traffic light #0 or at the trolley office at Patriot Park.

The next night, November 11, the city of Gatlinburg gets in on the Winterfest action with its annual Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff. Taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, the event features city dignitaries signifying the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic with the ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights throughout the city.

This year, the event also falls on Veterans Day, so in tribute, the city will honor former service men and women with its annual Veterans Day Celebration on the Ripley’s Aquarium plaza at 11 a.m.

“November 11 is going to be a day packed full of both recognition and celebration,” says Vicki Simms, executive director of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “First and foremost, we want to honor our veterans, but we will also be kicking off Winterfest and highlighting Gatlinburg as a popular winter destination.”

Participants in the Chili Cookoff will be competing for honors like the People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation and Best Apron. The street event is free, but tickets for the chili sampling are $10 each.