KNOXVILLE, TN – It’s springtime in the Smoky Mountains. The winter chill is moving on and the warm sunshine of spring is gradually taking over. Ahhhh! There is no place more beautiful in the Southeastern United States for springtime events.
Throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wildflowers are blossoming, trees are budding, and activity is increasing among the wildlife, especially black bears. The colors of nature and the rebirth of this 521,000 acre forest are amazing.
The weather during the months of April and May are refreshing, inviting a multitude of springtime events. Guests to the area can find things to do in the great outdoors or in air conditioned comfort.
Communities surrounding the park host springtime events, drawing hundreds of thousands of people. 2017 is quickly racing toward summer, so if you want to participate, you need to make plans fast.
We chose to share eight events in this article that we believe are fun, educational, and offer adventure. Of course, there are many more events throughout the Smokies that are sure to appeal to you. Check out our Event Calendar.
67th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
The annual spring wildflower pilgrimage is popular among flower-loving, nature-loving, park-loving, outdoors-loving, folks of all ages. Great Smoky Mountains Association sponsors this event every year.
In 2017, the dates are 11-15 April, so if you plan to attend, you need to get busy. Enjoy hikes and learn about the park all while raising money for park maintenance. Events take place in Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Nantahala Outdoor Center Spring Fling
National Geographic Adventure describes the Nantahala Outdoor Center as “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth”. Each year, NOC sponsors and hosts an event celebrating spring. For 2017, the spring fling lasts two days, from 29-30 April.
Take advantage of this free event and get in the water, attend the vendor fair, and have a great time. Learn more about Nantahala Outdoor Center Spring Fling in Bryson City, North Carolina.
Bronco Super Celebration 11
Remember the Ford Bronco? Who doesn’t, right? Well, each year, Bronco owners gather in Townsend, Tennessee to hang out, show off their rides, and have a good time. The 2017 event runs from 19-22 April.
The public is invited to walk around and look at all the vehicles and talk to their owners. It is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon and peruse vehicles that Ford no longer makes. Get more information about the Bronco Super Celebration 11 on our event calendar.
FYI, Ford recently announced that the Bronco is making a comeback. In 2020, a new Ford Bronco will be sold for the first time since 1996.
23rd Annual Southeastern Mini Truckin’ Nationals
Maggie Valley, North Carolina hosts this “laid back” annual truck show. This two day springtime event, from 22-23 April, is all about trucks. Join truck owners at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds and see trucks like you have never seen them before.
Awards will be given to truck owners in various categories. Entrance is only $5.00 for spectators. It’s laid back and fun, so come on over and join in. Learn more about the Southeastern Mini Truckin’ Nationals on our event calendar.
Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally
First cars, then trucks, and now motorcycles! You won’t find a bigger motorcycle rally in the North Carolina Smokies than Thunder in the Smokies. The venue is the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds and the dates are 5-7 May 2017.
This is the premier springtime motorcycle event in the area. If you love to ride and hang out with other bikers, this event is for you. Bike the mountains, listen to live music, and hang out with other bikers. For more information, see Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally on our event calendar.
32nd Annual Dolly’s Homecoming Parade
Head on over to Pigeon Forge on, 5 May 2017, and see Dolly Parton live and in person. Dolly’s Homecoming Parade is attended by upwards of 50,000 people each year. Dolly is the grand marshal of the parade and makes a personal appearance every year to celebrate the arrival of the tourist season.
The parade is a lot of fun and local entertainment is well represented on the floats. For more information about the 32nd Annual Dolly’s Homecoming Parade visit our event calendar.
Spring Festival & Old Timers Day
Townsend, Tennessee celebrates Appalachian culture with a festival on 5-6 May 2017. Appalachian history is center stage as the music of a bygone era fills the air. Listen to local artists play and sing.
Purchase arts and crafts or grab a bite from one of the food vendors. Get more information about the Townsend Spring Festival & Old Timers Day.
27th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week
Pigeon Forge plays host to this year’s Wilderness Wildlife Week, an incredible free event. If you love the outdoors and the mountains, you must attend this event.
Attend a workshop, hike a trail, or learn about Great Smoky Mountains National Park from experts in their field. Write down these dates: 9-13 May 2017. Learn more about the 27th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week.