According to Wikipedia (the world’s leading authority on any subject it seems), a harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places. Harvests festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, contests, music and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world.
But as with most things in east Tennessee, the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival has its own unique spin on the concept! First of all, the festival lasts for the majority of two months—September through October. Secondly, the festival is held in more than four towns (Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Townsend. And thirdly, it is the absolute best harvest festival around!
Check out just a few of the scheduled activities:
- Dumplin’ Valley Bluegrass Festival – in nearby Kodak, TN, September 19-21 – Enjoy some of the biggest names in bluegrass. Kick off this special event by participating in the Wednesday night potluck. Plan to stay the weekend, relax and listen as band after band takes the stage. Call (865) 397-7942 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum – A fall harvest celebration on September 21 that brings the Mountain Farm Museum to life. There will be many different demonstrations including soap, apple cider, sorghum molasses, and hominy making, music and more.
- Circle Yer Wagens – Volkswagen Show and Swap Meet, October 5-6 at Sevier County Fairgrounds. For more information, call (865) 453-0770.
- Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair – One of the Southeast’s favorite events featuring over 200 booths of artisans finest work. Live entertainment daily! Gatlinburg Convention Center in downtown Gatlinburg, TN, October 10-27.
- Don Williams Concert – Two shows: October 18 and 19 at 8:00 pm at Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, TN. With hits such as “Good Ole Boys Like Me”, “Amanda”, “Tulsa Time”, “You’re My Best Friend” and “I Believe In You”, this member of the Country Music Hall of Fame delivers an amazing show. Tickets on sale now.
While you are probably not needed to take a break from working in the “fields” so to speak, we can all use a little more celebration and festivity in our lives. So why not participate in a Tennessee-style harvest festival? And to make the occasion truly authentic, be sure to book a stay in an Eden Crest vacation log rental cabin nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Bring on the Harvest Festival!