November is one of the most colorful and magical times to visit Gatlinburg. As Autumn foliage lingers, the city prepares for the Christmas season with the Winter Magic Kickoff celebration.
The 26th Annual Winter Magic Kickoff is slated for Wednesday, November 11th from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Gatlinburg. The event features a chili cook-off and the ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights.
The chili cook-off is a widely popular event. Visitors can vote for the People’s Choice Award. Other awards include the best presentation, best chili apron, best booth and best chili. A fan favorite is the hot chili eating contest. Tickets are $10 and include an evening of fun, food, and entertainment.
Throughout November and December, downtown Gatlinburg turns into a winter wonderland with the Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. Trolleys take visitors on a magical journey through downtown Gatlinburg, which is lit up with one-of-a-kind lighting displays featuring animals native to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and winter favorites, like snowmen, dancing fountains, and childhood favorites.
For more Christmas fun, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is an amazing event. The award-winning parade is scheduled for Friday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. in downtown Gatlinburg. Thousands of visitors line the Parkway and are treated to a mile-long parade featuring lighted floats, marching bands, equestrian units, balloons and Santa Claus.
With so many wonderful events, November is becoming a favorite time to visit Gatlinburg and visitors are wisely choosing to stay close to the fun in downtown Gatlinburg.