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Sevierville celebrates Winterfest with lights, parade, shopping
By Jeaneane Payne

Winter is one of the most fun seasons in Sevierville as millions of twinkling lights shine throughout the Great Smoky Mountains during the annual Winterfest. Follow the lights to holiday cheer.

Now through February 28, 2018, you can experience Winterfest as often as you like.

Begin your visit with a stop at the Sevierville Visitor Center located off I-40 Exit 407 on Hwy 66. There you can purchase a 2017-2018 Winterfest t-shirt. With your t-shirt purchase you will also receive a free pair of Winterfest 3D glasses, which shift points of light into snowflakes.

sevierville winterfest
Drive through this magnificent 300’ tunnel featuring all RGB, color-changing pixels at Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland. Image by Jeaneane Payne.

Your next stop should be a visit to Smokies Stadium where you will experience Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland through January 7, 2018. This 1.5 mile drive through LED light experience (one of the largest in the world) features extras for the kids, including photos with Santa (through December 23rd) and fun holiday foods. New at Shadrack's for 2017 is a 300’ tunnel featuring all RGB, color-changing pixels.

art class sevierville
Ladies making crafts at Make It & Take It at Arts in Common in downtown Sevierville. Free class. Image by Jeaneane Payne.
  sevier distilling company
Sevier Distilling Company offers free tours daily to ages 21 and over. Image by Jeaneane Payne.
tanger outlet sevierville
Part of the fun during Winterfest is shopping at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Sevierville. Image by Jeaneane Payne.
  bass pro sevierville
Bass Pro Outdoor World has everything to make your outdoor adventures complete. Image by Jeaneane Payne.

Points of interest during Winterfest include:

Make It & Take It at Arts in Common, the newest gallery in historic downtown Sevierville. Build a holiday keepsake ornament and learn about the free Make It & Take It classes offered by the Sevierville Commons Association Arts Council. This is a fun stop for kids of all ages and will peak your interest in art.
Sevier Distilling Company – Sevierville’s newest distillery. Try a holiday toddy and tour Sevierville’s newest distillery, Sevier Distilling Company. Here you will discover some of the area's most unique spirits, including Tennekeela, artisan vodka, Tennessee moonshine, and Gin*essee. It's not just moonshine -- it’s about the journey of corn, sugar, malted grains, and Appalachian tradition coming together to tell a story. The distillery is located at 745 Old Douglas Dam Road in Sevierville. Tours start every hour for guests 21 and up.
Tanger Outlet Mall - Enjoy savings throughout Winterfest when you shop at your choice of nearly 200 brand name stores at Tanger Outlet Mall.
Bass Pro Outdoor World - Find everything to make your outdoor adventure complete in this two-story store filled with tons of fishing and hunting gear, camping supplies, boats and ATV's. Enjoy the sounds of a large waterfall as you shop.

When you get hungry during your Winterfest adventures, drop into THE DINER, a 50's theme restaurant located at 550 Winfield Dunn Pkwy. Owners Howard and Susan Kingsbury will treat you with true Southern hospitality. THE DINER offers a unique dining experience where they serve up some very tasty homemade grub. My favorite is the Dagwood Sandwich served with french fries or one side. The menu offers an excellent variety of food to suit every appetite, including elk and buffalo burgers. You might choose to start your Winterfest events day with Breakfast at THE DINER where you can feast on Mamaw's Favorite -- two eggs, choice of bacon or sausage or city ham with a pancake, biscuits or toast and choice of fried apples or hash browns or home fries. Papaw's Favorite includes two eggs with choice of hamburger steak of chicken tenders or a half slice of country ham; served with a pancake or biscuits or toast and choice of fried apples or hash browns or home fries. Pancakes with specialty toppings and lighter menu items are also available.

sevierville christmas parade
Sevierville Christmas parade features bands, floats, and Santa. Image courtesy of Sevierville Chamber of Commerce

There’s nothing quite like celebrating the holidays with an old-fashioned parade, and downtown Sevierville’s annual Christmas parade is a longstanding holiday tradition. Celebrating its 55th year, the parade showcases pageant queens, community organizations and area businesses. The 2016 Sevierville Citizen of the Year, Albert Atchley, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. The parade steps off at 11am on December 2, but parade-goers can arrive a little early or stay after and enjoy the art and craft booths at the Holiday Market held at the Bruce Street Gazebo. It will be open from 10am until 4pm on December 2 and will feature a variety of vendors and locally made items that make perfect holiday gifts.

santa hustle sevierville
Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K gets underway in Sevierville. Image by Wilderness at the Smokies.

After you shop like Santa, run like Santa. Put some jingle in your step and sign up for the Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K on December 10.

To learn more about all the great events taking place this Winterfest in Sevierville, visit and

Published November 27, 2017

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