Magical Holiday Happenings

trainFor many, December is a time to not only celebrate the season with family and friends, but also a time of the year to take in holiday celebrations.  This Christmas season, we thought we’d provide you with  links you can use as you travel through the East Tennessee Mountains to enjoy an array of holiday traditions.

The Southern Appalachians are steeped in cultural tradition and heritage and many Christmas celebrations across the region are built upon this history.

Christmas in Old Appalachia takes place December 7 through the 24th at the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee, just 16 miles north of Knoxville.  This event transports visitors back to a simpler time when homemade gifts and homemade decorations were the norm and where they can carol with local musicians in the Peter’s Homestead House.

• Knoxville’s annual “Christmas in the City” is in full swing on December 6.  Knoxville’s Christmas Parade brings the spirit of Christmas to downtown with floats, marching bands, dancers and more.  Market Square will be home to open-air ice-skating through January 5.

• Christmas at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, Tennessee presents a flotilla of lighted Christmas trees on the lake plus train rides and performances by Knox County school choirs.  Self-guided driving tours will continue through the park from Dec. 13 to Jan. 1.

Christmas in the City of Knoxville, will celebrate New Year’s Eve in Market Square with ice-skating, music and a ball-drop.

• Santa  occasionally seeks a break from his sleigh to take a more relaxed mode of transportation.  Join him on the rail, on weekends in December on one of the Three Rivers Rambler Christmas Express train rides.

• Join Santa for a cruise on the Tennessee Riverboat, Dec. 7 and 14. •  Setting the sky aglow in December is Gatlinburg’s annual “Winter Magic” light show.  This year’s glow is more environmentally-friendly than ever as the city transitioned Gatlinburg Winter Magic from incandescent to LED. The city can now light the entire 120-day program for what it used to cost for three days.

• Gatlinburg hosts beloved Christmas characters, storytellers and carolers Friday and/or Saturday evenings as they stroll through town December 21 as part of  “Winter Magic Tunes & Tales”.

• Gatlinburg will have it’s own ball drop on New Year’s Eve at the base of its 407-feet high Space Needle.

• Visit Pigeon Forge and  Dollywood’s annual Christmas extravaganza – Smoky Mountain Christmas – now through Jan. 4.  Shows include Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, Christmas in the Smokies, Parade of Lights, Santa’s Workshop and much more.

Posted: December 4, 2013