Marching through Pigeon Forge

2016 Spring Parades and Fun

Probably one of the main reasons you’ve planned (or will soon be planning) a Pigeon Forge vacation is to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you haven’t been here before, you’ve definitely heard of the snow-capped mountains, wide variety of trees and wildlife, and the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains National Park – the most visited in the nation. This spring, you can enjoy that amazing scenery while enjoying something else the area has to offer: an exciting downtown full of attractions, restaurants, shops, and…PARADES! Throughout the year, the busy Parkway plays host to parades celebrating holidays, local groups, and area celebrities. This May, two of our favorite parades will be coming through Pigeon Forge. On May 6, 2016, welcome Dolly Parton home with the Dolly Homecoming Parade. Then, on May 7, go downtown for the exciting Shrine Funfest Parade!

Dolly’s Homecoming Parade
Dolly Parton is a beloved Smoky Mountain native. Maybe it’s her rags-to-riches story: she was born the fourth child out of 12 in Locust Ridge and has gone one to become a household name. Maybe it’s the philanthropy work she’s done during her lifetime, including providing programs for free books for kids. Maybe it’s her contagious smile and down-to-earth attitude. Or maybe it’s the many songs that have “captured the hearts of generations.” Whatever it is that makes Dolly Parton loved by so many, each spring in Pigeon Forge offers visitors and locals a chance to welcome her home as a tribute to her life’s work. See Dolly Parton herself, and enjoy a beautiful spring day in Pigeon Forge, this May 6 at the 31st Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade.

Both kids and adults will love the fun parade, which will bring tons of entertainment to the Parkway. Listen to talented marching bands, salute military veterans, watch colorful floats, and enjoy local entertainment in a parade led by grand marshal Dolly Parton! The parade has brought more than 50,000 fans in the past, so getting there early for a good seat is a must. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and will run from traffic light #6 to traffic light #3. The FREE event is perfect for the whole family, for couples, or for groups looking for some outside fun this spring!

Shrine Funfest Parade
Another fun parade in Pigeon Forge is the Shrine Funfest Parade, held by Shriner’s International. The Shriners began in 1870 with a group of Masons gathering at the Knickerbocker Cottage in New York. Over the years, they have become a fraternity of Masons who do much more than meet as a ritual today. The Shriners have done everything from help during a yellow fever epidemic to establishing an official charity of their own. Today, the Shriners even have Shriners Hospitals for Children ® that do clinical research for orthopaedic disorders, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip and palate, and more.

The Shrine Funfest Parade is often described as “a bunch of grown men acting like kids,” so it’s sure to be entertaining for everyone! They may even drive around in their signature small cars or motorcycles with side cars! The parade will be May 7 in downtown, so like other parades, get there early for a good spot.

Other Spring Fun
There is a lot more going on in downtown Pigeon Forge than these 2 fun parades. If you’re planning a getaway for this spring or early summer, check out what else is going on…

Smoky Mountain Antique Toy and Pedal Car Show
May 5 | Country Cascades

Wilderness Wildlife Week
May 18 | Throughout Pigeon Forge

Oak Ridge Boys in Concert
May 28 | Country Tonite Theatre

Relay for Life/Running Cancer Out of Town Glow 5K
June 3 | Downtown Pigeon Forge

Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge
June 3 | The Music Road Hotel

1st Public Display of Bandmaster Wallace Hartley’s RMS Titanic Violin
June 7 | Titanic Museum Attraction

T.G. Sheppard & T. Graham Brown in Concert
June 25 | Country Tonite Theatre

Throughout the year, Pigeon Forge plays host to a number of events that will entertain any age. But it also has a ton of great attractions and fun activities. Need some ideas for fun this spring? How about…

For couples

  • Picnicking in Patriot Park
  • Spending the afternoon at The Old Mill Square
  • Tasting and touring at an area winery
  • Riding the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

For families with kids

  • Spending the day playing at Dollywood
  • Playing miniature golf
  • Horseback riding in the national park
  • Taking a drive around Cades Cove

For girls’ getaways

  • Shopping at Tanger Outlets
  • Shopping and getting sweets at The Island
  • Taking a scenic helicopter tour

For father-son trips

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