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Officials in Pigeon Forge have decided to cancel the annual Veterans Homecoming Parade due to public safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 8, 2020 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
There are no plans to reschedule at this time.
The announcement was made on Monday on the City of Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism’s Facebook page.
“We look forward to honoring our veterans each year during Pigeon Forge’s Veterans Homecoming Parade, but given this year’s circumstances, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel this event,” says Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster. “We appreciate our veterans year-round, and while the parade won’t take place this year, our gratitude and respect for these great heroes never wavers.”
The 2021 Veterans Homecoming Parade is currently scheduled for August 7.
Other area cancellations in Kodak, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville & Gatlinburg
The Veterans Homecoming Parade is far from the only event forced to postpone its plans this year. The cancellation of the Veterans Parade comes on the heels of several other recent event cancellations including Gatlinburg’s July 4th Parade and Pigeon Forge’s Spring Rod Run.
Pigeon Forge Rod Run is currently making plans for their fall event set to run September 17-19. The Spring Rod Run event had been rescheduled multiple times before inevitably being cancelled two weeks before the event.
And it seems these cancellations may continue as long as coronavirus cases are on the rise. As of Tuesday, there are currently 1,156 confirmed cases with 809 recovered in Sevier County.
A mask mandate was recently issued for all Sevier County residents and guests in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus. That mandate will likely be in place through August 3.
Late summer/early fall local event coronavirus-related cancellations include:
1. The Veterans Homecoming Parade
As mentioned above, the 2020 Veteran’s Homecoming Parade has been rescheduled for August 7, 2021.
2. The Smokies Baseball Season 2020
The Smokies Baseball season was originally scheduled to run April 2020-August 2020. After weeks of speculation, the Tennessee Smokies finally confirmed last week on their Twitter page that there would not be a 2020 season for Minor League Baseball.
“The health and safety of our fans, players and staff members is our top priority. We look forward to creating more memories that last a lifetime at Smokies Stadium,” reads a statement from the Tennessee Smokies.
3. Ponies in the Smokies 2020
Ponies in the Smokies was set to feature a collection of Ford Mustangs, swap meets, auto crosses and poker runs. The event was meant to be held at the Sevierville Convention Center on July 29-August 1 and has since been cancelled.
4. Tennessee Smokies Beerfest 2020
The Tennessee Smokies Beerfest would have taken place at Smokies Stadium and was set to feature over 30 local breweries, beer tastings, awards, music and food. This dog-friendly event would have been sponsored by Young-Williams Animal Shelter. The now-cancelled event was originally scheduled for August 15.
5. Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival 2020
This event was set to feature hot air balloons piloted by professional balloonists against the backdrop of a Tennessee sunset. The now-cancelled event was also slated to feature live entertainment, family friendly activities, food, crafters, a beer tent and wine tastings.
“The safety of our team, volunteers, patrons, balloonists, vendors and entertainers is of utmost concern, and based on information gathered, we do not believe we can safely gather our 5000+ crowd in August,” Mark Oldham, co-chair of the Gateway Alliance, said in a statement. “At this time we have determined that the potential liabilities far outweigh the positive outcomes.
The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival was originally scheduled to take place on August 15.
6. Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival 2020
The Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival has been a staple in our area for 21 years honoring mountain roots, history, and heritage while entertaining bluegrass fans from across the country. The event was originally scheduled for September 17-19 and has since been postponed until 2021.
7. Townsend Heritage Festival 2020
The Townsend Heritage Festival was originally scheduled to take place September 25-26 at the Townsend Visitor’s Center. The event would have featured bluegrass music, arts and crafts, food and other fall festivities. There are currently no plans to reschedule the event this year.
8. Great Smoky Mountain Autofest Motorama 2020
The Great Smoky Mountain Autofest was also meant to be held at Smokies Stadium in partnership with The Diner Rats Car Club. This event was originally scheduled for October 17-18.
9. Tunes and Tales 2020
Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales has officially cancelled their summer 2020 event in Gatlinburg. Tunes and Tales is a street festival featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and cloggers. This event will not be scheduled but is set to return in 2021.
Alternative events taking place this summer and fall
Guests looking for alternative plans this fall in the Smokies still have plenty of other entertaiment options at their disposal.
In July, visitors and locals will enjoy the return of live music at Ole Red, Anakeesta and Puckett’s, Movies on the Mountain with Anakeesta and special limited-time displays at The Titanic Museum and Alcatraz East.
In August, car enthusiasts can check out one of LeConte Center’s auto shows including the Grand National F-100 Reunion, The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Club Invasion or the Corvette Expo.
However, it is important to note that with the current evolving state of the coronavirus crisis, events and plans are always subject to change. We will do our best to keep this article updated with a list of event cancellations in the Smokies.
For a complete list of upcoming events, including details about rescheduled events and cancellations, check out our upcoming events page.
Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.