There are roughly two camps of people in Pigeon Forge this week: Those who love car shows and those who come to the mountains and wonder, “Why is it so crowded?”
It’s the latter that begin to experience a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach as they realize it’s Jeep Week.
Car shows in the Smoky Mountains are successful in attracting large crowds, enthusiasts and thousands of unique vehicles.
And no matter which of the above camps you’re in, one thing is certain. The 9th annual Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion is heading to town this week.
Is it Jeep Week in Pigeon Forge?
If you’re asking this question, the answer is probably yes. The Smoky Mountain Jeep Club Invasion begins on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 and ends Saturday, Aug. 28.
This expo features Jeep parts and accessory vendors as well as trophies, awards and cash prizes. The event sponsors the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, a non-profit that enhances the quality of life for veterans with disabilities at no cost to the veteran.
Last year, the event attracted more than 25,000 attendees and around 12,000 Jeeps, according to the event page.
Currently, future events are scheduled for Aug. 25-27, 2022 and Aug. 24-26, 2023.
Where is the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion?
The event is held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
The LeConte Event Center is located at 2986 Teaster Lane.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the show and its events, including kick-off parties and after-parties, are on with “no restrictions”.
A variety of vendors will be on-site. For a list of vendors, visit their website.
How much is the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion?
Admission is $12 per person per day and $5 per person per day for ages 6-12. Children under 5 are free.
Tickets for admission are sold at the event and cannot be purchased in advance.
Credit cards are accepted, but cash is required for the outdoor booths.
If at any point you find yourself experiencing a bit of Jeep envy during this time, we highly recommend trying a Pink Jeep Tour.
The Show & Shine competition
Attendees may register their Jeeps for a Show & Shine competition that features prizes for the Top 5, Judge’s Picks and cash drawings.
The annual Show & Shine competition will take place from Aug. 26-Aug. 28. Awards will be announced on the last day.
New in 2021, Show & Shine will be relocated to a new parking lot across from the LeConte Center for additional space.
Additionally, there will be a pedestrian bridge between the parking lot to the LeConte Center for convenience.
Registration for the contest, VIP Parking
VIP Parking is available for Jeeps only. VIP Parking is $100 and the VIP Tailgating Experience is $200.
The VIP Parking package includes guaranteed parking in the VIP area and a daily admittance band for all three days. Parking is available from 8 am-5 pm.
The VIP Tailgating Experience offers guaranteed parking in a double parking space and two daily admittance bands for all three days. This is a great way to enjoy the show while allowing you to get comfy and set up a pop-up canopy, break out the coolers, camping chairs and more.
If you’re participating in the event, use #gsmji2021 on social media.
Advice on Jeep Invasion crowds and traffic
Pigeon Forge is already a congested area, and with the Jeep Invasion drawing in tens of thousands of guests, traffic will likely see heavy congestion.
Hotels may also be more full than usual.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot one can do to avoid these inconveniences. The best advice is to arrive early and plan ahead as needed.
If you are traveling with the family, get your bathroom breaks in before you hit the Parkway. Consider packing snacks as local restaurants are also often packed during these events.
Finally, if you plan on dining out, plan ahead and make reservations where you can.
For more information about this event, visit the website.
Do you plan on going to the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion? Do you have any tips for avoiding traffic? Let us know in the comments.