Smoky Mountain Rod Run: Pigeon Forge Dates and Details (2024)

classic cars on the parkway in pigeon forge

Classic cars line the Parkway in Pigeon Forge during the Rod Run car show (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Dates announced for Pigeon Forge Rod Run in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountain Rod Run in Pigeon Forge is a hugely popular car show that normally takes place twice annually in the spring and in the fall. The 3-day event features a huge swap meet, a car corral and cash prizes. It attracts thousands of automobile enthusiasts, hot rod owners, classic cars and muscle cars each year. But it’s more than just a car show. It’s almost a festival of sorts.

The main show is held each year at the LeConte Event Center. But it’s common to see the entire Pigeon Forge Parkway lined with classic hot rods, lawn chairs and car owners on bikes and mobility scooters hopping from one lot to the next to scope out each other’s wares. The unofficial “street” show is arguably just as much fun as the actual event. Unless you need to be somewhere – traffic tends to be a nightmare. The LeConte Event Center is located at 2986 Teaster Lane in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Dates for the 2024 show will be April 18-20 and September 12-14. Dates for the 2025 show will be April 10-12 and September 11-13.

Spring Rod Run in Pigeon Forge

The spring show will take place April 18-20, 2024 at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. There’s typically an awards ceremony on Saturday at 5 pm. Show hours, yet to be confirmed, are generally 9 am – 6 pm, on Thursday and Friday and 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday. Admission to this cash-only event will be available for purchase on-site. But don’t worry, ATMs will be on standby at the LeConte Event Center in case you forget to bring cash.

lawn chairs in a parking lot in front of a car for sale
Lawn chairs are another familiar site during area car show weekends (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Fall Pigeon Forge Rod Run

The fall show will take place Sept. 12-14, 2024 at the LeConte Event Center in Pigeon Forge. Additional details are not yet available for the fall show, but it typically follows the same schedule as spring, which is 9 am-6 pm on Thursday and Friday and 9 am-5 pm on Saturday. Like the spring show, admission to this cash-only event is usually available for purchase on-site. And again, there are ATMs on-site in case you forget about the cash part. Fees may apply.

leconte convention center
Rod Run will be held at the LeConte Event Center (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Pigeon Forge Rod Run tickets

While the Parkway “street show” is free, the actual Rod Run exhibits at the LeConte Event Center will require an admission ticket. Tickets are not sold online, but they are available for purchase at the door and are cash only. Admission tickets are $15 per person per day and a three-day pass was also available for $35. If you wish to become a Pigeon Forge Rod Run vendor and showcase your car at the official event at LeConte Event Center, you will need to register ahead of time by contacting MCS Promotions at (865) 687-3976. There is also a form available online.

Pigeon Forge Rod Run parking

Free parking is generally available at the LeConte Event Center and a shuttle service will be provided, but the lots are expected to fill up quickly. You may also want to try parking at Old Mill Square beside Patriot Park and taking a trolly ride to the event. However, it’s important to note that parking spots will be limited throughout Pigeon Forge for the entirety of the weekend. Arrive early, stay late, and plan on a lot of walking. Also, utilize backroads whenever possible.

A classic hot rod makes its way down the parkway
A beautiful hot rod makes its way down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge during Rod Run (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Advice on Rod Run crowds and traffic

The Pigeon Forge Rod Run events are two of the biggest car shows for Pigeon Forge. This usually results in massive crowds, heavy traffic congestion and packed hotels. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot one can do to avoid these inconveniences. The best advice is to arrive early and plan as needed. When Rod Run traffic is at its peak, the normally 30-minute drive from one side of the Parkway to the other turns into a 2-3 hour journey. If you are traveling with the family, get your bathroom breaks in before you hit the Parkway. Also, consider packing snacks. Local restaurants are also often packed during the event and reservations are hard to come by.

a golf cart gets pulled over at a car show
Golf carts are not street legal in Sevier County and regulations are enforced on car show weekends (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Finally, we would like to remind visitors that golf carts, while often a popular way to beat the traffic, are illegal on public roads, alleys, public parking lots and sidewalks in Tennessee. The only exception to that rule applies to golf carts that have been modified to meet all of the lower or medium-speed vehicle requirements. Pigeon Forge police will be scouring the area to enforce these rules and regulations. Several citations are given out each year to people who fail to comply with golf cart restrictions. Visit the Rod Run website for additional details.

Do you love the bi-annual Rod Run event in Pigeon Forge TN? Do you plan to attend this year? Let us know in the comments!

Have a question or comment about something in this article? Contact our staff here. You may also contact our editorial team at info@thesmokies.com.

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