May 2021: Upcoming events in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville

May 2021 Events
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With so much to see and do in The Smokies – we thought it would be helpful to create this little May round-up of upcoming local events throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg! For a complete events calendar, check out our events calendar page. Want to add your event to the list – contact us here!

WonderWorks Building Pigeon Forge
(photo by staff)

Educator Appreciation Month

All teachers and education support staff employees visiting WonderWorks Pigeon Forge in May are admitted free, and up to 4 additional guests may also be admitted to WonderWorks for 50% off! Use the website form to receive this discount voucher. Teachers and support staff must present a valid school ID or ID/paystub upon entrance. This offer is not valid for group entries or combined with other offers. For more information and to apply, visit the website.

(photo by staff)

Beyond The Lens! Family Fun Discounts

Celebrate teachers and moms at Beyond the Lens! Family Fun in May. Now through May 14, moms receive a 30% discount on tickets to celebrate Mother’s Day. And, now through May 17, all teachers are admitted free and can bring guests at the price of $10 per person. Visit the Facebook page for event information.

  • Where: Beyond The Lens! Family Fun
  • Address: 2115 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Date: Mother’s Day, now through May 14, Teachers, now through May 17, 2021
  • When: During regular attraction hours
(photo by staff)

Alcatraz East Crime Museum Events

Celebrate teachers at Alcatraz East Crime Museum! Educators and support staff may visit free in May, along with up to four guests who will receive a 50% discount on admission. Everyone is encouraged to submit your entry for the 3rd annual Graffiti Art Contest held November 6. Winners receive cash prizes and 10 entrants will receive one free admission. Visit the Alcatraz Facebook page for more information.

(stock photo)

Gringo’s Tacos Wears Valley Social Food Truck Park

Wears Valley Social Food Truck Park is a food truck crossed with arts and crafts fair rolled into one fun and tasty event. This event is located at the base of beautiful Cove Mountain in Wears Valley. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Blooms and Tunes at Anakeesta

New at Anakeesta, spring art-inspired installations full of blooms now until May 23. Live music will be available 4 days per week. Cody Bauer Duo, Josh Gilbert Band, Midnight Run, Hendry Bombat, Sara Collins, Tennessee Travelers, Rebel Mountain Railroad and Shaun Abbott are scheduled this month. Live events are dependent on the weather. Visit the Anakeesta website to learn more and to view a current calendar.

Wilderness Pigeon Forge

Live Music at the Firefly Bar and Grill Patio at Wilderness at the Smokies

Enjoy live music at the Wilderness at the Smokies Firefly Bar and Grill patio. Elijah Wise, Matt Cordell, Warren Sublett, Sara Collins and Aaron Tracy are currently scheduled for the month of May. Visit the Facebook event page for more information or schedule changes.

(stock photo)

Live Music at Gatlinburg Brewing

If you are looking for good brew and live music visit Gatlinburg Brewing most Fridays and Saturday nights. Scheduled so far for May are Kevin Wilson, Rossdafareye and Doug Whilhite. Visit the Facebook page for details, location and updates.

  • Where: Gatlinburg Brewing Company
  • Address: 870 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Suite 4, Sevierville, TN
  • Date: Fridays and Saturdays in May
  • When: 7 pm
(photo by staff)

Free Music at Ole Red Gatlinburg

Country fans already know this place gets its name from superstar Blake Shelton’s breakout hit, “Ol’ Red”, and Blake knows a thing or two about spotting country’s next rising stars. Here, at the only live music spot in Gatlinburg with hand-picked talent from Nashville, you never know who will take the stage every Friday and Saturday night! Visit the website for updates.

Free Music at Puckett’s

Puckett’s restaurant and music venue embodies true Tennessee culture through its signature comfort food and talented area artists and musicians. Scheduled for May are Josey Clay, JCT 441 Band, Pale Root, Bob Keel, The Warman Trio and the Big Creek Bluegrass Band. Please check the website for updates or cancellations.

(photo courtesy of the Sevier County Fair)

Sevier County Craft and Food Truck Fair

Sevier County Fair is hosting a Craft and Food Truck Fair. Craft classes and make and take workshops will be offered free of charge. Craft vendors will have booths set up as well. Seating will be available to enjoy the delicious treats provided by the area food trucks. Parking and admission are free. Follow the Facebook page for more information and updates.

(photo curtesy of the Townsend Visitor Center)

Townsend Spring Festival

Bring a lawn chair and enjoy genuine bluegrass music, arts and crafts, food and festivities for the entire family at the Townsend Visitor’s Center. Parking passes may be purchased at the Townsend Visitor Center, the Maryville Welcome Center (201 S. Washington St., Maryville, TN) or at the parking gate on event days. A free Townsend shuttle will be available. Visit the website for more information.

Great Smoky Mtn. Heritage Center
(photo courtesy of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center)

Tennessee Pottery Festival

The Tennessee Pottery Festival will feature some of the nation’s finest potters and offer an opportunity to view and purchase different styles of pottery and other goods made of clay. Learn from and discuss different styles and forms of pottery with the expert potters. Whether it is for decoration or function, this festival will have something for everyone at a wide range of price. Visit the website to stay up to date on event information.

Local Appreciation Days at Anakeesta

Don’t miss this $5 admission if you live or work in Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Hamblen or Sevier Counties during local appreciation days. Anakeesta is currently blooming with garden themed art and the view is always amazing. You must arrive with a photo ID with your address or a paystub and your ID. Visit the Anakeesta website to learn more and to view the full calendar.

(stock photo)

The Grand National Ford F-100 Show

The Grand National Ford F-100 Show offers a F-100 cruise-in, vendors and shows. Judging will take place at noon on Saturday with awards following at 5 pm. Visit the webpage for more information and to register.

Butterfly on a Wildflower

Storybook Trail of the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in partnership with the University of Tennessee Extension Institute of Agriculture and Great Smoky Mountains Association, is inviting visitors to experience the Storybook Trail of the Smokies. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience a Smokies-themed book through trailside activities and on-the-trail story pages to read along the one-mile Cosby Nature Trail, near Cosby Campground. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

(Soaky Mountain Waterpark photo by Daniel Munson/

Soaky Mountain Waterpark Season Opening

Join Soaky Mountain Waterpark for the 2021 season opening! The park will be open May 15-16, and then it will open for the season on May 22. Visit the Soaky Mountain Facebook page for updates.

Litter on Roadway in the Smokies

Save Our Smokies Trash Pick-Up

Join the Save Our Smokies trash pick-up event on May 15 in Bryson City, NC. Group assignments and paperwork completion will be held in the parking area of the meet-up locations. Supplies are provided, but do bring food and water. Visit the Facebook page for more information, updates (weather can affect the scheduling) and a link to the online forms.

  • Where: Newfound Gap Parking Area
  • Address: Bryson City, NC, 28713
  • Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • When: 8 am – about 12:30 or 1 pm
(photo by staff)

Lumberjack Feud Local Appreciation Days

Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show and Adventure Park is welcoming all locals to help benefit Sevier County Food Ministries. Tickets are $5 per person and 5 cans of food for either Show or Adventure Park during this event. The offer includes Anderson, Blount, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox and Sevier counties. You must present a local ID or a paycheck stub and your ID. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

(media photo by Dollywood)

Dollywood’s Splash Country Opening Day

We are all ready for a “splashing good time” this year, and Dollywood’s Splash Country will be prepared! Opening day at Splash Country will be on Saturday, May 15. Visit the website for more information.

(photo by staff)

Live Music at Ole Smoky Moonshine

Live music is returning to Ole Smoky in May! Scheduled so far are Po Ramblin Boys and Midnight Run at The Holler and Firewater Junction at The Barn. Visit the Facebook page for updates or cancellations.

Ober Gatlinburg Mayfest

Ober Gatlinburg is hosting MayFest, a traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring with displays of history, culture and the traditional Maypole dance. Visitors to Ober Gatlinburg may also enjoy the Biergarten and demonstrations by artists from the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. New this year, Ober is adding competitions. Visit the webpage for details and updates.

Bigfoot Statue
The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival will be held May 22, 2021 (photo by Kim Grayson/

Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival

Bigfoot has been found and will be featured at this fun filled festival in Townsend. Kick off with a 5K and Fun Run, with other festivities following at noon. Events include live music, vendors, food, Bigfoot history along with featured speaker, Cliff Barackman of Finding Bigfoot. Visit the website for updates and more information.

  • Where: Smoky Mountain Heritage Center
  • Address: 123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, TN, 37882
  • Date: Saturday, May 22, 2021
  • When: 9 am (5K) 10 am (Fun Run) with festival at noon. Race price starts at $50 and includes swag
Wilderness Pigeon Forge

Free Admission to Soaky Mountain Waterpark

Celebrate mascot Boomer’s birthday with free admission to Soaky Mountain Waterpark for all Wilderness at the Smokies guests during this special event. Parking is also free! Use the promo code BOOMER. Visit the website for reservations and information.

Fish Swimming at Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium Sensory Night

Ripley’s hosts several sensory-friendly events and nights throughout the year which offer lowered lighting and music throughout the facility. Quiet spaces are also offered for those who may need a break during their visit. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a Certified Autism Center. Visit the website for details.

  • Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
  • Address: 88 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
  • When: 5-9 pm (discount of $3 off per person for families, mention ‘Sensory Night’ at the window)
(stock photo)

Lanier General Store Craft Fair

Come out and support local community artists at Lanier’s General Store’s Memorial Day Craft Fair. Available will be arts and crafts, bath and beauty, furniture, wedding planning, decor and much more. Visit the Facebook page for updates.

Memorial Day Weekend at Anakeesta

Anakeesta is offering a discount to Veterans and family this Memorial Day Weekend. And, on Saturday at 11 am, enjoy a special tribute that will include a speaker, a 21 gun salute, and an armed forces medley at Black Bear Village. You must arrive with your military ID. Visit the Anakeesta website to learn more and to view the full calendar.

  • Where: Anakeesta Theme Park
  • Address: 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Date: Saturday-Monday, May 29-31, 2021
  • When: daily, 25% discount on park admission, veterans and family members
Motorcycle Looking Forward
The Smoky Mountain Thunder Tribute honors fallen military members (stock photo)

Smoky Mountain Thunder Tribute

Smoky Mountain Thunder’s 21st year of paying tribute to the fallen military is on May 30, 2021. Meet at the Sevier County Courthouse for an opening ceremony at 10 am, and join the police-escorted, 65-mile ride to Clinch Mountain Veteran’s Overlook for closing words. Visit the website for more information.

Person Strumming Instrument
(stock photo)

Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass (POSTPONED)

Get ready for Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass! Concerts and admission are free. Trinity River Bank, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier, Cicus No. 9, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Kentucky Just Us, Bobby Osborne, Dave Peterson & 1946 and Shenandoah are scheduled for this year’s event. Visit the website for updates.

(stock photo)

1st Annual Catapalooza Expo

Attend the 1st annual Catapalooza Expo for the latest and best information on fishing and hunting. There will be something for everyone at this fun event! RSVP now on the website.

Sewing Machine With Cloth
(stock photo)

A Mountain Quiltfest Celebration

Join this 27th annual celebration of the art of quilting with a quilt show and vendors. Visit the website for information and updates.

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 for questions or comments.


April 2021: Upcoming events in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville

June 2021: Upcoming events in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville


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