Great Events in Historic Downtown Sevierville, TN


By Erin Z. Bass

Whether it’s an official holiday or a celebration of great food and music, special events held throughout the year in Historic Downtown Sevierville, Tennessee are extraordinary times to visit Dolly Parton’s hometown. Set against a stunning backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, Sevierville’s walkable historic downtown has a quaint, local feel with sidewalks, benches, murals, bike racks, public art and historic architecture. While visits any time of year are rewarding, events set the stage for especially bright memories. Here’s a peek at several great events planned for 2024.

Easter Egg Hunt
March 23
The Bruce Street Gazebo in the Commons near Sevierville’s historic courthouse and iconic Dolly Parton statue serves as center stage for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Welcoming kids up to age 10, the hunt starts promptly at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny. Kids crafts and story time will also be available at this free event.

Classic Cookie Festival
April 27
New events continue to add fun to Downtown Sevierville’s events calendar , including the inaugural Classic Cookie Festival set for 1 to 5 p.m. on Bruce Street, the Commons, and the Gazebo. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Classic Cookie, a tasty company based in Sevierville, the festival offers free admission and will include a birthday cake gallery at Jolene’s on Bruce Street, a classic car cruise-in, delicious treats, and more family-friendly festivities. A percentage of cookie sales will benefit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Sevier County.

Bruce Street Brewfest
May 4
Downtown’s annual craft beer festival takes over Bruce Street at the beginning of May. The annual showcase of both home and professional brewers offers microbrew tastings, friendly competitions, music, great food, and more. A portion of the proceeds benefit local charities.

Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival
May 17-18
Sevierville’s 20th annual Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival is a family-friendly event that brings barbeque cook teams from all over the U.S. to town to compete for the title of Tennessee State Champion in the Bush’s Best TN State Championship BBQ Cook Off. Toe-tapping bluegrass and Americana music on three stages, arts and crafts, kids’ games, cooking demonstrations and the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition honoring Sevierville’s favorite hometown gal Dolly Parton make this an unforgettable event.

Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial Ride
May 26
One of the biggest events in Sevier County, the Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial Ride draws more than 4,000 bikers from all over the country to East Tennessee to celebrate Memorial Day. This 65-mile ride begins with opening ceremonies at the Sevier County Courthouse and travels to Veteran’s Overlook on top of Clinch Mountain in Grainger County. The event concludes with closing ceremonies and a 21-gun salute followed by taps atop the mountain.

Shine & Dine on Bruce
Aug. 10
Downtown Sevierville’s Bruce Street Gazebo serves as center stage for an annual music and food event in late summer. In addition to live music by rock band The Velcro Pygmies, Shine & Dine features moonshine cocktails and tastings from Tennessee’s finest distilleries. A few food trucks will also be on-site to round out this Bruce Street favorite. Lawn chairs are welcome.

History & Haunts
Oct. 17
Family-friendly frights are the highlight of Sevierville’s History & Haunts. Stroll the streets of historic downtown for storytelling, guided walking tours, hayrides, a Halloween-themed dance party, lawn games, crafts, a costume contest, and a fireworks finale that ensures the evening is a literal blast. Most of the fall fun is free, but some activities may charge a nominal fee.

Christmas at the Courthouse
Dec. 6
Celebrate the spirit of the season at the Sevier County Courthouse during the first weekend in December. Activities include the classic tree lighting, children’s crafts and face painting, photos with Santa, holiday snacks, and music by local choirs. It’s a perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

Sevierville’s 62nd Annual Christmas Parade
Dec. 7
This traditional hometown Christmas Parade starts at the Sevier County Courthouse on the first Saturday in December. The parade travels north on Forks of the River Parkway, makes a right on Main Street then a right on Court Avenue before returning to the starting point. The merriment includes a marching band, car groups, pageant winners, baton twirlers, and more.

Erin Z. Bass is editor and publisher of Deep South Magazine , an online magazine covering the literature and culture of the South based in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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