7 Pigeon Forge Summer Events to Sample Tennessee’s Culture

Summer in Tennessee means lots of live music, Southern outdoor cooking and down-home fun. One of the top places to visit during this time of year is Pigeon Forge, located in the Great Smoky Mountains. This mountain town loves to celebrate the warm weather and sunshine, and offers family-friendly events throughout the season. These Pigeon Forge summer events not only celebrate the season, but also showcase Tennessee’s culture and roots. Ready to go? Read about some of the top summer events in the Smoky Mountains.

7 Pigeon Forge Summer Events for a Rockin’ Good Time

pigeon forge summer events july 4th

Smoky Mountains and the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July welcomes everyone to visit Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge. On July 4 at Patriot Park, this free celebration kicks off at noon with a free kids carnival and food vendors perfect for a lunch in the great outdoors. From then until around 9:30 p.m., visitors will enjoy live entertainment, games and browsing local vendors. The fireworks kick off around 9:45 p.m. In addition, visitors receive free parking and shuttle service next to the LeConte Center. Feel bring to bring blankets and lawn chairs, but please leave the umbrellas and coolers at home.

If staying in nearby Gatlinburg, don’t miss the city’s July 4th parade named First July Fourth Parade in the Nation. This festive event starts a midnight and welcomes over 80,000 people each year who want to cheer U.S. military veterans and heroes. The event picks back up around noon with a River Raft Regatta, live music and 20-minute fireworks show.

Become the Cornhole Champ

Love a good game of cornhole? Stringtime in the Smokies has delighted guests for over 8 years with a cornhole tournament, food and local culture. In addition, enjoy contemporary bluegrass and activities for all ages. This top among Pigeon Forge summer events takes place at the Old Mill, a historic attraction listed on the National Register of Historic Places and top restaurant.

pigeon forge summer events parade

Honor Veterans

Each August, Pigeon Forge proudly honors military veterans at its Veterans Homecoming Parade. The fun starts at 9 a.m. on the Parkway (River Road). After the parade, enjoy a free concert at the Country Tonight Theatre in Pigeon Forge.

pigeon forge summer events jeep

Witness the Jeep Invasion

In late August, Jeep owners and fans should head to the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion. The event takes place over the last weekend in August and welcomes over 4,000 Jeeps, both stock and custom. The Invasion is one of the largest Jeep meets in the South, and browsing is encouraged. After spending time outdoors, head inside to find more Jeeps, vendors, sponsors and chat with owners.

Nearby Summer Events in Gatlinburg

pigeon forge summer events music

Take in the Tunes

Tunes and Tales, in nearby downtown Gatlinburg, occurs daily from early June to the end of July. This summer-long street performance festival showcases musical acts, storytellers and artisans, portraying characters from as early as the 1800s. Downtown Gatlinburg is known as a pedestrian-friendly area full of visitors and locals. Tunes and Tales enhances this experience by giving everyone a feel for Smoky Mountain culture and tons of welcoming vibes.

Downtown Gatlinburg also hosts the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, which is packed full of live entertainment, including country, gospel, contemporary Christian, rock and more. This free festival runs for five days, and all ages are welcome. Attendees will meet both the performers and songwriters, and have the opportunity to shop local vendors.

Find Fresh Goodies

Those taking a summer or fall vacation can’t miss the Gatlinburg Farmers Market on Saturdays at the Covered Bridge in the Glades. Vendors include farmers, nurseries, baked goods and crafts. The market not only showcases local farmers, artisans and vendors, but also hosts fun events throughout the season. Among the most popular are the Berry Festival, Herb Festival and Heritage Day.

Visiting the Smoky Mountains soon? Check out these Pigeon Forge vacation rentals.

Need more fun things to do in Pigeon Forge? Head to Dollywood!