During the months of April and May, a trip to the Smoky Mountains will provide you with a truly southern experience. That’s when you’ll find festivals filled with delicious Southern food, Southern hospitality, and some heartwarming Southern music. Prepare your taste buds for a treat while local restaurants prepare some of their specialties. Listen to some rock and roll, blues, and country music your feet won’t stand still. And don’t forget the warm hospitality so famous in the south. If you are looking for a great getaway, Gatlinburg is the place to be.
Ribfest and Wings Festival
How many ways can a rib be grilled? Let’s see … there is a dry seasoning where the ribs are cooked with seasonings instead of barbecue sauce. Wet ribs that are cooked with sauce (based on mustard or tomato). And then there are all the variations of dry seasonings or sauce ingredients, plus different methods of cooking the ribs. The possibilities are endless!
Wings are another favorite snack. The question with the wings, however, is how hot is too hot? They can start out warm and get so hot that a fire extinguisher is needed. Don’t you like the heat? You’ll also find dozens of different flavors, including teriyaki, cajun, and many more. No matter how you like them, the Gatlinburg Ribfest and Wings Festival is the place to be. Imagine a street party in the Smoky Mountains with lots of delicious ribs and wings to eat. That is exactly what this festival is about.
Towards the end of April of each year, the people of Gatlinburg follow their noses to find the source of a truly wonderful smell. Numerous vendors set up shop at River Road and Ripley’s Aquarium and begin making delicious ribs and wings. The incredible aroma spreads for miles around. It’s enough to make you drool.
This is the perfect opportunity to try something different. Buy a bracelet for a small price that allows you to try as many ribs and wings as you can. Don’t have a lot of time or are you worried about overdoing it? Just buy one or two samples at a time. Either way, your appetite will surely be satisfied.
And the winner is …
Pay close attention while eating. There are six different award categories for the best ribs and wings. Each person can cast their vote on their personal favorites. So while the delicious taste will tempt you to gobble up your food, eat slow enough to get a true taste of the flavor. It may take several tastes before you can name your choice for the People’s Choice Award. Take your time and enjoy the live entertainment that can be heard on the streets.
This is not an adult-only event. Children are also encouraged to attend and will enjoy face painting and other activities on offer.
May brings another memorable festival: Gatlinburg’s Mountainfest. Learn about the Appalachian way of life as you watch demonstrations by local artists. These artisans will show you the artisanal techniques that have been passed down in this area for generations.
Do french fries and onions sound good? How about beans and cornbread or fried green tomatoes? Those are just a few of the southern dishes you’ll find at Mountainfest. Local restaurants offer some of their delicious southern cuisine to festival goers.