Celebrities headline community events to unveil new Wonders of Light Walking Trail and Wonders of Light Christmas Village.
PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee—(Oct. 18, 2022)—UPtv star and Small Town Christmas host Megan Alexander joins East Tennessee native and recording artist/songwriter Janelle Arthur for the 33rd Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff on Thursday, Nov. 10.
Alexander’s appearance coincides with the taping of an episode of UPtv’s holiday travel show “Small Town Christmas” which will feature Pigeon Forge. In its second season, the show airs Sunday nights in December (9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central) on the UPTV cable channel.
“We travel the country in search of small towns that celebrate Christmas big, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee certainly delivers,” Alexander said. “I can’t wait to unveil Pigeon Forge’s new Winterfest Wonders of Light Walking Trail and take my UPtv audience along!”
Alexander and Arthur will appear at two events during Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest Kickoff to unveil two new attractions: the Wonders of Light Walking Trail and Wonders of Light Christmas Village. The kickoff event also includes a special music-filled Veterans Tribute. All events are free, and the public is invited. A variety of food trucks and other vendors will offer holiday treats for purchase.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. on stage in the Pigeon Forge Municipal Lot (between The Island in Pigeon Forge and the LeConte Center). Arthur will perform a free concert followed by the unveiling of the new $1.5 million Wonders of Light Walking Trail. Alexander will join Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear and a surprise guest to activate the new light displays as well as five million lights city-wide.
At 6:45 p.m., Alexander will host a special Veterans Tribute, which features the Pigeon Forge Honor Guard and local high school choruses, in Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Park (186 Old Mill Ave.), the location of the new Wonders of Light Christmas Village. Open Nov. 10-12, 18-19 and 25-26 only, admission is free to explore more than 35 booths featuring artisans and crafters selling a variety of seasonal and gift items.
Pigeon Forge Winterfest, an award-winning three-month event, continues through Feb. 19. Featuring more than six million lights, Winterfest is one of the country’s largest free outdoor lights festivals with more than 40 displays throughout the Smoky Mountains destination.
When the city-wide festival begins on Nov. 10, visitors get the first glimpse of the all-new Winterfest Wonders of Light Walking Trail. Featuring more than one million LEDs and programmed to music, some of the displays will stand more than 25 feet tall. The 20 new displays will include walk-thru arches, a colorful 52-foot-long caterpillar, larger-than-life flowers, and Old Man Winter. Vibrant snowflakes, shooting stars, snow people, and a 20-foot-tall ice fountain will light the way as deer, bears, frogs, and squirrels—ranging in size from 13 to 19 feet tall—frolic alongside the path while lights that mimic fireflies and butterflies dance in the trees overhead.
One mountain wildlife display features an enchanted forest with seven-foot-tall mushrooms amid a field of dandelions and brightly-colored flowers. A second invites visitors to explore a nature scene that is home to various woodland creatures, including a 16-foot-tall turtle, a 13-foot-tall grasshopper, a 17-foot-tall dragonfly, and a 19-foot-tall firefly, and a 16-foot-tall frog, all surrounded by six-, seven- and eight-foot-tall wildflowers.
The Winterfest Wonders of Light Walking Trailspans the Riverwalk from the access point in the city’s Municipal Parking Lot (located at 2936 Teaster Lane between the LeConte Center and The Island in Pigeon Forge) to the approximate intersection of Old Mill Avenue and Butler Street (near the Old Mill Historic Square). Visitors can access the light displays via the six-mile out-and-back Riverwalk which has several access points, including one at the city’s Patriot Park, the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, the Old Mill and the city’s Municipal Parking Lot, the latter of which also offers free parking for trail guests.
The Winterfest Wonders of Light Walking Trailis paved and mostly flat. It is pet- (leashes required) and wheelchair-friendly.
Visitor information about Pigeon Forge Winterfest is available at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 1-800-251-9100.