Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival
The 2015 Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival is one of the few “locally” operated events in the Smoky Mountains where you can get a taste (literally and figuratively) of Appalachian life that dates back over 100 years! This special event takes place on Thursday, May 14 between traffic light numbers 6 and 8 right on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg from 4pm to 8pm. They shut down the Parkway and redirect traffic as vendor booths and tents line the street offering up some amazing beans and cornbread along with good ole’ fashion Smoky Mountain music!
The Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival is presented by Bush Brothers & Company so every recipe will include Bush Beans. While it’s free to simply stroll around, in order to enjoy the beans and cornbread you’ll need to purchase a spoon for $10. There is typically a booth setup at the festival where you can purchase your spoon. There will also be a cornhole tournament from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Teams can register at the festival and compete for a minimal $10 entry donation to benefit Sevier County Humane Society.
This year, they’ve added antique engines and strolling musicians playing Appalachian music up and down the street to provide a more authentic feel of the Smoky Mountain heritage. As far as parking goes, there are a handful of paid parking lots along River Road. There is also a large parking garage right beside Ripley’s Aquarium. Those are going to be your best options for the easiest access to the Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival. If you’d like more information about this unique festival, call (800) 588-1817.
Below is some video taken by the city of Gatlinburg showing a previous year’s Beans and Cornbread Festival to give you an idea of what it is like: