Anakeesta Plaza located at 576 Parkway
For over 30 years, Gatlinburg has celebrated the kickoff of Smoky Mountain Winterfest with the annual foodie festival, Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff Presented by Bush’s Chili Beans. On November 12, 2020, the tradition continues with live entertainment and mouth-watering homemade chili sampling and some new adjustments to honor the Tennessee Pledge guidelines.
NEW in 2020, tickets will be required to enter. To accommodate for social distancing, event attendance will be limited. Due to the popularity of the event, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Tickets are $10 and available online at Gatlinburg.com/chili.
Other new protocols include: touchless point of entry, handwashing stations placed throughout the festival, and ample open spaces for social distancing in the outdoor venue. Chili vendor booths will be appropriately spaced apart and equipped with contact shield barriers for serving chili samples. Facial coverings will be required for entry.
The time-honored traditions of popular local restaurants offering unique, homemade chili samples and vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award will go on. Additionally, festival goers will enjoy the free, live entertainment by the Eagles tribute band, On The Border – The Ultimate Eagles Tribute! On The Border provides an authentic Eagles concert experience while journeying through The Eagles songbook. They cover every big hit, from ballads like “Desperado” and “Lyin’ Eyes” to rocking hits such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Heartache Tonight.”
City leaders will participate in an official lighting ceremony for Smoky Mountain Winterfest that features millions of twinkling lights adorning Gatlinburg Winter Magic light displays throughout the city.
The Chili Cookoff and Winterfest Kickoff will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 5 – 8 p.m. in a NEW location at the Anakeesta Plaza located at 576 Parkway.
We hope to see you there!
If you’re looking for accommodation in the area, have a look at our amazing cabins.