Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

Get out of the heat this summer by visiting the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, which runs from July 17-26 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center at traffic light #8. Sure, everyone comes to the area to enjoy a little bit of the great outdoors, but you can cool off while you’re enjoying the great indoors, full of some of the best arts and crafts you’re likely to see.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the craft show that the Southeast Tourism Society voted one of the Southeast’s Most Popular Events. And no wonder, given the exceptionally wide variety of craftsmen who display their wares. You’ll find delicately painted feathers and leaves in a booth just beyond a burly chainsaw carving, tough sculptured leather across from finely wrought silver, or animal forms on fabric, wood, and canvas.

The most engaging aspect of this particular collection of craftsmen, however, is the fact that visitors to the fair can watch the craftsmen work, seeing in real time the creation of the beautiful objects that line the shelves of the more than 180 booths. As you stroll the aisles admiring the handiwork of a rack of belts, you can turn to see the leatherworker hand-tooling one right there. Or you can watch potters shape clay into forms both functional and beautiful. It’s nice to see that some people still take the time and care needed to craft unique and lasting objects.

Undoubtedly, the juried process is part of the reason for the success of the fair. In order to present at the fair, exhibitors go through a juried selection process, insuring that only serious craftsmen and artisans attend the fair. You won’t find any mass-produced, factory-assembled pieces here. Only items that have been created by the exhibitor may be shown.

Throughout the day, you’ll be able to enjoy music as well. Dennis Lee and Band and Tim Watson, “The Fiddle Man” will perform each day at Noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Reinvigorated by the music, you’ll be able to take in even more of the fair.

The craft fair is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day (except Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Tickets are $7 for adults; children 12 and under are free.  Visit the Official Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair web site for additional information about the summer and fall craft shows.

Check out last year’s promotional video to see what you don’t want to miss!