Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.
This year, Chili Cookoff and Winter Magic Kickoff fall on Veterans Day
and in tribute, Gatlinburg will honor all service men and women with
the annual Veterans Day Celebration on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza at 11
a.m. Gatlinburg’s Veterans Day Celebration is recognized by the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs as an official site for the observance of
Veterans Day. In accordance with honoring our military, The Ladies for
Liberty will provide entertainment for Chili Cookoff and Winter Magic
Kickoff. The Ladies for Liberty perform in WWII Andrews Sisters style
with their own rendition of vocals, costumes and the spirit of
patriotism reminiscent of the 1940s. The Ladies have performed at
patriotic ceremonies around the U.S. and their act is done in order “to
honor America – the Greatest Nation on Earth!”
Smoky Mountain Winterfest has had significant economic impact on holiday
tourism in Sevier County. Since its debut in 1989 to 2013, the
unemployment rate dropped from 14% to 4.5% for the months during
Winterfest. Lodging occupancy increased from 20% to 65% in that same
time frame across the county.
Participants in Chili Cookoff will be competing for the coveted People’s
Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation and Best Apron. While the street
event is free, tickets for chili sampling are $10. There is also a
special edition t-shirt available for purchase.