Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
 As we near the end of the year and come upon the holiday season, the entire sales staff of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau would like to thank all of our wonderful clients that conducted business in Gatlinburg this year. Once again, Gatlinburg has had a record number of visitors and events that took place this past year and we really appreciate that you allowed us to host your attendees. To all our prospective customers and friends, please consider Gatlinburg for your future meetings, conventions and events. We would really love to host you and show you why Gatlinburg continues to be the “got to get there” destination that it has become.

In this end of year holiday issue, we profile Brandon McCarter, Food & Beverage Director with Proof of the Pudding at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Brandon also shares a holiday recipe from Proof of the Pudding’s award-winning Chef’s. Speaking of award winning, Gatlinburg goes for the world record for scarecrows in the city. Winter Magic Tunes & Tales returns once again entertaining visitors throughout Gatlinburg and we proudly share all the recent accolades that Gatlinburg has received throughout the year.
Gatlinburg at a glance
  • Convention Center: (148,000 square feet of total space)
  • Sleeping Rooms (4,000+ surrounding convention center including full and limited service hotels, condominiums, chalets and cabins)
  • Dining Options: (100+ restaurants, from casual to elegant gourmet establishments with the majority within walking distance to hotels and convention center)
  • Shopping: (500+ shops with 5 malls plus largest Arts & Crafts Community in the U.S.)
  • Attractions: (40+ along with many other entertainment options with the majority within walking distance to hotels and convention center)
  • Rocky Top Sports Complex: (Named top Multi-Use Sports Facility by SportsEvents Magazine) and (Favorite Indoor Venue by Sports Destination Management Magazine)
  • Gatlinburg Golf Course: (Named Best Municipal Golf Course in Tennessee by Golf Digest Magazine)

What's New in Gatlinburg
Chesapeake's Seafood & Raw Bar
An easy walk from Gatlinburg’s attractions and hotels, Chesapeake’s is Gatlinburg’s newest addition and managed by The Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants . Offering a variety of fresh seafood flown in daily, local handcrafted microbrews and USDA choice and prime-graded beef. This trendy and modern restaurant boasts river views, a heated patio, raw bar & grill and a private wine cellar. Exclusive use or buy out of the entire restaurant can be arranged. Total seating capacity is 215 making it an ideal spot for your next group gathering or function. Chesapeake’s is open daily, and reservations are welcome.
Whether you come for the food, the drinks, or the atmosphere, you’re in for an unforgettable experience at Chesapeake’s.

The Gatlinburg Wine Trail
The Gatlinburg Wine Trail
Wine-lovers have something new to enjoy in the Smoky Mountains! A brand-new wine trail, showcasing local wines, has just opened in Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Wine Trail offers different wineries where visitors can taste local wines for free! With more vineyards and wineries than any other part of Tennessee, the Eastern region is recognized as the state’s premier wine country. While some of the wineries along the trail have been welcoming visitors for years, others have just recently opened. Each winery is open seven days a week (except major holidays). Gatlinburg wineries participating in the new trail include Sugarland Cellars Winery, the newly opened Little Bear Winery and Bootleggers Homemade Wine.
Visitors on the new Gatlinburg Wine Trail can pick up a “tasting passport” and take it to each of the wineries along the trail. Not only is it free to complete the wine trail, but you’ll receive a free mug and wine glass when you finish!
The Gatlinburg Wine Trail is conveniently located near popular Gatlinburg activities and attractions including The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, Anakeesta, the new Gatlinburg SkyBridge, Ripley’s Aquarium, OBER Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Come to Gatlinburg and enjoy a “taste” of the good life!

Updates From Gatlinburg
Guinness World Record Broke
The Straw That Broke the Record
The City of Gatlinburg has successfully completed counting scarecrows breaking the Guinness World Record for the Largest Display of Scarecrows. Officials documented 4,325 scarecrows displayed throughout the downtown area of Gatlinburg. The standing record is 3,812 scarecrows held by the English town of Burton-Upon-Trent. Gatlinburg exceeded that record by 513 scarecrows. 

“Scarecrows are the obvious addition to Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival decorations displayed throughout the City,” said Mark Adams, CEO/President Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Being home to a Guinness World Records Attraction makes Gatlinburg the perfect location to hold the record for most scarecrows. Adams added, “Community support is a vital part of the accomplishment. Gatlinburg businesses and community members throughout town and Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community have created beautiful harvest displays to create a new Scarecrow Trail. The Scarecrow Trail is one of Gatlinburg’s featured fall experiences that enhances the city’s well-established Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.” 
Winter Break Activities
Gatlinburg loves the Cold!
Fall is here and everyone is thinking Holidays and School Break! Attending a winter conference in Gatlinburg or just looking for a fun filled winter vacation, Gatlinburg is a magical winter destination. We’ve listed some outdoor adventurous activities to keep you from getting the winter blues:

  • Skiing/Snowboarding - (weather permitting) Opens first of December with 10 slopes, 100% night skiing
  • Snow Tubing – Ages 3 and up Opening just before Thanksgiving – Reservations open now
  • In-door Ice skating – available year round
  • Anakeesta's Ridge Rambler (5-ton M923-A2 military truck) can transport 45 individuals offering groups the opportunity to share in a exhilarating ride up the mountain;  gondola or chairlift to the summit for duel ziplines, shopping, dining, Rail Runner (single rail mountain coaster featuring 400 ft. elevation change); Tree top canopy walk (day or night)
  • Stroll across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America featuring glass floor panels in the middle
  • Soar through the treetops on the first in the world suspended rail coaster that combines free-falling and hang gliding into a safe, fun experience.
  • Team Building or individual fun mastering the 38 challenges of an adventure rope course
  • Hike the Gatlinburg Trail Head a 3.8-mi. roundtrip path with river views from Gatlinburg into the woods of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If outdoor adventure is not your preference, you’ll find adventure abounds indoors within Gatlinburg. Discover haunted houses, escape rooms, laser tag, museums, mirror maze, motion master thrill rides, arcades, rock climbing, mini golf and mountain sea creatures.
To begin your journey, visit or

For assistance with group booking contact
Snow Folks in Gatlinburg
What About the Gatlinburg Snow People?

Gatlinburg will once again be rolling out the merry life-size Snow People throughout the city beginning on November 22 nd to Valentine’s Day. Wintertime visitors are in for a flurry of action-packed activities this holiday season, highlighted by enhanced seasonal décor featuring over 100 four-foot-tall, three-dimensional Snow People placed throughout the city.
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales – November 29 to December 22

Throughout the holiday season, visitors can meet characters and storytellers and enjoy caroling along Gatlinburg’s Parkway Friday and Saturday evenings.

Winter Magic Tunes & Tales will once again present strolling Christmas entertainment on the streets of Gatlinburg beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving running every weekend until December 22 nd. Holiday music will fill the air with a mixture of Appalachia, Bluegrass and Country genres. Visitors will also enjoy visiting with Santa’s Elves, Frosty and even Rudolph. This interactive program is a Holiday favorite and Gatlinburg tradition staged against a backdrop of millions of lights making it a truly Winter Magical experience in Gatlinburg!
Gatlinburg Convention Center
Proof of the Pudding
Proof of the Pudding – Brandon McCarter

The Gatlinburg Convention Center in house caterer is Proof of the Pudding. Proof of the Pudding has spent the last 40 years providing top-notch food, service and design expertise and experiences for clients throughout the United States. Everyone on the Proof team wants to make a difference together and connect with the customer on the other side. Connecting with customers of the Gatlinburg Convention Center is Brandon McCarter, who is the Food & Beverage Director. Brandon has been with Proof of the Pudding for one year and we recently asked him the following questions:

What do you enjoy the most about your position and working in the Gatlinburg Convention Center?
I enjoy working with each staff member to ensure that they can be their best and I love working with our wide variety of clients. My goal is to ensure that each and every client has a perfect event.

What makes Proof of the Pudding different and better from other facility caterers?
Our people and our culture make us different. We live by the “Proof Points”. The entire Proof team is the foundation for a perfect event. We greet every guest with a smile and dedicate ourselves to make sure each event is perfect for our customers. Our partners in Atlanta are hands on and supply all the resources we do not have readily available here.  Over the years we have become the premier caterer for convention centers. Our secret is we start small – one buffet, one brand, one relationship, one special moment in time. Nothing is impossible!

Is there a specialty entre, dessert or any other dish that you can recommend to customers at the convention center?
We are extremely versatile in what we do. From our vast selection of Southern Home Cooking items to our South of the Border options to our Italian Feast. The options are endless. Chef Hatcher prepares everything like he is preparing for his family. Chef Hatcher’s Pickle Fried Chicken and Coca-Cola Braised short ribs are out of this world as is his homemade Margarita and Dark Chocolate mousse.

We didn’t let Brandon get away without providing some holiday recipes (Pumpkin Spice Dip and Apple Butter) see below.
Holiday Recipes
Pumpkin Spice Dip

2 c. heavy cream
1 3.4-oz. instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Ginger snap cookies, for serving
In a stand mixer, beat heavy cream and vanilla pudding mix until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and stir to combine, then chill if desired.
Serve with ginger snaps.
  Apple Butter
Can be served with pork tenderloin or great for breakfast breads

about 4 pounds apples (roughly 9 medium-sized apples), peeled and cored (flame roasted fuji apples are my personal favorite to use)
1 cup apple cider
3/4 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Place the apples, apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large pot, and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, (stirring occasionally) until the apples have become very soft (about 1 hour).
Use a hand blender to puree the mixture (or ladle it into a regular blender in batches) until smooth.
Place the puree back into the pot and continue to cook, uncovered, (stirring occasionally) until thick, velvety, and deep mahogany brown (about 1 hour).
Stir in the lemon juice, transfer the mixture to jars, and keep refrigerated.
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Gatlinburg Accolades & Testimonials
Recent Customer Testimonials

We have held the Tennessee Law Institute Annual Review in Gatlinburg for many, many years. Each year is a wonderful success due to all the staff and support at the Convention Center. We hold our event in the beautiful Mills Auditorium which is beautifully and tastefully decorated. We have never had a single glitch from setup to tear down. We can highly recommend coming to the Gatlinburg Convention Center for any size event.
Mark MacKenzie, Administrator, Tennessee Law Institute
(200 attendees)

We want to thank the employees of Gatlinburg Convention Center and Gatlinburg CVB for the outstanding assistance and service we recently received for the Isshin-ryu Hall of Fame 40th Event.  The service we received from Event Manager Amber along with caterer Proof of the Pudding’s Brandon was off the charts fabulous. Scott and Jada with the convention center were also extremely helpful. Everyone we worked with was extremely helpful and seemed to really care about the event being successful. The Isshin-ryu Hall of Fame will continue to return to Gatlinburg and the Gatlinburg Convention Center. 
Carol Burris, Event Planner, Isshin-ryu Hall of Fame
(1005 attendees)

We could not be happier with everything that took place in Gatlinburg and the Gatlinburg Convention Center during the Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Conference . The entire Gatlinburg team went above and beyond our expectations and everyone was so helpful, happy and energetic. We are super excited to work with Gatlinburg again for future events. Looks like nothing but positive feedback on social media for the event as well. Yay! Please give many thanks to the entire Gatlinburg team!
Nikki Beaty, Event Manager, Gather Up Events
(1,658 attendees)

The USDA Farm Service Agency really enjoyed having our meeting in Gatlinburg for the first time. The CVB and Convention Center Staff were great, the hotels in Gatlinburg were great, and the entire city of Gatlinburg was great. We really look forward to having other meetings in Gatlinburg in the future.
James Welborn, Farm Loan Chief, USDA Farm Service Agency
(70 attendees)
Gatlinburg CVB
We would love the chance to “update” you on all the new and exciting developments that Gatlinburg has going to ensure that when it comes to your future conventions, meetings and events, Gatlinburg has your event covered!

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This edition of the Gatlinburg Update Quarterly Newsletter is our tenth. If you are interested in viewing earlier editions, please click GCVB Sales Quarterly Newsletter .