Gatlinburg Presents Earth Week In The Smokies

Earth Day insideEvery year, when the temperatures turn warm, Gatlinburg turns its attention to all things spring and green, celebrating our “Going Green” efforts in a big way during the annual Earth Week Celebration held Monday, April 23 to Saturday, April 27. Gatlinburg dedicates an entire week to environmental advocacy with events designed to share easy green practices through games, crafts, music and plenty more opportunities to get outside and involved.

Join us in rolling up our sleeves on Tuesday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to beautify Gatlinburg during the Spur Clean Up. Gatlinburg will partner with Keep Sevier Beautiful and National Parks Service to pick up trash along the Spur, a stretch of Great Smoky Mountains National Park between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

To participate, bring a pair of gloves and meet at Gatlinburg’s Spur Welcome Center at 8:30 a.m. for registration. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to assemble teams in a competition for who can collect the most litter! The winning team will receive a pizza party courtesy of Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will be on site with free ice cream for all volunteers.

The celebration of the week is the Annual Earth Day Festival, Thursday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Anakeesta Plaza. Everyone is welcome to attend for free activities, games and craft stations. Gatlinburg area green businesses and organizations will be onsite with educational activities and information. A beautiful Earth Week t-shirt will be available for purchase at the festival. It’s a great way to welcome spring with an afternoon of outdoor family fun and environmentalism.

Runners and walkers are invited to celebrate Earth Week with the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg. The night race is scheduled for Friday, April 27 at 10 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 p.m. at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USA Track and Field sanctioned event. This year no participant will go unnoticed with the help of Buie Pottery’s donation of handmade awards to the race’s overall winners, age group champions and finishers.

In anticipation for this exciting nighttime race, registered racers will have the chance to win digital door prizes that will be drawn every Friday, three weeks prior to the event. Early registration is encouraged to increase the likelihood of your name being drawn and your shirt size guaranteed.

Going Green is more than just a saying in Gatlinburg. It is a community lifestyle that is practiced every season of the year! The Hilton Garden Inn resides as the presenting sponsor of Gatlinburg Earth Week, while the Chamber Foundation is a leading benefactor for traditional and non-traditional scholarships to members of the community.

For more information about Earth Week and other Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring events, visit www.gatlinburg.com/events or call (800) 588-1817.