The lights are on every evening during the wintertime in Gatlinburg, and now every display is environmentally friendly.
Whatever could Gatlinburg do to improve upon its annual four-month long citywide winter lights promotion, an endeavor which has grown in popularity every year since its inception in 1989? Why, start over, of course, with more than a million dollars worth of imagination and an eye on protecting our environment with the use of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs!
With the 100 percent conversion of Gatlinburg Winter Magic tm from incandescent to LED, the City has launched the milestone transformation to a new era of winter-long visual entertainment in Gatlinburg, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to its must-see collection of bright, colorful lights and favorite winter scenes through the month of February.
Featuring one-of-a-kind LED lighting displays along Gatlinburg’s famous Downtown Parkway, adjacent River Road, and the triangle juncture of the two, the $1.6 million-plus rollout of custom designed and fabricated lighting displays is marked by sections reminiscent of winter forests, evergreens and romance. Now, Hwy. 321 features an injection of new displays.
Gatlinburg has converted its entire winter lights program to quarter-watt LED bulbs, replacing the 5-watt incandescent bulbs and saving the City some 95 percent in energy cost and allowing the City to light the entire 120 days of the program for what it once cost for three days of electricity.
Displays featuring animals indigenous to Great Smoky Mountains National Park including deer, foxes, squirrels and rabbits are part of the program, with the length of the Parkway accentuated by branches and scrolls which have been converted to LED. Many of the timeless displays visitors have grown accustomed to over the past 22 years have been converted to crisp LED as well. Most recently, fanciful snowmen, dancing fountains, a group of international children and a shiny rocking horse joined the lineup.