Each spring when the mountains turn green, Gatlinburg celebrates “Going Green” in a big way during the annual Earth Week Celebration held Monday, April 18 to Saturday, April 23. Gatlinburg dedicates an entire week to celebrate caring for the earth with events designed to share easy green practices through games, crafts and music, opportunities to get outside and maybe even get your hands dirty!

Get hands-on Tuesday, April 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Spur Clean Up presented by Hilton Garden Inn. Gatlinburg will partner with Keep Sevier Beautiful 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 9:00 a.m.  Businesses and organizations are encouraged to assemble teams in a competition for who can collect the most litter! The winner will receive a company pizza party, courtesy of Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will be on site with free ice cream for all participants.

Clean out your closet and donate to a worthy cause during Clothing Collection Day, Wednesday, April 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Donors can drop off adult and children’s clothing and shoes at the GCVB Events Office at Cherokee Orchard Road. All donations will go to Sevier County Food Ministries, Sevier County Foster Family Clothing Closet, and Soles 4 Souls.

The climax of the week is the 9th Annual Earth Day Festival presented by Hilton Garden Inn, Thursday, April 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Mynatt Park.  Everyone is welcome to attend for free activities and games, craft stations, and live music from Tuatha Dea. Gatlinburg area green businesses and community organizations will be onsite with activities and information. Earth Week t-shirts featuring the artwork of a local student will be available for purchase at the festival. It’s a great way to spend a green spring afternoon!

Runners and walkers are invited to celebrate Earth Week with the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk presented by Hilton Garden Inn in beautiful downtown Gatlinburg. The night race is scheduled for Friday, April 22 at 10:00 p.m. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USA Track and Field sanctioned event. Race day registration begins at 8:00 p.m. at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Register online at www.Gatlinburg.com/events.

Going Green is more than just a saying in Gatlinburg.  It’s something we do every day and celebrate in a big way. The Hilton Garden Inn and the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation are presenting sponsors of Gatlinburg Earth Week. Both organizations provide traditional and non-traditional scholarships to members of the community. Other sponsors and participants include Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, TN Department of Environment and Conservation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market, Pi Beta Phi, Sevier County Soil Conservation, Gatlinburg Water Deptartment, Sevier Solid Waste, Keep Sevier Beautiful, Boy Scouts Troop #111, TN Wildlife Resources Agency, TN Division of Forestry, Junior Master Gardeners, NOC Gatlinburg, Buie Pottery, The Blalock Companies, Gatlinburg Falls Resort, Ripley’s Entertainment, Magic Beyond Belief, Hatfield & McCoy, Amazing Animals, Smoky Mountain Opry, Comedy Barn, Smith Family Theater, and Smoky Mountain Living. For more information about Earth Week and other Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring events, visit www.gatlinburg.com/events or call (800) 588-1817.