Are you planning on taking a trip to Gatlinburg? Gatlinburg is one of the best places to have your next family vacation. From the Smoky Mountain attractions and delicious restaurants to the fun tours in Gatlinburg, you’d have to be a pretty picky person to not find something you like around these parts. In addition to being a great place to vacation, Gatlinburg also has some surprisingly funny facts.

1. Pancakes are a food group here

You wouldn’t be too far off base if you thought we could pave the streets of Gatlinburg with pancakes. There are pancake places all over! That’s why pancakes are one of the essential four food groups for any Gatlinburg trip (alongside waffles, moonshine, and crispy bacon, of course). 

2. Gatlinburg was named after a guy nobody liked 

The town we know and loved used to be named White Oak Flats. That’s right! It was called White Oak Flats until 1859 when the townspeople ran Radford Gatlin out of town. The local settlers made Radford leave his name behind, and then Gatlinburg was born. We are glad they made him leave his name behind because “let’s take a vacation to White Oak Flats” doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

3. We are famous, even in songs!

One day in mid-July, Johnny Cash blew into town. His throat was dry and he got into a brawl with his long lost dad who had named him Sue. OK, that might not be exactly what happened. We don’t really know if Johnny Cash ever spent a day in Gatlinburg, although his hit song, “A Boy Named Sue” takes place in our beloved town. The truth is that songwriter and humorist Shel Silverstein actually wrote the hit that mentions Gatlinburg. Our town also gets a name drop by Ronnie Milsap with his 1980 hit “Smoky Mountain Rain.” The song features a distraught man that wanders all over Gatlinburg in the rain looking for his girlfriend. Turns out, she was working in a souvenir t-shirt shop the whole time. Ok, maybe we made that part up.

4. Bears, Bears, Everywhere 

Gatlinburg tourists love spotting bears. They’re smart, furry, funny, and famous! Although bears belong in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, they still can’t resist Gatlinburg and all the food guests leave around here. Some of them find their way into cars, hotel balconies, and next thing you know, they’re on TV! We love seeing the occasional bear in town, but seriously, for the sake of your safety, don’t ever try to feed or approach bears. They only appear cute and cuddly, but they can be pretty dangerous. Follow these bear safety tips and you’ll be A-okay.

5. We like to have our parades after dark

Parades don’t count unless they are held when the sun goes down, right??? In Gatlinburg, we love to have our parades after dark. Who needs a daytime parade when all the fun happens at night! The lights and colors of a parade glow so much better then! Gatlinburg is the home of the First Independence Day Parade in the nation. It takes place promptly at 12:01 a.m. on July 4th. Sadly the 2020 parade is off, but we are looking forward to it happening in 2021. The Fantasy of Lights Parade is still set for December this year. 

6. Here, you can enjoy fun off-the-beaten-path shows

There is no place quite like Gatlinburg! This can be seen even in our variety of unique shows and entertainment. We couldn’t let Pigeon Forge have all the fun! Planning a Gatlinburg trip means buying tickets to shows you’ll never get to see anywhere else. Here you can see the Impossibilities Show with Master Mentalist Erik Dobell. This guy knows just what you’re thinkin’!

Check Out One of the Best Tours in Gatlinburg

Speaking of unique experiences, you’re gonna love checking out all that Gatlinburg has to offer with Gatlinburg Comedy Tours! Ready to have some fun on your next Gatlinburg trip? Book a tour with us and laugh your way around town. You’ll get to enjoy some funny jokes along with many more facts like these. Schedule a Gatlinburg Comedy tour today