Are you a gearhead? You like a 4-banger or a 6-banger? Do you spend your weekends wrenching and talking about torque? If so, or if you just like to look at pretty cars, the Smoky Mountains and their car shows are calling you.

Several times a year, cars of all kinds are found in Pigeon Forge for shows that include hot rods and show cars, along with specific makes from Chevelle to Jeep to Corvette. Register your ride and or just attend, walk around and look. And don’t forget to book an American Patriot Getaways cabin that has great parking for the shows.

Here’s what’s coming up – and for fun, check out what car your state likes best

A flame paint job on a hot rod

The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion Aug. 23-24

The seventh annual Jeep Club Invasion is coming this month to the LeConte Center in the center of Pigeon Forge, adjacent to the city’s Riverwalk along the Little Pigeon River.

Last year more than 16,000 people and 8,000 Jeep vehicles were in attendance. This year’s Show and Shine competition – for those wishing to impress with their build – takes place both days and includes five participation categories and a People’s Choice Award.

Check out the 2018 show.

Admission is $12 per person per day for those over the age of 10. Children 10 or younger get in free. Attendees may buy a ticket each day or a two-day pass. Tickets also are available online.

If you are a driver with a registered vehicle in the Show and Shine Jeep enthusiast competition, admission is included, though other vehicle occupants will have to purchase tickets separately.

Parking will be available, including VIP parking. The City of Pigeon Forge constructed a new lot adjacent to The LeConte Center that allows for additional purchase parking.

Parking also is available at city lots all over Pigeon Forge where the Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolley has more than 200 stops throughout the town, including to The LeConte Center. An all-day pass (purchased at the Fun Time Trolley office) is $3. Take the South Parkway route that starts at Patriot Park and travels east to Teaster, then north to Jake Thomas with a stop at LeConte Convention Center. If you prefer to pay per ride, this will cost you $1each ride –be sure to have exact change for the bus driver.

Shades of the Past 2019 Sept. 6-7

The 2019 Shades of the Past car show takes place at Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge.

One of the largest annual car shows in Pigeon Forge, Shades of the Past has been taking place since 1983. This is a classic vehicle car show. The Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup consists of rods, classics, and customs up to 1972. In fact, no car newer than 1972 will be allowed into the show area or onto the entrance road to the show, according to the Web site. Many of the vehicles are original preserved classics, while others are modified into modern works of art.

Admission is $10 for those over 12 years of age. Children under 12 get in free. Spectator gates open from 8 am until 5 pm each day. There are no alcoholic beverages allowed at this event.

Nearby parking will be available in the next-door Dollywood parking lot for a fee of $15. Additional fees are charged for larger vehicles such as motor homes or those pulling trailers. Dollywood will provide transportation to and from the spectator parking lot to the spectator entrance at the show.

FREE parking will be available in the large city parking lot located near the Convention Center on Teaster Lane. Pigeon Forge city trolleys will run regular schedules to and the from spectator entrance at the show during show hours.

Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run, Sept 12-14

The 2019 Fall Rod Run, like the Jeep Club Invasion, is held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Though this muscle-car heaven takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, many participants and visitors to the fall rod run arrive earlier in the week to claim parking spots along the strip and enjoy some of the restaurants and attractions before the majority of the crowd arrives.

The event is open to spectators Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 per person per day.

You’ll find that many people do just this and even place “for sale” signs in their windshields! There are always some incredible vehicles available for purchase.

You can also plan on sitting along the parkway or taking a stroll down the sidewalk to see the thousands of vehicles that will be in town. Bring your own picnics in your car or stroll to any of the local spots for some grub. You also can head to the LeConte Center to see the best show cars and all the vendors and entertainment.

If you have a car to register for the Fall Rod Run, use this form.

Cabins with Excellent Access for Hot Rod Viewing

You are going to need a place to stay during these car shows – let American Patriot Getaways help you find the perfect spot with great parking and easy access to the cars you want to see and everything else Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer. Here’s a few to get you started on your search.

BEAR’S LAIR – sleeps 6 with two bedrooms and one bathroom.

Living room at The Bear's Lair - a rental cabin in Pigeon Forge

This custom, true log cabin home is located just off the Parkway between Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg. Its long private drive offers privacy while still being in a resort setting. Outside living includes level parking & covered porches with front & back gliders, hot tub, and custom bear carvings perfect for enjoying the mountain weather. Inside, a large vaulted living room with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace, kitchen with granite counter tops, and 2 king bedrooms each with attached bath, offer guests a taste of real mountain luxury. Upstairs, the enormous, vaulted king bedroom has an in-room jacuzzi tub, fireplace, and flat screen TV.

ALMOST BEARADISE – sleeps 14 with four beds and 3.5 bathrooms

Almost Bearadise - a rental cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN

This cabin, with its easy access and close proximity to the strip and all the cars cruising and hanging out during car shows, is perfect for a large group. The 4 king-size log beds, log and leather furniture make this 3000 sq. ft. cabin feel cozy. The game room has a pool table, air hockey game, and a foosball table. This cabin has 6 TVs and easy to get to with no mountain roads to travel. The 12 ft. wrap-a-round porch with the log swing and rockers, offers spectacular views, while the large hot tub adds extra relaxation and fun.

Dream Catcher – sleeps four with one bedroom and one bath

Dreamcatcher - a rental cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN

A cozy and hidden cabin that is ¼ mile from the Parkway, Dream Catcher is perfect for a couple of a small family going to the car shows. With accommodations for 4 guests, enjoy all the amenities of home in this mountain cabin. Cook breakfast in the custom hickory kitchen with full size appliances, shoot some pool on the billiards table, curl up next to the fireplace and watch a movie, read a book while you enjoy the mountain sounds rocking on the front porch. After a long day of walking around and picking out your favorite V-8, soak in the covered hot tub outside.

Laid Back – sleeps 6 with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms

Laid Back - a rental cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN

This lovely 2-bedroom private lodge is located in the prestigious Cedar Falls Resort Community. With easy access and no mountain roads, Laid Back is conveniently located just outside Pigeon Forge in the Wears Valley area. Guests will enjoy 2 king bedrooms, 2 full baths, 2 half baths, and 3 living areas. Cuddle up in front of the tall stone fireplace and read your favorite novel, dine-out under the private covered porch, or get into the action with fun amenities that include a pool table, poker table, theater area with large TV, and small air hockey and shuffle board tables. With a living area on each level of the home, your group will have plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the cabin and talk about the cars they saw that day. Laid Back is in a luxury resort but is still private and secluded.

Find the Perfect Cabin for the Car Shows


Give American Patriot Getaways a call at 800-204-5169. Let our experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun, food and entertainment for a vacation that will please everyone.

Check out our great car show cabins online. You can also search cabins by size and amenities, in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. See our Pinterest board Cabins near the Parkway.

For more adventures, go to our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide.

If you need more help planning your Smoky Mountain Vacation, be sure to check out all our vacation guides, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Leave a comment