While you can come to Gatlinburg any time of year and find glorious scenery, great shopping, fantastic food and friendly faces, the town’s annual events aim to offer something a little special, from food and flags to chili to crafts to Christmas trees.

Many of Gatlinburg’s most popular festivals highlight the trades and talent of local craftsmen and artisans from around the country. The bi-annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (a week in July and two-and-a-half weeks in October) attracts over 180 of the nation’s most skilled in arts like pottery and woodcarving, as well as some great musicians as well. The Arts and Crafts Heritage Days in late September and early October, meanwhile, showcase those still practicing the old ways, introducing families to traditional arts like spinning, weaving and candlemaking.

If you’d rather eat your way through your Gatlinburg vacation, you might want to check out either the Taste of Autumn event in late September (a festival showing off the best the region’s hottest restaurants have to offer) or the annual Chili Cook-Off—a must-see (and must-eat) for fans of the spicy, smoky treat. The event has taken place for nearly two decades at the kickoff of the winter season in early November.

Other popular events include the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees in late November, which finds the town’s tallest trees decked out for Christmas, and the Veteran’s Day Celebration, a touching patriotic salute to America’s heroes.