Cabins USA Logo
Loading Page
(800) 583-6168
Cabins USA Availability Search Icon Availability Search Small Icon

The Ultimate Guide To Pigeon Forge Car Shows | Cabins USA

Blog Home : Category Posts : Pigeon Forge Classic Car Shows

Want to see beautiful, modified and restored Impalas, Mustangs, Bel Airs, Camaros, and Novas? If you can't get enough of classic cars, then you ought to come experience one of the largest car shows in the Southeast that happen every year in Pigeon Forge, TN!

Three major car shows and numerous smaller car shows come to Pigeon Forge, so it's just the place for car enthusiasts to gather and check out some beautiful vehicles!

Pigeon Forge Rod Runs

Pigeon Forge Rod Run & Car Show Calendar

  • The Corvette Expo - March 2-3, 2018
  • The Spring Grand Rod Run - April 19-21, 2018
  • Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge - May 31 - June 3, 2018
  • Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion - August 24-25, 2018
  • The Shades of the Past Pigeon Forge Car Show - September 7-8, 2018
  • The Grand Fall Rod Run - September 13-15, 2018

About the Big 3 Rod Runs

The largest car shows in Pigeon Forge are the Spring Rod Run, the Shades of the Past Car Show, and the Fall Rod Run.

Rod runs in Pigeon Forge are tons of fun, even if you don't particularly like cars. Visitors from across the nation line up on the Pigeon Forge Parkway and watch the beautiful cars roll by. Many set out lawn chairs and coolers so they can enjoy a picnic while they see some magnificently restored antique cars. Many describe it as a "parade" of incredible restored cars from different eras.

Here's a sampling of the cars you'll see at these incredible Smoky Mountain car shows:

How Do Pigeon Forge Rod Runs Work?

While there's an "official car show," where cars are judged and prizes are awarded, the biggest event is often the unofficial festivities that take place on sidewalks and parking lots in downtown. During Rod Run weekend, you can enjoy seeing muscle cars, customized rides, and hot-rods day or night cruising the Parkway or parked at meet-up spots throughout the city.

For spectators, the unofficial event is free to enjoy, but if you'd like to see the official festivities, visitors can pay a small entrance fee (usually $10-$12) to enter the LeConte Center or the Dollywood Splash Country parking lot. The official car show will have vendors with rare parts and some of the most stunning cars you've ever seen, so it's well worth stopping by.

If you'd like to enter your car into the competition, there are also registration fees.

During the weekend, you may see lots of "For Sale" signs on cars. After all, there are few better ways to advertise your car for free than taking it to a major car show. So if you're in the market for a classic car, the Rod Runs are a great place to shop around!

Here are specific things to know about the big 3 cars shows in Pigeon Forge!

The Spring Grand Rod Run - April 19-21, 2018

Known as the Spring Rod Run, this popular car show draws thousands of visitors every year for a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in April. At this show, you'll see every make & model of classic muscle cars. The official event is held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge and contestants compete for $8,000 in cash prizes.

Past winners of this competition were beautiful cars like:

  • 1970 Silver Chevelle
  • 1957 Black Ford-300
  • 1970 Red Nova
  • 1969 Pewter C-10
  • 1969 Green Camaro Z28

Shades of the Past Car Show - September 7-8, 2018

Every year, this popular car show is held at Dollywood Splash Country and exclusively features classics, hot rods, and customs up to 1972. Many of the cars you'll see at these shows are restored classic cars or old roadsters that have been modified with a modern twist. In past years, the prizes for this roundup were a 1932 Hi-Boy Roadster and $10,000 in cash. Every year brings fantastic new prizes, so there's no telling what your sweet ride could win!

You can find free parking for the Shades of Past Car Show at the Pigeon Forge municipal lot and Veterans Boulevard with trolley service to the car show. Paid parking is available at Dollywood lot "F" for $12 per day.

The Fall Grand Rod Run September 13-15, 2018

Arguably the biggest car show in Pigeon Forge all year long, the Fall Rod Run takes place on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in September following the Shades of the Past car show. The combination of cooler weather, fewer summertime visitors, and the start of the beautiful fall leaf viewing season bring big crowds to the Smokies on this weekend.

Here are some past winners from the Fall Rod Run:

  • 1969 Red Camaro
  • 1937 Black Ford
  • 1957 Grey Chevrolet
  • 1962 Black Impala
  • 1972 Green Chevy

You can find additional parking for the Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run at the Pigeon Forge Municipal Parking Lot located at 2936 Teaster Ln.

Map of Rod Runs in Pigeon Forge

3 Insider Tips For The Big Car Shows

If you plan on visiting Pigeon Forge to participate or spectate at one of the rod runs, you're in for a real treat! While smaller car shows are fun to visit, the largest car shows are city-wide events you won't want to miss! Use these insider tips to ensure you have a great time at a Rod Run in Pigeon Forge!

1. Getting the Best Deals on Lodging

Understandably, Rod Run weekends in Pigeon Forge are one of the busiest times of the year and many of the best lodging options are booked up quickly.

If you'd like to see rod run in Pigeon Forge, we recommend reserving a cabin as early as possible before they're all gone. Better yet, Cabins USA offers a special discount on their cabins you’re bound to love!

2. Planning For Rod Run Traffic

With car shows come lots of extra cars. As a result, the major car shows are known for creating a lot of traffic in the Great Smoky Mountains area.

What will the roads be like for a major rod run in Pigeon Forge? Here is a short description of Fall Rod Run traffic according to local officials.

Traffic begins to be heavy around 1:00 PM and comes to a standstill around 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday of Rod Run.

The Parkway in Pigeon Forge is passable in the left lane until about 6:00 PM. After this, traffic slows to about 3-4 MPH with periods of no movement.

By 6:00 PM on Friday. Wears Valley Road from Townsend to Pigeon Forge comes to a standstill. Similarly with the Spur Road, there are reports that it takes hours to travel the 5 miles from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.

In Pigeon Forge, side roads like Dollywood Lane and Veterans Blvd. are also congested from 4:00 PM until midnight.

Any motorists in the area should exercise extreme caution and patience when traveling through Pigeon Forge. They should also be aware that there is lots of pedestrian traffic during rod run weekends.

That being said, the most important thing is to know the dates of the car shows ahead of time when planning your vacation. A worse case scenario for some vacationers is rolling into town and discovering that the roads are clogged with car show visitors.

The best way to prevent this is to know the dates of the "big 3" car shows and prepare yourself if you plan your vacation on one of the Pigeon Forge rod run weekends.

The biggest car shows in Pigeon Forge can bring traffic to a standstill, but at least the scenery is incredible. Luckily, there are several ways to dodge traffic during rod runs in Pigeon Forge.

  • Arrive Early/Leave Late – Traffic in Pigeon Forge during rod runs is usually at its worst during the initial arrival and exodus of visitors to and from town. If you arrive in town before 3 PM on Thursday or Friday, you can usually beat most of the arrival traffic. Similarly, most car show visitors leave on Sunday, so if you extend your stay a day longer, you can avoid congested roadways.
  • Start Early – Whether you'd like to enjoy the car show festivities or not, it's worthwhile to start your day as early as possible. Rising with the sun will have a big payoff because you'll be able to find a great spot to see cars on the parkway or you can go see attractions like the Great Smoky Mountains National park before there's too much traffic.
  • Walk Instead of Driving – If you're able to, parking your car at the Pigeon Forge municipal lot on Teaster Ln and walking is a great way to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Luckily, there are lots of restaurants, shops, and attractions all within easy reach on the Parkway, so there's not much need to drive if you don't have to!
  • Use Alternative Routes – If you don't plan on making one of the major car shows a part of your vacation experience, it may be best to steer clear of Pigeon Forge on these weekends. There are lots of alternative routes and back roads you can use to bypass Pigeon Forge, such as Chapman Highway or Gatlinburg's East Parkway.

3. Pigeon Forge Car Show Laws

Pigeon Forge During Rod Run

Here are some laws and regulations to know when attending a car show in Pigeon Forge, TN.

  • Golf Carts - In past car shows, visitors have brought golf carts to drive around the city. Car show attendees should know that traditional golf carts are not permitted on Tennessee roadways unless they are modified to meet vehicle safety requirements.
  • Use of Vehicles on Sidewalks - Pigeon Forge City ordinances prohibit driving automobiles, bicycles, skateboards, and motorcycles on city sidewalks.
  • Public Drinking Laws - Open containers and public drinking are not permitted in the state of Tennessee unless you are in a properly licensed bar or restaurant. Alcoholic beverages can be sold anytime from 8 AM to 3 AM. Additionally, alcoholic beverages cannot be purchased in Pigeon Forge before noon on Sundays. Only beer and wine are available for sale in restaurants and bars.
  • Selling Merch During Car Shows - Using the sidewalk or street to sell merchandise is prohibited.
  • Selling A Car During Road Run - Rod Run is a popular place to buy or sell beautiful cars. Please note that a vehicle can only be parked in a legal space for no longer than 72 hours.
  • Lifted Vehicles - Cars brought to Pigeon Forge Rod Runs must abide by Tennessee frame and bumper height laws.
  • Parking - Parking may be difficult to find during a busy car show. There is free public parking available in the municipal lot on Teaster lane. Improperly parked vehicles are subject to fines.
  • Squealing Tires and Blowing Smoke - These car show pastimes are prohibited by Pigeon Forge city ordinances.

Final Thoughts

Hot Rod Truck in the Smokies

If you don't want to see Rod Run in Pigeon Forge, it's still easy to enjoy a peaceful Smoky Mountain vacation away from all the action in Pigeon Forge. Simply book a cabin in areas like Sevierville or Wears Valley, and you can be sure you'll run into less traffic.

Also, if you don't want to get stuck in Rod Run traffic, you may have to avoid seeing popular attractions like Dollywood, The Old Mill, The Island, or the Titanic Museum during your stay.

Even the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be more crowded on these weekends since rod run motorists love to take scenic drives through the park. Luckily, you can always visit quieter areas in the national park like Greenbrier, Tremont, Cosby, Cataloochee Valley, or Big Creek.

Start planning your trip to Pigeon Forge to experience this town's fantastic car shows! You'll love the electric atmosphere, friendly community, and unique muscle cars you'll see on these action-packed weekends in the Smokies!

Save On Your Cabin Today!

Written by

Recent Articles

Pigeon Forge Staycation: How To Have Fun

How to Have a Fun Staycation in Pigeon Forge

You can still make fun memories when you can't travel far. Find out how to have a fun staycation in Pigeon Forge with your loved ones.
Planning A Weekend Getaway For Couples In Pigeon Forge

How to Plan a Weekend Getaway for Couples in Pigeon Forge

Treat your sweetheart to an unforgettable trip by trying our ideas for the best weekend getaways for couples in Pigeon Forge!
Best Meals To Cook On Vacation In The Smoky Mountains

Best Meals to Cook on Vacation in the Smoky Mountains

Save your money for fun and adventure in a cabin rental that lets you do all the cooking. Start with our picks for the best meals to cook on vacation!


Fall In The Great Smoky Mountains | Pigeon Forge | Gatlinburg

Fall Activities

Check out the many activities to do in the fall in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Townsend, Wears Valley, and Sevierville. - read more...
Pigeon Forge Happening Now

Pigeon Forge Happening Now

We've got news, events, and tips to make your vacation in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains better than ever! Check - read more...
Smoky Mountain Vacation Tips

Smoky Mountain Vacation Tips

Tennessee Smoky Mountain vacation tips great for planning your family vacation, honeymoon or group getaway in the Smok - read more...
Smoky Mountains Blog | Whats Happening Now

Smoky Mountains - Happening Now

Smoky Mountains blog posts covering events before and as they happen throughout the Tennessee Smoky Mountains area. S - read more...

Please Note: Cabins USA LLC's, hereinafter referred to as Cabins USA, area information, area events, and blog pages are provided as a public service. Cabins USA does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or businesses referenced in these web pages. Any mention of vendors, products, businesses, or services on the Cabins USA web site is for informational purposes only. Users of this web site are responsible for checking the accuracy, completeness, currency and/or suitability of all information. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by Cabins USA. Furthermore, specific questions regarding any content should be directed to the appropriate organization and not necessarily to Cabins USA.

Cabins USA Official Logo
star star star star star
2140 Parkway
Pigeon Forge, TN  37863
(865) 429-4121

VLS #157
Pigeon Forge Cabins
Guest Reservations
(800) 583-6168
2 Night Minimum

Cabins USA Help Icon
Copyright 2013-2023, Cabins USA LLC, Pigeon Forge, TN

Welcome to Cabins USA! We hope you enjoy your stay with us and look forward to helping you make incredible vacation memories. To help you navigate your Guest User account, we've provided a helpful guide to walk you through the process.

Creating an Account

Creating a guest account is as simple as submitting your email and creating a password. Keep in mind the email used to create your guest account must match the email provided on your reservation.

If a different email is on your reservation, you'll need to create a guest account with that email to manage the reservation.

When finished, an email will be sent to confirm your email address. Follow the steps in the email to complete the creation of your account.

Note: If you need to change the email address on your reservation, please contact the reservations office for further assistance.

Managing Your Account

Once your account is created, you can start managing your reservations. Your guest reservations will show as follows:

Click on the view button to get more details about each reservation. Within the reservation, you'll be able to do three things, which are:

Submit a Trouble Ticket

Click the report issue button for maintenance needs or other concerns during your stay. Briefly describe your issue, provide contact information, and submit up to 3 photos detailing your situation if applicable.

Submit Cancellation Request

This must be done before check-in and per our policies. Within the request, provide a reason for cancellation and click submit. After submitting your request, one of our reservationists must complete the cancellation process before your reservation is canceled.

Make a Payment

For future stays with a balance open, you can make credit card payments from $50 up to the total cost of the reservation.

Additional Information

If you have a future reservation and haven't completed the Express Check-In, please send your confirmation number and email used for the reservation to to request an invitation to complete the process.

After you've signed all reservation documents and paid the balance in full, you'll receive an email with your active stay information 8 hours prior to arrival, which includes the following:

Note: If the reservation documents have not been signed electronically and/or the balance has not been paid three days prior to arrival via the credit card on file, you must check in at our 2140 Parkway office. Our office hours are currently 8:00am - 10:00pm, Monday thru Sunday.

Contact Us

Didn't find the information you needed? Contact Us for further assistance with your reservation or guest account.

Thank you for choosing us for your Smoky Mountain vacation! We look forward to helping you make your dream vacation a reality!

Warm regards,

Cabins USA

Interested in receiving our newsletter? Simply provide your full name and email address in these fields to begin receiving information. By doing so, you can learn about special promotions and events in the Smoky Mountains!

We respect our customer's privacy and feel it is disrespectful to bombard anyone with emails. We treat all information that customers share with us as private and confidential. Cabins USA never shares this information with third party sites.

Arrival Date: Mandatory, select or enter date you will arrive (MM/DD/YYYY)

Nights: Mandatory, select or enter the number of Nights you will be staying with us

Promotional Code: Must enter a valid code

Optional Search Items: (Amenties, Cities, etc)
Below are several boxes in which you can either select from a drop down list or click on a check box to the left of an item to select.

Changing the contents of any drop down list or selecting/deselecting a check box will broaden or narrow the number of properties displayed by your search. You don't have to wait until the search completes to select/deselect items for your perfect search.

You must hit the SEARCH button to start your first search. It is unnecessary to hit the SEARCH button after doing your first search, unless you changed to another web page, changed the Arrival Date or number of Nights.

Add to Favorites: As you visit individual property pages or pages with listings of several properties on them, you have the option to click on the "+ Favorites" for each particular property, which automatically adds the property to your list of Favorites for consideration. The number next to the Favorites tab, left sidebar, will increase up to 99 possible Favorites. When ready, click on the Favorites tab to view a list of your selected Favorites.

Remove from Favorites: You may de-select (remove) properties from your Favorites you no longer wish to consider by either clicking on the minus icon to the right or by clicking on the "- Favorites" displayed on property list pages and each property details page for properties listed in your Favorites.

Compare Favorites: Click in the check boxes to the left of the property name, in your Favorites, you wish to compare. No more than 3 boxes may be selected at one time. When ready, hit the Compare button for a comparison of the 3 selected properties.

Follow the above "Remove from Favorites" instructions to remove a property from the comparison and your Favorites.

To add another property from your Favorites list for comparison, click the check box to the left of the property name in your Favorites and hit the Compare button.

Repeat the above steps to find your ultimate vacation accommodations. Need assistance or have questions, please give us a call so we may better serve you!

View List: Displays a full list of all your Favorites with some details.

Remove All: Clears all properties from your Favorites so you may start over.