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Each year more than six hundred people from more thirty-five states and beyond descend on the Great Smoky Mountains as flowers bloom in almost every shade of the rainbow to explore and enjoy plant and animal life.

Online registration is now open at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage website.

The five-day exploration of plant and animal life will be held April 23 through 27 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The pilgrimage kicks off with a welcoming luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, at the Mills Conference Center. It will feature Ila Hatter, an interpretive naturalist, artist, interpretive hike leader, and guest chef at Blackberry Farm. Hatter has more than thirty-eight years of experience teaching the cultural heritage of native plants. The event includes 143 guided walks and indoor presentations that cover the region’s rich wildflowers, fauna, ecology, and cultural and natural history. The 110 pilgrimage leaders are specialists in a variety of areas.

The event also features a photography contest, an art exhibition at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, a native plant sale, a history display of the first 62 years of the pilgrimage, and numerous exhibitors at the registration site.

Tickets are $75 per person for two or more days. Single-day tickets are available for $50. Student tickets are $15 and must be verified with a student ID.

For more information, call 865-436-7318, ext. 222, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or visit

C O N T A C T :

Ken McFarland (865-974-6841,

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,