Roaring engines, whether from automobiles or motorcycles, have definitely carved out a place amongst the tourism industry in Sevier County. It’s a loud and fast growing group of motorcycle enthusiasts that all come together in April for the Tennessee Goldwing Road Riders Association Rally & Show. Honda Goldwing motorcycles riders bill get this spring get together as their “Spring Fling”, usually commencing at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
In recent years it’s been put on in connection with the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort where attendees can attend seminars and discussion groups on the lifestyle, participate in parades, win prizes, and discuss all things Honda with other Gold Wing enthusiasts. Past years themes have included Davy Crockett Days at the fairgrounds.
Tennessee’s Gold Wing Road Riders Association is the largest single-marquee social organization for owners and riders of Gold Wing motorcycles and serves as hosts for the Spring Fling. Of course, the Honda Gold Wing is their common denominator and they each know everything there is to know about the open road cruiser, the lifestyle, everything. Seminars on everything from stress management to listening and communicating on the road are a large part of the weekend schedule. Vendors have booths and tables set up for the conference that everyone can peruse. Some of those products – bike gear, motorcycle-related clothing will be available for purchase throughout the weekend.
This past year, Goldwing Riders competed for the grand prize of a Bushtec Performance Sport Trailer, a $1,000 second place prize and two chapter prizes worth $250 each. Cash prizes were also awarded to talent show winners in the categories of comedy, serious, and the outside Tennessee combined category.
The weekend typically centers around the following events:
- The Sevier County Fairgrounds hosts a Campfire Stew that is billed as just some great country fun. Visitors can sit in their lawn chairs, listen to the music, and dance in the field. The fun of the Chapter Challenge commences as Gold Wing Chapters vie for the title of “King of the Frontier.” For the Chapter Challenge portion, make sure ‘dirty’ clothes and shoes are a part of your wardrobe. Chapters can have more than one five-member team and teams may be all male, all female, or co-ed.
- Each and every one who takes part will have their skills tested in a variety of ways. It’s always a fun, but messy event.
- The annual Bike Light Show circles the fairgrounds/vendor area and gives everyone a chance to get decked out on their ride.
- The Tennessee Couple of the Year 2011 selection. Each chapter nominates a man and woman for couple of the year, and you really don’t want to miss this opportunity. Each chapter is encouraged to come out and support their chapter Couple of the Year.
- The Frontier Rodeo is one of the newer draws to the event. Complete with cowboys riding bulls, timed horse races, and rodeo clowns, this is one of the more popular gatherings, always packs the house and recently has been a free event for a number of attending Gold Wing riders.
- Come in your riding best, as well as Sunday best for a number of Best Dressed competitions. Categories include Best Dressed-Parade, Best Dressed-Show, Best Dressed-Riding, and Best Dressed-Theme.
Of course, there are numerous bike shows scheduled throughout the weekend, and whether you’re planning on staying around the fairgrounds, or out as far as Gatlinburg, you’re bound to see some of your Honda Goldwing brethren cruising the Parkway. Talent shows are a big part of the weekend as well with various cash prizes being handed out at different competitions. The biggest of those competitions happen at the weekend finale. After a day filled with activities including field events, bike show (onsite at the fairgrounds), seminars galore, and more, the closing ceremonies will feature announcements for chapter awards, TN member of the year, Chapter educator of the year, as well as grand prizes.
Directions to the Sevier County Fairgrounds:
Traveling on Interstate 40 from Knoxville, Asheville, or the Tri-Cities, take Exit 407 towards Sevierville (the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) approximately 8 miles. Take a right over the river onto the bridge leading to the Wilderness Resort at the Smokies. Take a left at the 1st light over bridge. The Sevier County Fairgrounds is approximately 2 miles on your left.