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8,000 Jeeps at 6th Annual Great Smoky Mountain Invasion

Posted in Events on February 19, 2019
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Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the place to be in late August if you are a die-hard Jeep enthusiast. The 6th Annual Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion was bigger and better than last year’s event, surpassing the number of Jeeps in attendance by more than 1,000 rigs. More than 20,000 people passed through the LeConte Center grounds for this vendor-driven event put on by the Smoky Mountain Jeep Club and title event sponsor Rugged Ridge. Over 150 vendors and manufacturers set up displays inside and outside during this last-blast-of-summer Jeep extravaganza.

The welcome party at the Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday evening kicked off the event, and hundreds of Jeeps filled the parking lot to capacity; hundreds more cruised up and down the main drag of Pigeon Forge. Friday morning broke clear and cool as Jeepers that had pre-registered for the Show ’n’ Shine found their designated areas. The show was divided into different classes for the 2018 Invasion, and a limited number of applications were accepted. Each class had a large number of entries, making it a difficult task for the judges to choose their daily winners. On Saturday, every available parking spot in the vicinity that could hold a Jeep was taken, and the crowds descended on the event center to check out the latest Jeep accessories available and to get their tickets for the huge raffle at the end of the day.

In addition to Jeep Invasion, there are plenty of great things for the whole family to do in the area. It’s in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains and the national park is just a few scenic miles up the road. A favorite is the Sunday run to Cades Cove. If you want to do a little off-roading during this vacation, Windrock OHV Park is just over an hour away and offers a variety of trail options for all skill levels. The 7th annual event will be held August 23-24, 2019, and registration is now open for the event. For more information head to greatsmokymountainjeepinvasion.com. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

Manufacturers and vendors from across the country were in attendance for the 6th Annual Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion. The 100,000-square-foot, air conditioned LeConte Center was visited by more than 20,000 people during the two-day vendor-driven event.
Best in Show for the Show ’n’ Shine was chosen from the top five winners of each day. Honors for 2018 went to this stunning 1975 CJ-5 Renegade III built by the Mancave Designs team of Greg Griffith, Casey Shelton, Adam Griffith, and Rob Baker.
Dawn and Jody Abbott from Kingston, Georgia, brought another Jeep from their amazing collection. This is a rare 1986 Jeep Scrambler with a full-metal World Cab top.
No parking? No problem! The sidewalks and roads were lined with Jeeps during the event. Hundreds more cruised around the parking lots looking for empty spaces throughout both days of the event.
Not all the vendors were related to Jeep parts and accessories; there were some cool Jeep arts and crafts booths too. Who wouldn’t want this Willys grille bar in their home?
Everyone that pre-registered for the Show ’n’ Shine before a specific cut-off date was given an entry for a cash drawing. Five winners were drawn each day for a $100 cash prize.
There are some cool Jeeps that show up at The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion. The “Super Six” built by Orange County Jeep Works made an appearance in 2018. Where’s the beach!
New for the 6th annual event, the Show ’n’ Shine offered a variety of classes: Vintage Stock, Vintage Modified, Modern Modified, Off-Road, and Fullsize Jeep. There was a nice size entry for each class offered.
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