Monday marks the start of a huge celebration in East Tennessee as the Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration returns to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

This is the 27th annual Winterfest. Organizers say visitors will get to see holiday lights and events throughout the whole winter season.

"We've got a tremendous number of Christmas shows that you can see in the area. All that great shopping and there are a lot of new things each and every year that you can enjoy for Winterfest as well," said Amanda Marr of Smoky Mountain Winterfest.

Attendees can help countdown to turning on the lights in Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge at 5:15 p.m. Monday.

The city of Sevierville and the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce are also holding a Winterfest kickoff event Monday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Sevierville Municipal Complex.

Gatlinburg will hold its annual Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff and Winter Magic Kickoff on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg.