SEVIERVIILE, Tenn. – When you can tell that spring is in the air, that means one thing -- set the ponies free! After months of enduring winter weather, spring is the time for many of us to finally let our Mustangs out to stretch their legs. And we’ve soon discovered that there are few better ways to do just that each spring than to head to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for “Ponies in the Smokies.”
This year, the third annual Ponies in the Smokies (PITS) presented by National Parts Depot proved why it has so quickly become one of the premier Mustang shows in the country. Each year it just keeps getting bigger and better, this time drawing more than 800 Mustangs to the Sevierville, Tennessee, Convention Center just on Saturday alone for its All-Ford Cruise-In.
The PITS events actually started on the Wednesday before with a kick-off party packed with Mustangs, which included an autocross with rides from Jack Roush Jr. and some drifting exhibitions, courtesy of East10Drift.com. And I officially had my first ride in a drifting Mustang -- and didn’t lose my lunch, so it was a great day all around!
Thursday participants had the option of heading to English Mountain Dragway for some quarter-mile racing or touring the spectacular sights of the Smoky Mountains while trying to get a good hand for the Poker Run. The PITS crew knows the area well, so you won’t just be popping in to a stop get a playing card; they provide several scenic adventures along the way, including the famed Tail of the Dragon -- with all her 318 curves in just 11 miles -- to make you really work to get the best hand.
And what better way to end the day than with another party? This time the ponies gathered at Quaker Steak and Lube for an epic Shine-Run Party meet-up that even Mother Nature couldn’t stay away from. She joined us with heavy rain and even some hail, and showed us just how much some people love their Mustangs as we witnessed several people shielding their cars using their own bodies -- all for the love of our Stangs!
Friday was the day for the event’s official Car Show at the convention center and it’s a day for just the Mustangs. Inside, the PITS crew had its traditional ever-growing display of 56 Mustangs lined up in order by each model year. That alone could keep any Mustang history buff busy for hours, but there were also displays for Roush, SVT and other specialty Mustangs, plus many vendors. Team Mustang Girls even had our very own spot and brought in our Bronco because, well, being normal is just boring! Suzy Duff is the Team Mustang Girls of the Ford Bronco world, and we figured, what better way to let all the guys know we’re taking over?
On Saturday the show opened up to all Fords for the big Cruise-In and while many did show up, it was definitely another day filled with Mustangs. By the end of the event and with every overflow parking lot full, it was clear that Ponies in the Smokies will not be slowing down anytime soon. With so much to see and do here, this is one new show that should be on everyone’s calendar for March 25-28, 2020!
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY TEAM MUSTANG GIRLS / ALEX BRODERICK