Welcome to Gatlinburg, home of the “First July Fourth Parade in the Nation!” Every year, the city salutes the brave men and women of our military services to thank them for their sacrifices. The 4th of July celebration is a favorite event amongst locals and visitors alike. Here is everything you need to know about 4th of July in Gatlinburg:
1. The Party Starts at Midnight
To begin every Independence Day, a 4th of July parade will start at the stroke of midnight! Gatlinburg’s downtown sidewalks will be filled with some 100,000 people on hand to witness the excitement of this Midnight Parade. Participants in the parade are encouraged to show how many years they have been in business or otherwise organized in Gatlinburg, with many of the participants celebrating landmark anniversaries. The Parade’s Grand Marshal’s will be women Veterans and other U.S. Heroes. The Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner and members of the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20 from Nashville will be representing the Women Veterans.
2. The Parade is a Can’t-Miss Opportunity
Also featured in the parade will be the 57th U.S. Air Force Band, Members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, plus vintage Military vehicles, local public safety agencies, and lots more. The parade will also include police and fire department vehicles, bagpipes, marching bands, decorated and lighted floats, horses, and large balloons for this midnight 4th of July extravaganza. Guests arrive downtown as early as 7:00 am July 3rd, so get there early to reserve yourself a prime seat. To also get the best seats in the house check out the parade route as early. After attending the parade with your friends and family get some rest for the other 4th of July festivities Gatlinburg offers on this holiday.
3. Come See the River Raft Regatta
Another fan-favorite event is the River Raft Regatta. Anything inflatable can be entered in this race! The River Raft Regatta will start at the Christ in the Smokies Bridge on River Road, and end at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. There are two categories: Trash and Treasure. Trash is anything not handmade, while Treasure is a homemade raft. Awards will be given to the top 3 in each category. The special “Judges Choice” award will go to the most creative raft!
4. The Fireworks Show is Unbeatable
Last but not least, is the spectacular fireworks display! The celebration will also be held downtown, where it lights up the mountain skyline. There is nothing like watching a beautiful display of 4th of July fireworks with your friends and family. It’s so easy to be thankful for our country and the brave men and women who fight for it during this wonderful celebration.
Now that you know all about 4th of July in Gatlinburg, you can start planning your own trip! Learn more about the area and why Gatlinburg is a great place to vacation. We look forward to seeing you!