Independence Day is a very special time for the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Smoky Mountain town goes all-out to celebrate this holiday, kicking things off with the very first Fourth of July parade in the nation! If you’re visiting Gatlinburg for this year’s Independence Day celebration, you’re in for quite the special treat!
So what all is there to do in the Smoky Mountains on the Fourth of July? The options are endless, but we recommend starting off your patriotic activities by attending the very first Independence Day parade in the nation. For the 38th year in a row, the city of Gatlinburg will host the Gatlinburg July 4th Midnight Parade!
As the clock strikes 12:01AM on July 4th, the streets of downtown Gatlinburg will be filled with a display of marching bands, lighted floats and giant balloons. Around 100,000 people will line the streets of the downtown Parkway, jostling for the best view of the excitement on the street! It is recommended that you set up your folding chairs as early as possible, as some die-hard parade fans arrive as early at 7AM to snag their place.
This year, the city asked parade participants to showcase their history and number of years in business, ensuring that the parade this year is more spectacular than ever before. To put the cherry on top of this already fantastic display, the ghouls and goblins from Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion will be leaving their haunted house to join in on the parade, as well!
July Fourth wouldn’t be the same without a breathtaking fireworks display…luckily the Smoky Mountains have you covered! You can head to either downtown Gatlinburg or Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge to take in a spectacular fireworks show. The city of Gatlinburg puts on a magnificent display at Traffic Light #3, kicking off the festivities around 10PM. The Southeast Tourism Society has designated this beautiful display a Top 20 event, so you know the show isn’t one to miss!
The city of Pigeon Forge also hosts it’s own July Fourth festival, which starts at 1:00PM and includes food, fun and games! Live bands will be performing all day, so you are encouraged to bring your own chairs and enjoy the tunes all day long. The fireworks show begins between 9:30 and 9:45PM, so keep your eye on the sky and prepare yourself for a beautiful and dazzling Fourth of July show.