All summer long, Gatlinburg has exciting events and adventures in store for its visitors. But on July 4, things get a lot more fun as you take part in special celebrations you’ll only find in the Smokies. From the first Independence Day Parade in the Nation to the River Raft Regatta, Gatlinburg waves the red, white, and blue in a big way for a Fourth of July to remember!
First Independence Day Parade in the Nation
Kicking off the Independence Day celebration is the 40th-annual first parade in the nation! The parade begins at the stroke of midnight on July 3 and brings in the 4th of July by paying special tribute to military veterans and other U.S. military heroes. This year, the parade starts Friday night, July 3, 2015. Join 100,000 other spectators as they line the streets of Gatlinburg for this award-winning spectacle.
River Raft Regatta
After the Independence Day parade, be sure to head back to the cabin and get some good rest—there’s plenty more to see and do while you’re in Gatlinburg on this fun-filled weekend, including the River Raft Regatta!
At 10 a.m. on the morning of July 4, particpants in the River Raft Regatta will bring floatable rafts of all kinds to enter this unique and exciting race. The River Raft Regatta starts at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road and ends at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Participants can enter into one of two categories—trash (not handmade) and treasure (handmade). Awards will be give to the top three in each category, as well as to the most creative raft, the youngest participant, and the oldest participant. This is a great way to involve the kids and engage their imaginations while you’re on vacation—and maybe they’ll even take home the big prize! The “Judges’ Choice” award is given each year to the favorite raft of the race.
Registration for the River Raft Regatta begins at 10 a.m., and the race starts at 12 p.m. So get your creative caps on and bring your floatable treasures to the Smokies. Or bring along your guests and just enjoy watching the floats as they race down the river. You’ll have a great time, have some big laughs, and enjoy the fresh summertime air as you cheer along this year’s participants in the River Raft Regatta.
To end your exciting Fourth of July in Gatlinburg, enjoy the show-stopping fireworks display in downtown Gatlinburg. The Southeast Tourism Society designates this fireworks show a top 20 event—so be sure not to miss out on the action! The fireworks finale is a perfect way to close out a fun-filled Independence Day and to celebrate America’s freedom in an unforgettable way!
Perfect Cabins for Summer
As you plan your Fourth of July getaway to the Smokies, be sure to book early so you can enjoy one of our best cabins for those hot summer days—cabins with pools! We have cabins of all sizes and varieties that provide either pool access or private indoor and outdoor pools for your convenience and enjoyment while you’re away.
Whether you’re looking for a cabin that can sleep 30 or a cabin for two, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Cabins For You. Check out these options for your summertime escape, and enjoying celebrating another year of freedom in the cozy mountain town of Gatlinburg!
- Hidden Point Lodge (sleeps 30, private outdoor pool and yard)
- Panorama Point (sleeps 12, private indoor pool)
- Bird Haven (sleeps 13, private indoor pool)
- Edge of Paradise (sleeps 2, private indoor pool)
- Copper River (sleeps 10, private indoor pool)
- Sierra Springs (sleeps 16, private indoor saltwater pool)
- Highland Plunge (sleeps 10, private indoor pool and theater room)
- Mountain Cascades Lodge (sleeps 25, private indoor pool)
- Splish Splash (sleeps 22, private indoor pool and over 4,000 square feet of space)
- Big Bear Plunge (sleeps 12, private indoor pool and home theater)
- Beaver’s Mountaintop Retreat (sleeps 12, private indoor pool and home theater)