Gatlinburg is the perfect place to spend July 4th. Festivities abound, with a host of things to do that are filled with fun, excitement and the special feeling that makes Gatlinburg unique. Bring the family and be prepared for a great holiday celebration!
First Independence Day Parade
Begin the celebration with a visit to the midnight parade, the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation. Beginning at the stroke of midnight on July 4th, the parade honors the military service of our heroic men and women. This year is the 42nd Annual parade, and more than 80,000 visitors are expected. National Geographic Magazine has named this event as a “Top Ten Parade to see in the U.S.”; it should not be missed. It starts at #1A; viewers are advised to get a space early to secure great viewing along the parade route.
Fireworks begin around 10 pm on July 4th; if your cabin offers a view of downtown, enjoy it from your cozy home. If you are downtown, the best places to see the fireworks are at traffic light #3 and at traffic light #5. The finale is a momentous occasion; expect to be awed. Get there early to enjoy a free concert by the 100th Army Band; it begins at 8:30 pm. Then experience the magnificent fireworks, Gatlinburg’s tribute and thank you to the military.
Gatlinburg Farmers Market
Open on Saturday from 8:30 am to 12 noon, the Gatlinburg Farmers market offers a variety of healthy options, fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, baked goods and more. Moreover, arts and crafts are featured on Glades Road, and demonstrations are fun for the whole family.
Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales
While in Gatlinburg for July 4th, enjoy this summer-long event of street performers in costume. Story telling and historic performances are part of the entertaining and educational experience; characters from as early as the 1800s will come alive before your eyes. The walk-ability of the city enhances this event, as streets are filled with Smoky Mountain heritage that strollers can enjoy. The magic begins at 6 pm in the center of the town, as performers arrive.
Gatlinburg River Raft Festival
Happening at noon on July 4th, the River Raft Regatta features unmanned craft and anything that floats meandering down the Little Pigeon River. Entries begin at 10 am and end at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Awards are given; divisions include “Trash” and “Treasures”. This event will bring smiles to the whole family.
A free shuttle will take you and your family the length of the Parkway from 10 am to 10 pm. Enjoy open air travel in this fun vehicle.
The city comes alive with excitement on July 4th, so be sure to book your cabin early and prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday.