Gatlinburg 4th of July Midnight Parade and Fireworks

  • SumoMe

4th of july midnight parade gatlinburg tnGatlinburg, TN is known to have the “First July Fourth Parade in the Nation” with the annual Gatlinburg 4th of July Midnight Parade, which begins exactly at midnight on July 4th. This year’s parade will be its 40th anniversary and will honor Military Veterans and other U.S. Military Heroes.

Around 100,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of Gatlinburg to celebrate the 4th of July in Gatlinburg, TN. In other words, find a good spot early! Many people put folding chairs out along the sidewalks as early as 7am on July 3rd. If you choose to do this, just keep in mind that it is sort of the “honor” system and your chair could get moved or, even worse, stolen. This rarely ever happens, but just a heads up!

The 4th of July parade route typically begins at traffic light #1a on East Parkway and turns south onto the Parkway at traffic light #3, then travels the length of the downtown street to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road.

If you’re wondering what the Gatlinburg 4th of July Midnight Parade is like, check out the video below to get an idea of what to expect.

Video of the 4th of July Midnight Parade in Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg 4th of July Fireworks 2015

The Gatlinburg Fourth of July Fireworks can be seen throughout downtown and from any lodging that faces downtown. The fireworks has historically begun at 10pm on July 4th and concludes with one of the biggest finales you will ever see…seriously…it’s mind-blowing. They haven’t said yet if this year’s fireworks will be at a different time, but we will update this article if they change it. Finding a good spot to see the fireworks is pretty easy….if you can see the sky, you’re good. If you happen to be staying in a cabin where you can see downtown, then enjoy the incredible view!

Final Thought

Wherever you decide to celebrate the 4th of July, we join you in honoring our nation and those who fight for it. If you or your family have served in our nation’s military or are currently serving, we give you our most sincere gratitude. Thank you!


  1. Tammy says

    How’s the parking for this event? plenty or hard to get? Thanks for any info! We are going to be first timers for this event. thanks! Tammy

    • Jean says

      I would imagine the parking would be bad. I’ve always stayed in downtown Gatlinburg where I could keep my car parked at the motel. The traffic is awful….but part of the fun once a year. LOL They have a couple of fairly new parking garages downtown now; I’m not sure how easy it would be to find a parking spot in the garages. If you’re going to need a parking place, come early. However, I suggest that you find a motel downtown – I like the Gillette Motel on Historic Nature Trail Road (also known as Airport Road). It’s only a couple of blocks up from the parkway. They’re not fancy, but their rooms are large and very clean; and they’ve always had reasonable rates. If you study the trolly maps before you arrive, you can see how the side roads connect to the East Parkway – that will help you avoid a lot of the downtown traffic.

    • Andy says

      I agree wit Jean, if you are going get a place in Gatlinburg to stay at. This will get you free guarenteed parking and you won’t have to worry about traffic afterwords. This will be our second time going. Hope you enjoy it.

    • Georgine says

      you’ll want a hotel on the main drag and you can park there, otherwise I would say it will be hard to find parking and traffic will be crazy.

    • Gary Logan says

      if you have rented a place near the route of the parade, or the events, no problem…..parking is NOT ….so many spots and thats’ it…Was there last year, when they closed down the 2nd road and it was bumper to bumper to Gatlinberg from Pigeon Forge……so rent a condo or a room and stay in Gatlinberg for great entertainment..

    • Emma Lousieunaq says

      I’ve gone since I was a kid, There usually is lot of parking, but get there ASAP! The parking was a lot last year, but that’s because I got there ASAP!

  2. Lydia says

    they’re are a few places right on the parkway that you can walk to the street and set up your chairs and watch the parade. Carr’s Northside Cottage, and best of all Brookside Hotel. Brookside has back balconies overlooking the stream, very close to downtown so you caould walk. has its own outdoor pool, playground and parking. you can go and put your chairs out early, beacuse people will start setting them up @ 7a.m. on July 3rd. The blue trolley runs right by there, so you can take the trolley home if your too tired after going downtown. but the parade is just across the yard from the hotel, so you dont have to even get into a car. the parade is awesome! very big! lasts about an hour-hour and a half. Be sure to Wear your Red,White,& Blue and get in the spirit! You’re gonna love it. Its awesome. my mother-in-law lives uo there, so we frequent Gatlinburg. Hope you love it as much as we do.

  3. Lydia says

    you can google “places to stay on east parkway, gatlinburg,tn”. i think the parade runs the length of the parkway

  4. DONNETTA says

    We are going to the pigeon forge festival will we have time to go from there to the parade in Gatlinburg in time to see it?

  5. Pattye says

    I have been to this parade before ans stayed in Pigeon Forge if you are going to do that park at the aquarium early and watch parade from that area and as soon as the end pass you leave to head back. If you haven’t gotten a room in Gatlinburg by now you will not get one.

  6. sheila says

    Where to stay that’s close, what about the gateway smoky mountain resort is that walking distance

  7. Michaelee says

    Going to the parade at midnight is fun. Any first timer will have a good time. Since the 4th falls on Saturday, the whole area from Gatlinburg through Pigeon Forge into Seveirville will be a madhouse throughout the weekend. Expect waits, traffic jams galore and long lines.

    The Pigeon Forge festival at Patriot Park on Saturday is an all day event. They have food and bathrooms available. Take folding chairs and blankets for sitting. John Anderson was there in 2012 and was a great show. We were there last year also.

    If you go, have patience and expect a slower pace because it is going to be crowded over the weekend. Above all, have a safe 2015 4th of July.

  8. jennifer says

    you can always stay out on 321 and walk towards town. the parade lines up out that way (between the Alamo and Food City).

    • jennifer says

      the Sleepy Bear Motel on 321 didn’t look full when i went by this evening (accross from the Alamo) and you wont have far to go tomorrow night to watch the fireworks. Everyone have fun and stay safe.

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