Gatlinburg 4th of July Midnight Parade and Fireworks
Gatlinburg, 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. It has been named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as a “Top Ten Parade to see in the US”. This year’s parade will be its 42nd anniversary and will honor the Firefighters, First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers for their efforts during the 2016 wildfires as they will serve as the parades Grand Marshals,
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!
Leading up to the parade, the 129th Army Band will provide a free concert beginning at 6pm on July 3rd at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza. The parade will then kickoff hour later at midnight.
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. The parade itself is about a mile long!
This year’s parade welcomes new participants from around the country including the USAF Honor Guard Marching Military Unit from Washington, D.C., the 129th Army Band from Nashville, Tennessee, the Lake City Tiger Marching Band from Minnesota, the Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile, Alabama, New Edition Legacy Marching Band from Maryland and others.
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 2017
The Gatlinburg Fourth of July Fireworks can be seen throughout downtown and from any lodging that faces downtown. The incredible 20 minute fireworks display begins at 10pm on July 4th and concludes with one of the biggest finales you will ever see…seriously…it’s mind-blowing. 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! The best viewing areas are around traffic lights #3 and #5. The 129th Army Band will play prior to the fireworks in a free concert at 9 p.m. on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.
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!