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 when the clock ticks over to July 4th. It has been named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as a “Top Ten Parade to see in the US”. This popular Gatlinburg parade has grown to be a favorite of visitors as well as locals for over four decades now!
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 7 a.m. 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 begins at Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway, turning south onto Parkway at traffic light #3 and traveling the length of downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road. The parade itself is about a mile long!
Current head coach of the Lady Volunteers, Kellie Jolly Harper, will serve as grand marshal of Gatlinburg’s 44th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade. Only the third Lady Vol head coach in the NCAA era of women’s basketball.
Important Traffic & Parade Route Notice
(The below information is directly from the city of Gatlinburg posted here.)
Visitors and residents need to be aware of the traffic plan for the July 4th Midnight Parade beginning on Wednesday, July 3. The Parade steps off at Midnight, July 3 at the intersection of Hwy 321/East Parkway and Baskins Creek Bypass. The route proceeds southbound onto Hwy 441/Parkway at traffic light #3 and concludes at traffic light #10 at the intersection of Hwy 441/Parkway and Ski Mountain Road.
In preparation for the parade, the Gatlinburg Police Department will close two southbound lanes of Highway 321/East Parkway from Food City to Little House of Pancakes at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3.
Immediately prior to the parade, all traffic on Highway 321/East Parkway, northbound and southbound, will be stopped at 11:15 p.m. until the parade passes. Additionally, all northbound traffic on Hwy 441 will be re-routed from the National Park to the Gatlinburg Bypass at 11:30 p.m.
All traffic will be stopped throughout the parade route at 11:40 p.m. and will not resume until the end of the parade.
Everyone is encouraged to arrive early.
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 2019
Beginning at 9:00 p.m., The 129th Army Band performs at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza leading up to an incredible fireworks finale! The Gatlinburg Fourth of July Fireworks can be seen throughout downtown and from any lodging that faces downtown, but the best views are between traffic lights #3 and #5. The incredible 20 minute fireworks display typically begins around 10 p.m. 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!
We Thank You
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!