Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

gatlinburg christmas parade
The 2018 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg, TN is known as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade and features over 100 parade entries of marching bands, floats, helium balloons, performers, and more! The parade is expected to draw more than 60,000 spectators viewing the parade throughout downtown Gatlinburg, TN. Below, you will find information about the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade route and the date & time that it is scheduled to take place.

2018 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade Date, Time, and Route

The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade 2018 takes place on Friday, December 7 at approximately 7:30pm beginning at Baskins Creek Bypass and ending at Traffic Light #10…if you’re at traffic light 10, the parade will reach you around 8pm. The entire parade typically lasts around an hour. The majority of people tend to sit or stand along the parkway in downtown Gatlinburg for the best views closest to all the action. If you would like to view a map of Gatlinburg to see where the traffic lights are, you can view the city’s map at: http://www.gatlinburg.com/ .

Four-time world barbecue champion and star of the TV series BBQ Pitmasters, Myron Mixon, acts as Grand Marshal during this year’s procession. Known as the “Winningest Man in Barbeque,” Mixon is a New York Times bestselling-cookbook author, television personality and entrepreneur.

Keep in mind that the Parkway through downtown Gatlinburg will be closed off during the Christmas parade as well as slightly before it begins and after it ends. With this in mind, if you plan to attend the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade then we highly suggest arriving in town earlier in the day, find a parking spot, and stroll through the downtown shops, grab a bite to eat, sip some hot chocolate and make an afternoon & evening out of it. Have fun and enjoy the entire experience!

Where to Park

If you’re fortunate enough to find a parking spot along River Road (which parallels the Parkway), most of those spots are free. If there aren’t any open spots, there are a handful of privately owned parking lots along River Road that typically charge a flat fee. There are also two city-operated parking garages, one at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the other at Traffic Light #3, the McMahan Parking Garage. Both of these parking garages provide numerous parking spots that should be available.

Gatlinburg Christmas Parade Video

Below is a video the city provided of a previous Gatlinburg Christmas Parade if you would like an idea of what to expect if you have never seen it before. Keep in mind that it is much better in person!

Also, here is a video of the last year’s parade: