The 2023 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg, TN is known as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade and features parade entries of marching bands, floats, helium balloons, performers, and more! Below, you will find information about the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade route and the date & time that it is scheduled to take place.
The Grand Marshal
Every year, various celebrities lead the Gatlinburg Christmas parade along its route. In 2023, there will be multiple celebrity guests including:
Mark Wills – Academy of Country Music award winner and Grand Ole Opry member!
Rachel Grant – Celebrated actress and television personality
Canaan Smith – Platinum selling artist-songwriter with songwriting credits including hits by Cody Johnson, HARDY, Morgan Wallen, Cole Swindell, Tyler Hubbard and more.
Myron Mixon – Highly decorated BBQ Champion, Mixon is a 5-time World Champion holding the record for most barbecue competition wins world-wide.
Janelle Arthur – East Tennessee native with an impressive list of achievements and has performed at venues ranging from Sevier County’s own Country Tonite Theater to the Grand Ole Opry stage. Arthur was a Top 5 Finalist on Season 12 of American Idol. The multi-talented artist has a close tie to the area, performing at Dollywood as a child, portraying a young Dolly Parton.
2023 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade Date, Time, and Route
The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade 2023 takes place on Friday, December 1st at approximately 7:30 p.m. beginning historically at Baskins Creek Bypass and ending at Traffic Light #10…if you’re at traffic light 10, the parade should reach you around 8 p.m. 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: https://www.gatlinburg.com/ .
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!