People love to come to the Smokies to celebrate Independence Day! Parades, concerts, fireworks, cookouts, hiking, water activities, and more compel people to return for the excitement year after year! Take your pick, or do your best to join in every celebration!
4th of July Midnight Parade- Gatlinburg
Join in the first Independence Day celebration in the country, as the 4th of July Midnight Parade kicks off in Gatlinburg at 12am on July 4th! People begin lining the streets with their folding lawn chairs as early as 7am on the 3rd to save their spot. And “the 100th US Army Band from Ft. Knox, Kentucky, will feature concerts of different groups on Sunday, July 3, with all performances on Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza. The Sunday lineup will include the Dixieland Band at 10 a.m., the Brass Quintet at noon, the Jazz Ensemble at 2 and the Rock Band at 4. On Monday, July 4, the entire 100th Army Concert Band will perform on the Plaza beginning at 8:30 p.m. before the Independence Day fireworks finale at 10 p.m.”
“Catherine Bach, famous for her role as “Daisy Duke” in the hit series “Dukes of Hazzard” will appear in Gatlinburg’s 36th annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade, courtesy of Cooter’s Place. Rick Hurst, a.k.a. “Cletus,” also from the series will be in attendance. An escort of vehicles from Hazzard County including the famous “General Lee” will also be in the parade.”
All this and much more will be featured in the parade!
4th of July River Raft Regatta- Gatlinburg
If you don’t stay up too late for the parade, or perhaps if you just stay up all night, you can take your kids (or the young at heart) to join in the festivities at the river raft regatta. Kids may register to enter anything floatable in the regatta that will begin at 9am at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road. “There will be prizes for the top three places in these divisions: Hand-made Decorated, Floatable Object (no creativity), Small Entry (pill bottle sized), Oldest Entry, Youngest Entry, Judges Choice (or most unique), Ripley’s Believe It or Not Entry. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.” During registration there will also be tons of games available on the lawn. Come on down!
“Stand Here” Fireworks Finale- Gatlinburg
You’ll probably need a nap in the afternoon, but make sure you wake up in time to see the fireworks finale at 10pm. This has been designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society! The best way, in my humble opinion, to enjoy the parade is from the comfort of your own cabin. Granted, there is something to be said for the excitement of being down on the street. But I prefer the more comfortable, laid back atmosphere of a cabin with a view of downtown. Share drinks and h’ordeuvres (snacks!) with that special someone or maybe a small group of friends as you relax and enjoy the fireworks from the decks of your own Smoky Mountain cabin! ERA in the Smokies (as of the writing of this blog) still has two rentals available with a perfect view of the fireworks. Call and reserve soon before they’re gone!
Patriot Festival- Pigeon Forge
“Celebrate our nation’s independence during the Patriot Festival of Pigeon Forge. Our Fourth of July Party is a family friendly explosion of entertainment, food, fun and games, with fireworks! All of this will be presented against the backdrop of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. Get set for an outstanding lineup of entertainment, a free Kids’ Karnival area and a tasty selection of foods.” Festivities begin at 1pm, and the fireworks will occur once it gets dark, usually around 9:30 or 10.
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.