The 4th of July is a prime week to come to the Smokies! With so much to do and that great summer weather, who wouldn’t want to join us?! Four different options for fireworks, a variety of music, good food, summer sales, roller coasters, and more! There’s so much to do, you can’t possibly do it all in one day. Why not come for a week?!
1. First Independence Day Parade in the Nation
“The first Independence Day Parade in the Nation marks its 39th year by honoring Military Veterans and other U.S. Military Heroes. The annual Gatlinburg 4th of July Midnight Parade leads off at 12:00AM (midnight) on Friday, July 4, 2014 to the cheers of close to 100,000 spectators lining the streets of the City for this award winning parade.” Get there early in the day with your lawn chairs to claim a good spot! Traffic will be tight, so it may be a good idea to find a parking spot early on July 3, or park at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at Wiley Oakley Rd just before you come into town, and ride the trolley (free during the summer!) into town.
2. Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta
“This year’s fun-filled Fourth of July celebration in Gatlinburg will feature the always-competitive River Raft Regatta, the unmanned kind. Anything floatable can be entered starting at 10 a.m. at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road and will end at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. There are two categories: Trash (not hand-made) and Treasure (hand-made) – awards will go to the top 3 in each category. Additionally, the “Judges Choice” award will go to the most creative “raft.” Awards will be given to the oldest and the youngest participant. Registration begins at 10 am and the race will start at 12:00 pm. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.”
3. Gatlinburg Fireworks Finale
“Join the celebration in downtown Gatlinburg to mark our nation’s “Independence Day” with a magnificent fireworks show. The City of Gatlinburg lights up the mountain skyline downtown centered on the area of traffic light #3 at 10 p.m. with this grand display. Designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society. ”
4. Stay in a Cabin
The best way to enjoy all Gatlinburg has to offer during 4th of July week is to stay in a Gatlinburg Cabin! ERA In The Smokies offers a variety of cabins to suit all your vacation needs! Want to be secluded and private? Stay in Chipmunk Haven! There’s a little bit of a view as well, rare in private cabins! Want a spectacular mountain view? Stay in Sky Highway! You can even enjoy that view from a relaxing hot tub! Want a pool table and other fun games? Stay in Black Bear Holler! Want to bring your pet along for the adventure? Stay in On the Rocks! But for the 4th of July, there are probably a ton of you who just wish there was some way to enjoy the fireworks without having to leave the comfort of your cabin! You are in luck! We have 6 cabins from which you can do just that! Above the Rest, At the Top, Eagle’s Nest, Great Escape, Sunset Ridge, and Southern Comfort sit up on a small hill overlooking the town of Gatlinburg. From these cabins, you have a gorgeous mountain view, as well as a view of the city lights at night, and of course- the fireworks! They also boast pool tables, hot tubs, and gas fireplaces, as well as close proximity to town. You can drive less than half a mile down the hill, park for free on River Rd (if you get there early enough in the day) and walk a block over to the main Parkway in Gatlinburg! Have fun!
5. Smoky Mtn Tunes & Tales
“Tunes & Tales is a summer-long street performance event throughout downtown Gatlinburg featuring musical performers, cloggers, storytellers and artisans giving you a taste of Appalachian culture. This popular event truly highlights one of Gatlinburg’s greatest assets – the walkability of the community – and provides guests with an interactive, educational and entertaining experience the whole family can enjoy.”
6. 24th Annual Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival
July 4- “Thousands gather at Patriot Park each year for this free event. The fun typically starts around noon with games and activities for kids. There’s also live musical entertainment, which starts early in the afternoon and lasts until 9:30 or 10 at night. This years lineup features the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, the Tim Kellar Band, bluegrass group Adkins & Loudermilk, the Jimmy Buffet tribute band Sons of Sailors and the event headliners Lonestar! After the music it’s time for the evening’s finale – an extravagant fireworks display!”
7. 4th of July Weekend Sale at Tanger Five Oaks
July 3-6 Tanger Outlet Mall at Five Oaks in Sevierville will be having their July 4th Sale! And we thought those outlet deals couldn’t get any better! With over 100 stories and eateries, Tanger is a complete day experience of its own! View their current coupons and sales! For those in your family who don’t wish to shop til they drop, Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf is just a short walk through the parking lot, and the NASCAR Speedpark is next door.
8. Tennessee Smokies Baseball
July 3- Start off your celebrations early with a classic American baseball game at Smokies Stadium at exit 407 on I-40. The Smokies face off against the Montgomery Biscuits. At the end of the game, enjoy a beautiful fireworks display!
9. Pack a Picnic
Whether you want to stake a claim for a parade view, or set up to see some fireworks, whether you’re going to spend all day shopping or seek some peace and quiet at one of our area’s many parks and picnic areas, you’re going to need lunch (and/or dinner)! So pack a picnic! If you want to make it super easy, you can always get take out from your favorite restaurant, and whisk it away to your desired location to enjoy! If you want to go more traditional, and perhaps save a little money, you can visit our local grocery store, Food City, and pick up those sandwiches, pickles, and chips (or your own favorite picnic foods). You can also pick up disposable plates, forks, napkins, and even a disposable tablecloth! If you want to be even more thrifty, you can check out the prices for those items at the Family Dollar store just up the hill from Food City.
10. Great American Summer at Dollywood
Dollywood makes every day this summer feel like July 4th with their Great American Summer Celebration! The park stays open longer- 10am to 10pm- to allow you to enjoy all the park has to offer for just a little bit longer, including a nightly fireworks display! “Synchronized to music, each evening features Paint Your Dreams across the Sky, an inspiring musical crescendo written specifically for the occasion by Dolly, along with other songs that underscore this colorful summertime celebration!”