Top Ten Ways to Celebrate July 4th in the Smokies in 2014

Stay in a Smoky Mountain Cabin During July 4th Holiday!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?!

Gatlinburg 4th of July Parade1. 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.

River Raft Regatta2. 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.”

Gatlinburg Fireworks Finale3. 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. ”

View of the Fireworks from Eagles Nest4. 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!

Smoky Mtn Tunes and Tales5. 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.”

Lonestar will play at the Patriot Festival6. 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!”

July 4th Sale at Tanger Outlets7. 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.

Smokies Baseball8. 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!

The Art of the Picnic9. 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.

Great American Summer10. 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!”

Advertisements

July 4th Events

independancedaybanner

For years visitors from around the country have loved to come to the Smokies to celebrate the Fourth of July. Parades, concerts, fireworks, cookouts, hiking, water activities and of course the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains compel people to return for the excitement year after year!

The agenda for this year’s festivities:

First Independence Day Parade in the Nation-Gatlinburg, TN- Starting at 12:00 am on July 4th, Gatlinburg will host the 38th annual showcase honoring the service men and women of our nation. Each year around 100,000 spectators gather to see the floats, ballons, marching bands and more that light up the streets of Gatlinburg on July 4th. The Fourth of July parade in Gatlinburg has been named a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society. Featured in the parade this year are:

  • TN Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinderveterans parade pigeon forge, tn
  • Women Veterans of American Chapter 20 from Nashville
  • 572nd U.S. Air Force Band
  • U.S. Navy
  • Marines
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Vintage Military Vehicles
  • Police and Fire Department vehicles
  • Bagpipes
  • Marching bands
  • Decorated and lighted floatsMidnight Parade
  • Horses and Large Ballons

The parade will begin at traffic light #1 on East Parkway, then turn south onto Parkway at traffic light #3, then travel the length of downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mtn Road. Traffic will be shut down at 11:00pm July 3rd for parade preparation.

river raft regatta

After the parade, get some rest for the numerous Fourth of July activities held by both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The first activity of the day is the River Raft Regatta held in Gatlinburg. Anything flotable can be entered at 10:00am on July 4th at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road. The raft race will start at 12:00pm and will end at the Ripley’s Aquarium bridge. Rafts can be entered into two different categories, Trash (not hand0made) and Treasure (hand-made). Awards will go to the top three in each category and a “Judges Choice” award will go to the most creative raft. Awards will also be given to the oldest and youngest participant. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.

“This is something the whole family can enjoy doing together. A lot of times we’ve got the grandkids and the grandparents enter it.” -Gatlinburg Special Events Manager George Hawkins

kids july

Patriot Park 23rd Annual Festival- Pigeon Forge will host their annual Fourth of July celebration starting at 1:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. There will be great food, games, entertainment and a firework finale. Patriot Park is located on Old Mill Street at traffic light #7 behind the historic Old Mill. Entertainment will be provided by the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, Hotel California and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. The fireworks show will begin between 9:30 and 9:45. Bring your blankets and chairs and camp out for the evening at Patriot Park to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day!

Gatlinburg’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show- Finish off your day of Fourth of July celebrations by viewing the fireworks show visible from the streets of downtown Gatlinburg. The show will be centered at traffic light #3 and will begin at 10:00pm. If you prefer not to be in the crowd ERA In The Smokies has cabin rentals available with a perfect view of the fireworks show. Call and reserve soon before they are gone!!

4th of July Midnight Parade and Fireworks Display Space Needle Gatlinburg, TN

4th of July Midnight Parade and Fireworks Display Space Needle Gatlinburg, TN

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- 2011

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesThe Holidays are coming! In fact, if you come to Gatlinburg, you’ll think they’re already here! The calls come in daily… “What are some good Christmas shows to go to?”, “When can I see the lights?”, “Tell me about the Christmas parade!”. If you think summer is the only time when Gatlinburg is throbbing with excitement, you should try coming here for the holidays!!

Sweet Fanny Adams' Yuletide MadnessThere are enough shows to make your head spin! Most of the theatres and dinner theatres around here have a special Christmas or Holiday show, including: Dixie Stampede, Smoky Mtn Opry, Smith Family Theater, Country Tonight, Tennessee Shindig, Sweet Fanny Adams Theater, and the Comedy Barn! First Baptist Sevierville will put on a magnificent Singing Christmas Tree on Dec 4 & 5 at 6:30pm, both evenings. You can call the church office at (865) 453-9001 with any questions! The Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre will present The Nutcracker “Sweet” at the W.L. Mills Auditorium on November 25 & 26 at 7:00 pm both evenings. Call (865) 680-7369 for information and reservations. Throughout the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, each Friday and Saturday evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, view the Winter Magic version of Gatlinburg’s Tunes and Tales, with live music to enjoy as you’re exploring our downtown Parkway! If ice skating tickles your fancy, enjoy Christmas on Ice, presented at Ober Gatlinburg’s ice-skating rink, or go ice skating for yourself! Dollywood is also doing a Christmas on Ice show!

Dolly Parton's Great Smoky Mountain ChristmasDollywood will have a lineup of mesmerizing Holiday events to thrill every one of your five senses! “See the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Create a family tradition at Dollywood’s sensational shows, including the triumphant return of perennial favorite Christmas in the Smokies. Let the heartwarming sounds of the season set the stage for a Christmas the entire family will enjoy. Don’t miss Santa’s Workshop, where larger-than-life-sized toys and an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree fill guests of all ages with wide-eyed wonder as they discover a giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and more amid the hustle and bustle as Santa and his helpers ready for their big night! Santa’s also the star of the Parade of Lights, along with a cast of brightly lit floats and colorful characters.”

Gatlinburg's Holiday Light Display!If you like to look at Christmas lights, don’t miss the Smokies! Gatlinburg is gleaming with millions of LED lights, transforming the town into a gorgeous winter wonderland! For a preview of this year’s light display, watch this video! Pigeon Forge is also covered in LED lights! You can even take a Trolley Tour of Lights! And don’t forget Sevierville, your hometown in the Smokies! You can even view their LED light display in 3D with special 3D glasses available while supplies last!

Christmas Shopping!What better place to do your Christmas shopping than Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountain Area! From charming local shops to the bargains of the outlet malls to an array of Christmas stores, the Smokies has everything you need to have an enjoyable Holiday shopping experience!

Rent a Cabin!Perhaps some of you come here in the winter specifically to find the snow! I don’t think you will be disappointed! Although the snow rarely sticks around for long down in town, you can easily drive or hike up into the higher elevations to find some snow to play in, if it doesn’t snow in town while you’re here! You can even rent a cabin up in the higher elevations, if you’d like to really surround yourself with snow!

Gatlinburg Festival of Trees!The Festival of Trees will be on display in the W.L. Mills Conference Center on November 22 – 26. “Step into a festival world of Christmas Trees as you experience Christmas in the Smokies at the 2011 Festival of Trees, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Surrounded by the twinkling lights and sounds and smells of the holidays, shop the many handmade centerpieces and craft items, and return to the joys of celebrating Christmas in the Smokies.”

Christmas ParadeEveryone wants to know about the Christmas Parade! The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade starts at light #1A on Hwy 321, and ends at light #10 on Parkway! It will be on December 2, beginning at 7:30 pm. Over the course of about an hour and a half, a stunning array of parade entries, marching bands, giant helium balloons, and even the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, as more than 80,000 people line the streets! Don’t miss the excitement!

Holiday Craft Show!“Get a head start on your Christmas shopping at our Christmas Craft Show beginning on Thanksgiving week, November 22 – December 4. Doors open at 10am daily and as usual the admission is free to everyone! Shop in the comfort of the Gatlinburg Convention Center amidst the holiday decor and surroundings. This will surely get you in the Christmas mood and kick your holidays off just right. Give a craft for Christmas… it’s sure to be the most unique gift you can give and it’s one-of-a-kind!”

New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks!And for the grand finale, will be the New Year’s Ball Drop and Fireworks in downtown Gatlinburg! “Gatlinburg will welcome the arrival of 2012 in unique style with its 24th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Space Needle late Friday night, December 31. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2012, the Space Needle area will shine with a red glow from the surrounding rooftops at the beginning of a music program which includes selected songs followed by a choreographed fireworks show.”

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Get 2 Nights FREE!

4th of July 2011- Celebrate In the Smokies!

Subscribe to A Day In The Smokies!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!

Midnight Parade4th 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!

River Raft Regatta4th 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 in Gatlinburg!“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 Stay in Sunset Ridge and catch this view of the fireworks!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!

Restless Heart will be preforming at the Patriot FestivalPatriot 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.

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesThe Holidays are coming! In fact, if you come to Gatlinburg, you’ll think they’re already here! The calls come in daily… “What are some good Christmas shows to go to?”, “When can I see the lights?”, “Tell me about the Christmas parade!”. If you think summer is the only time when Gatlinburg is throbbing with excitement, you should try coming here for the holidays!!

Sweet Fanny Adams' Yuletide MadnessThere are enough shows to make your head spin! Most of the theatres and dinner theatres around here have a special Christmas or Holiday show, including: Dixie Stampede, Black Bear Jamboree, Smith Family Theater, Country Tonight, Tennessee Shindig, Sweet Fanny Adams Theater, and the Hoot ‘N Holler Dinner Show! First Baptist Sevierville will put on a magnificent Singing Christmas Tree on Dec 5 & 6 at 6:20pm, both evenings. You can call the church office at (865) 453-9001 with any questions!  The Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre will present The Nutcracker “Sweet” at the W.L. Mills Auditorium on November 26 & 27 at 7:00 pm both evenings. Call (865) 680-7369 for information and reservations. Throughout the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, each Friday and Saturday evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, view the Winter Magic version of Gatlinburg’s Tunes and Tales, with live music to enjoy as you’re exploring our downtown Parkway! If ice skating tickles your fancy, enjoy Christmas on Ice, presented at Ober Gatlinburg’s ice-skating rink, or go ice skating for yourself! And for all you acoustic music lovers, Arrowmont will present a Christmas Guitar Concert at  the Arrowmont Auditorium with Bill Mize and Ed Gerhard. Tickets will be $18 at the door.

Dolly Parton's Great Smoky Mountain ChristmasDollywood will have a lineup of mesmerizing Holiday events to thrill every one of your five senses! “See the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Create a family tradition at Dollywood’s sensational shows, including the triumphant return of perennial favorites Dollywood’s Babes in Toyland and Christmas in the Smokies. Let the heartwarming sounds of the season set the stage for a Christmas the entire family will enjoy. Don’t miss Santa’s Workshop, where larger-than-life-sized toys and an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree fill guests of all ages with wide-eyed wonder as they discover a giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and more amid the hustle and bustle as Santa and his helpers ready for their big night! Santa’s also the star of the Parade of Lights, along with a cast of brightly lit floats and colorful characters.”

Gatlinburg's Holiday Light Display!If you like to look at Christmas lights, don’t miss the Smokies! Gatlinburg is gleaming with millions of LED lights, transforming the town into a gorgeous winter wonderland! For a preview of this year’s light display, watch this video! Pigeon Forge is also covered in LED lights! You can even take a Trolley Tour of Lights! And don’t forget Sevierville, your hometown in the Smokies! You can even view their LED light display in 3D with special 3D glasses available while supplies last!

Christmas Shopping!What better place to do your Christmas shopping than Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountain Area! From charming local shops to the bargains of the outlet malls to an array of Christmas stores, the Smokies has everything you need to have an enjoyable Holiday shopping experience!

Rent a Cabin!Perhaps some of you come here in the winter specifically to find the snow! I don’t think you will be disappointed! Although the snow rarely sticks around for long down in town, you can easily drive or hike up into the higher elevations to find some snow to play in, if it doesn’t snow in town while you’re here! You can even rent a cabin up in the higher elevations, if you’d like to really surround yourself with snow!

Gatlinburg Festival of Trees!The Festival of Trees will be on display in the W.L. Mills Conference Center on November 23 – 27. “Step into a festival world of Christmas Trees as you experience Christmas in the Smokies at the 2010 Festival of Trees, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Surrounded by the twinkling lights and sounds and smells of the holidays, shop the many handmade centerpieces and craft items, and return to the joys of celebrating Christmas in the Smokies.”

Christmas ParadeEveryone wants to know about the Christmas Parade! The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade starts at light #1A on Hwy 321, and ends at light #10 on Parkway! Over the course of about an hour and a half, a stunning array of parade entries, marching bands, giant helium balloons, and even the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and a spectacular ice sculpture will travel this route, as more than 80,000 people line the streets! Don’t miss the excitement!

Holiday Craft Show!“Get a head start on your Christmas shopping at our Christmas Craft Show beginning on Thanksgiving week, November 25 – December 7. Doors open at 10am daily and as usual the admission is free to everyone! Shop in the comfort of the Gatlinburg Convention Center amidst the holiday decor and surroundings. This will surely get you in the Christmas mood and kick your holidays off just right. Give a craft for Christmas… it’s sure to be the most unique gift you can give and it’s one-of-a-kind!”

New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks!And for the grand finale, will be the New Year’s Ball Drop and Fireworks in downtown Gatlinburg! “Gatlinburg will welcome the arrival of 2011 in unique style with its 23rd Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Space Needle late Friday night, December 31. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2011, the Space Needle area will shine with a red glow from the surrounding rooftops at the beginning of a music program which includes selected songs followed by a choreographed fireworks show produced by Pyro-Shows of LaFollette, Tennessee.”

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!!!



GATLINBURG: Winter Magic 2010-2011

 

Click Here to subscribe by email!

Get a Discount on your Cabin for the Winter Magic Kickoff!The holiday season will soon be upon us, and no one celebrates the holidays like Gatlinburg. I don’t know how many towns celebrate the start of the winter holidays with fireworks, but it is a heart warming way to have it all begin. If you are one of those folks that cry at parades, you’d better bring your Kleenex. Here are just a handful of ‘bright” ways to celebrate the season starting the first week of November each year and stretching through to February!

Check out our deals this month on Gatlinburg Cabins!1. Gatlinburg Winter Magic Lights. Listed as one of winter’s “Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Society, Gatlinburg’s four-month Winterfest Celebration transforms the mountain resort town of Gatlinburg into a spectacular winter wonderland from November through February. The light display has received a $1.5 million injection of new displays plus a 100-percent conversion to energy-efficient LED bulbs over the past three years reduced the City’s electricity cost for the program by some 85 percent. Check out this map of all the light displays. Gorgeous holiday lighting displays–and fireworks to boot!

Check out all the ways to rent a Gatlinburg Cabin!2. Gatlinburg Chili Cook-off. Offering mouth-watering recipes of home-style chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg hosts its 21st annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff ( in 2010) on Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. on the popular Downtown Parkway. With the purchase of a ticket, receive a spoon and a voting ballot, then starting at 5 p.m. be pleasantly tempted and tested before casting your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also, judges will select winners in categories including Best Taste, Booth Presentation, Apron Design and Most Unique Chili Name.

Stay in Pigeon Forge close to Dollywood3. Smoky Mountain Christmas. See one of the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Don’t miss Santa’s Workshop, where larger-than-life-sized toys and an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree fill guests of all ages with wide-eyed wonder as they discover a giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and more amid the hustle and bustle as Santa and his helpers ready for their big night!

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.

Midnight Independence Day Parade

Subscribe to A Day in the Smokies!!Fourth of July weekend is a GREAT time to come to the Smokies! You can enjoy the Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge on July 3. But if you want to enjoy the midnight parade, concerts, River Raft Regatta, and Fireworks Finale in downtown Gatlinburg, you will have to stake out your place early!  

The Independance Day Midnight ParadeMore than 100,000 people will gather in dowtown Gatlinburg late on July 3, when the pre-parade festivities begin! Then, at midnight, the parade begins to wind its way through the streets! The colorful and fantastic line-up will include brilliant floats, various bands, including the 129th Army Marching Band, Boyertown (Penn.) Alumni Marching Unit, the Nashville Suzuki Strings and Knoxville Pipe & Drum, and even a float-sized replica of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise from Riverside, Iowa! Also included in the parade will be vintage military vehicles!

River Raft RegattaThe festivities continue on the 4th with the River Raft Regatta. “Gatlinburg’s popular River Raft Regatta takes place at noon on Sunday, July 4th, on the Little Pigeon River in downtown Gatlinburg at Christ in the Smokies. This unmanned river raft race is open to anything floatable except balls and plastic eggs. In the past, families have entered boats made out of matchsticks, floating rocks, as well as little rubber ducks. Registration takes place between 10 a.m. and noon, with the race beginning promptly at noon. Support for the River Raft Regatta is provided by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.”

Enjoy the Fireworks from our cabin Southern Comfort!After that concerts from the various bands that played in the parade will take place throughout the afternoon! For a detailed schedule, visit the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce’s website! Then stick around until 10pm for the Fireworks Finale!! For a special treat, rent a cabin with a view of downtown and enjoy the fireworks from the comfort of your cabin’s deck! ERA in the Smokies still has just one of our units with such a veiw available for July 4th weekend (as of this moment!), Southern Comfort! Book today!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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.