When it comes to Independence Day, Gatlinburg is known for being the first and the best. As the holder of the First Independence Day Parade each year, Gatlinburg is a great place to celebrate the birth of a nation. This year marks the 44th year of this annual parade, so if you plan on traveling to the Smoky Mountain region for the 4th of July in Gatlinburg, this an excellent time to enjoy an assortment of Independence Day festivities while discovering Gatlinburg.
First Independence Day Parade
Gatlinburg is home to the First Independence Parade in the Nation. Each year, the parade kicks off at exactly 12:01 a.m. on July 4th, making it the first Independence Day parade across the U.S. The parade is a mile long and starts at Baskins Creek Bypass and travels the length of the Parkway downtown. This parade is award-winning, having received honors such as “Top Ten Parade to see in the US” by Geographic Traveler Magazine, and has been entertaining Gatlinburg with decorated floats, bright balloons, and fireworks since 1975. People travel from afar to see this parade in action each year. Because of its popularity, it is highly recommended that onlookers claim a spot early for the best viewing at this Gatlinburg 4th of July event.
Gatlinburg Fireworks Finale
Come to downtown Gatlinburg to wrap up Independence Day with a bang! The Gatlinburg Fireworks Finale is one of the most popular events in the city. In fact, it was even named as a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society. The fireworks start around 11pm and are launched from the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle right downtown, and this 20-minute fireworks show will delight everyone from young to old. Onlookers are encouraged to arrive early to get the best viewing spots which are around traffic lights #3 and #5 in downtown Gatlinburg.
You can also spend the afternoon at the world-famous Gatlinburg SkyBridge and watch the fireworks from this amazing spot. The SkyBridge is certainly worth a visit as it is the longest pedestrian cable bridge in the country. It’s located at the top of the SkyLift, at 1,800 feet (that’s about 500 feet higher than Gatlinburg), and its single span stretches about 700 feet across the valley. And you can see easily that valley from the glass floor in the center of the span. Be sure to get your tickets for the SkyBridge early, since this is a pretty popular spot for viewing the fireworks.
Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival This 4th of July in Gatlinburg
This festival brings everyone together to celebrate Independence Day in Patriot Park. Get ready for a day of fun, games and entertainment. There will be various activities, rides and food vendors throughout the park for the festivities. There will also be live musical performances by local bands. For the children, there is a dedicated Kid’s Carnival area. The festival will end with a spectacular fireworks display.
If you can’t make the fireworks for the fourth at Dollywood, don’t worry. Every summer, Dollywood goes all out with their Summer Celebration. The entire park is filled with color as bright, multi-colored kites and pool noodles hang overhead, and live music fills the air. Plus, there are traditional arts and crafts, stage shows like the popular Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora, and their popular drone and fireworks show fills the night sky with a magical light show. And the rides! Cool off with the Daredevil Falls and Smoky Mountain River Rampage water rides and get your thrill with rides like the Tennessee Tornado and Lightning Rod. There are plenty of fun family-friendly rides and Pre-K rides too.
Other Fun 4th of July Activities
After the parade, while you’re waiting for the fireworks, why not enjoy some of the other fun activities here in Gatlinburg? After all, you’re going to want to be in your spot early, so why not spend the entire day downtown?
Join in the fun at the annual Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta on the Little Pigeon River. This family-friendly event fills the river with unmanned floatables starting at the Christ in the Smokies bridge, heading downstream to the Ripley’s Aquarium plaza. Don’t have a floatable? Don’t worry. You can rent a cute rubber ducky (or bring your own) to enter in the race.
Spend the day at Anakeesta Park, as they celebrate their Summer in the Smokies celebration. This year, Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects sculptures using LEGO bricks are featured. Be sure to climb to the top of the mountain’s observation tower for amazing views of the Smokies. Plus, there are ziplines, a single-rail mountain coaster, treetop skywalk and more to enjoy before the fireworks. The park will be open until 10pm, leaving you plenty of time to grab your favorite fireworks viewing spot.
If you are looking to experience the one of the best Independence Day celebrations in the United States, Gatlinburg is the best place to start. Let The Cabin Rental Store assist you with locating the best vacation rental for your Gatlinburg 4th of July celebrations. We have a wide assortment of quality rental options to suit your needs. Contact us today at (877) 301-0776 to book your rental today.