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Gatlinburg's 48th Spectacular Fourth of July Celebration: Midnight Parade, River Raft Regatta & Fireworks Finale

Gatlinburg's 4th Of July Midnight Parade

Celebrate Gatlinburg's 48th Annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade, kicking off on the eve of July 3, 2024, at 12:01 AM. This spectacular event, hailed as one of the “Top 10 Parades to See in the US” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, will commence at the crossroads of East Parkway and Baskins Creek Bypass, weaving its way south onto Parkway at traffic light #3. Spectators will be treated to an array of floats, marching bands, and grandiose balloons, all marching under the starlit sky.

The parade, stepping into the night right as July 4th begins, will snake through the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, starting from Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway. Witness the Parkway come alive with brightly lit floats, patriotic ensembles, and massive balloons, creating a memorable spectacle.

The celebration continues into July 4th with the beloved River Raft Regatta, starting at 11 a.m. in the parking area of the former Christ in the Smokies Museum. This quirky regatta invites attendees to decorate their boats in either whimsical or traditional styles and set them off down the Pigeon River. The race commences at 1 p.m., concluding with all floatables reaching the finish line at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Participants can also join in the fun by purchasing a rubber duck for the race, priced at $2 each or 3 for $5, available at the event registration.

Concluding the day's festivities will be the awe-inspiring Fireworks Finale at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. This dazzling display will illuminate the night sky, promising an unforgettable experience for both residents and visitors. The show is complimentary and accessible to everyone. To ensure a good viewing spot, guests are advised to arrive early, taking note of potential parking challenges and road closures. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 11 p.m.

Garnering national acclaim, Gatlinburg’s First Independence Day Parade in the Nation has been lauded for its exceptional entertainment value, earning it spots on prestigious lists such as National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s “Top Ten Parades to See in the US” and’s “Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities.” The parade has also received multiple Grand Pinnacle Awards from the International Festivals and Events Association, cementing its status as a must-see event.

2021 Gatlinburg's 4th Of July Midnight Parade

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