The 37th Annual Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade is an Independence Day "must" if you're anywhere near the Smoky Mountains! Since 1976 this parade has been the very first Fourth of July Parade in the Nation and they expect as many as 100,000 spectators! Dozens of parade units will line up on the night of July 3rd to step off at the stroke of midnight.
The parade will honor American heroes with grand marshals for the parade including members of the Tuskegee Airman Association from Atlanta, Ga. and from Louisville, Ky., plus military personnel and veterans from all five branches of service. Leading the parade will be the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Ky., which will not only march in the parade, but will also showcase various sectional groups in concerts on the plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies throughout the day of July 4, culminating in a full band concert leading into Gatlinburg’s spectacular fireworks display.
There will also be plenty of other fun 4th of July events and celebrations happening all weekend long in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! Gatlinburg will again feature the always-competitive River Raft Regatta, the unmanned kind. Anything floatable can be entered, with registration starting at 10 a.m. at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road and the race begins at noon on July 4th. Pigeon Forge will also host their annual Patriot Festival in Patriot Park
! The Patriot Festival is an all day event featuring lots of fun events and entertainment that are perfect for the whole family! The headliner for this year's event is John Anderson who will be accompanied by many others.