Starting at 12 a.m. on July 4, military officials, public safety officials and others will start off on a parade at the bottom of the Smoky Mountains to the cheers of bystanders. Started in 1976 as a testament to the 200th anniversary of the United States, this parade will be celebrating its 40th birthday in just a few short years.
Before the parade begins, Gatlinburg will have some celebratory fireworks to mark the eve of this glorious day. People begin lining up for the parade early on July 3, so make sure to reserve your spot! Inside of traveling into and out of the city on what is sure to be a traffic-laden day, consider staying over at a hotel, motel or a Gatlinburg cabin for the evening. As the parade progresses through town, Inside Gatlinburg’s article “4th of July Midnight Parade” reminds individuals that “there will be a tribute to the 5 military branches-a major highlight of the parade and rightfully so.” Other aspects of the event include parade staples such as balloons, music and an overall sense of good tidings and cheer, as people remember our forefathers who fought so bravely for independence.
Why travel to the Gatlinburg’s midnight Fourth of July Parade? Well, you’re witnessing history in the making! Due to its early starting time, it is the first Fourth of July parade in the country every year, according to the Escape to the Smokies website. Remember, though, pick out your spot early. The crowds are certain to be big as patriotism toward the country, as well as honor and respect for those fighting in the war right now, continue to grow. If you intend to go, be sure to note that the parade starts at 12 a.m. on the 3rd going into the 4th, not the 4th going into the 5th.