For the 35th consecutive year, Gatlinburg kicks off America’s Independence Day celebration with the nation’s first parade, which leads off in the opening moment of the holiday at 12 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, to the cheers of close to 100,000 spectators and features a special tribute to our military personnel among the many highlights of this one-of-a-kind patriotic event.
As soon as the street is closed late on July 3, the parade route comes alive with pre-parade entertainers that begin the excitement of what is to follow. Marching bands, colorful floats and helium balloons will navigate the streets.
Also appearing in the line-up will be a parade-scale replica of the famous starship U.S.S. Enterprise from Riverside, Iowa and the Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit from Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
Bands schedule to participate in the Midnight Parade include the 129th Army Marching Band, Boyertown (Penn.) Alumni Marching Unit, the Nashville Suzuki Strings and Knoxville Pipe & Drum.
“This will be one of the most patriotic and colorful midnight parades that the City of Gatlinburg has ever produced,” according to Special Events Manager George Hawkins, who organized the first Gatlinburg 4th of July parade in 1976 in celebration of America’s Bicentennial. "We are very excited about the entire weekend of events, which will include a four-day festival highlighting our armed services!”
Additional weekend activities in downtown will include free admission concerts by the 129th Army Band, the Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit, Nashville Suzuki Strings, Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta unmanned floatable race, and a spectacular fireworks display.
For more information about the 35th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade, please call 800-56-VISIT (568-4748).