Gatlinburg Midnight Parade
Jun 09, 2013
July 3, 2013
We have such a competitive spirit about everything in America – even parades. Everyone wants to be the biggest, the best, the longest, etc. Well, the city of Gatlinburg, TN is no different. They are arguably one of the top 10 vacation cities in the USA. But here is something no one can argue about: Gatlinburg ALWAYS has the first 4th of July parade in the USA. How do they do it? They start at the stroke of midnight July 3rd and just carry right on into July 4th! And this year will be no different!
Beginning at, well, midnight, Gatlinburg’s 38th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade will kick off at traffic light #1a on the East Parkway, turn south onto the Parkway at traffic light #3, and end at traffic light #10. I tell you this because some 100,000 people watched the parade last year, which means you will want to arrive early and stake out a great spot to get a good view of all the festivities. And when I say early, I don’t mean 11pm. People have been known to set up their lawn chairs along the route as early as 7am!
This year Gatlinburg has chosen to honor the men and women in the armed services, with a special salute to Women Veterans and Other U.S. Heroes. Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder of the TN Department of Veterans Affairs and members of the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20 from Nashville will be representing the Women Veterans. Marching alongside them, or driving vintage military vehicles, will be the 572nd U.S. Air Force Band, and members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Of course the parade will also be filled with rousing marching bands playing all the patriotic music we associate with America’s birthday, decorated floats that will light up the night, horses, giant balloons, bagpipes, fire engines, and well, just everything that makes up a parade!
So, don’t be late to America’s first birthday parade this year, come on up to Gatlinburg for the Midnight Parade!
By Doug Shanks a Smoky Mountain blogger and writes about things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Area interests include hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, shopping, and family fun.