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Gatlinburg fireworks, parade: When, where, how to watch

WATE Knoxville logo WATE Knoxville 7/1/2022 Melissa Greene
Gatlinburg fireworks, parade: When, where, how to watch © Provided by WATE Knoxville Gatlinburg fireworks, parade: When, where, how to watch

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) - Freedom and fireworks take center stage in Gatlinburg this Independence Day with a parade and a spectacular fireworks show.

The annual fun begins at 12:01 a.m. as the nation’s first Independence Day parade gets underway through downtown Gatlinburg. The parade draws thousands of spectators who line the streets for the late-night event.

A patriotic concert with the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky will be held at 10 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

The annual River Raft Regatta will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday. All contestants will begin the day at the race's starting line at the former Christ in the Smokies Museum, beginning from 11 a.m. to register their floatable. The race begins at 1 p.m. and ends after all floatables have crossed the finish line at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

Gatlinburg parade route, start time

The parade steps off at 12:01 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 321 (East Parkway) and Baskins Creek Bypass, then travels south onto the Parkway at traffic light #3. The parade will make its way through town, ending at traffic light #10 at the Parkway and Ski Mountain Road.

Arrive early to avoid traffic. And be aware that most of the roads in town will be closed. Check the list.

The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade is HunterGirl, a runner-up on ABC’s American Idol. Read more about her.

How the National Park plans to improve traffic, safety on the Gatlinburg Spur while protecting wildlife

Gatlinburg fireworks

At 11 p.m., the sound of fireworks will reverberate through the mountains in a spectacular show. This year the fireworks will launch from the Space Needle, in the center of town.

You can see the fireworks from just about anywhere in Gatlinburg, but some of the best views are around traffic lights #3 and #5.

The fireworks will also be shown on WATE 6 news at 11 p.m. on Monday and streamed online at Find more July 4 events.

Gatlinburg Police are reminding residents and visitors that it is illegal to discharge fireworks within the city, per the Gatlinburg Municipal Code. This code covers all locations in Gatlinburg, including residential neighborhoods.

"We ask that all Gatlinburg citizens and visitors safely enjoy the Independence Day holiday and adhere to the City ordinance regarding the discharge of fireworks," said Gatlinburg Police Chief Randy Brackins. "There are several public events to enjoy and celebrate the Holiday and we ask that everyone arrive early to avoid traffic congestion for the parade on Sunday night and the fireworks display on Monday evening."

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