This year festivals, events, and all-American activities are being enjoyed once more and all is starting to feel right again. Christmas celebrations can start with pictures with Santa, Memorial Day parades are back in place, and the fireworks of July 4th are once again lighting up the skies and we at Great Smoky Mountains Cabin Rentals have never been happier! Our little corner of the American landscape is a bastion of patriotism and love for our country, something you will discover for yourself when you make your way to our all-American towns in the Smoky Mountains this year. Fall in love with Gatlinburg and wish that you never had to leave Pigeon Forge as you spend the long weekend (or an ENTIRE WEEK) exploring everything in Pigeon Forge for the 4th of July. Then follow up all the festivities with comfort and rustic style in our beautiful cabins where all the comforts of home will be found. This guide to the Pigeon Forge 4th of July in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains is filled with all the fun and excitement you need!
From the First Moments
July 4th is a really big deal in the heart of all Americans, celebrating the day we declared our independence and 246 years of beautiful freedom. Gatlinburg has been celebrating first every year since 1975 with the Gatlinburg Midnight Parade. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on the morning of July 4th, the festivities begin with a parade that has drawn tens of thousands of people from all over the world to our doorstep. Featuring patriotic floats, marching bands, and everything that makes a parade beloved by all who view it, our procession has become a really big deal, so be sure to plan ahead and arrive early enough to claim your spot in the crowd!
To the Final Hoorah
Gatlinburg’s Fireworks Finale fills the final moments of our favorite birthday celebration with all the color and excitement that is missing from your life the other 364 days of the year! Starting at 11 p.m., this 20-minute spectacular is a beautiful reminder of how lucky we all are to live here. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is where the party ends, with a crowd of people oohing, ahhing, and staring up into the night sky in moments to remember for years to come!
And all the Wonderful Moments in Between
Every hour of Pigeon Forge 4th of July is filled with as much fun and excitement as possible and the Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta is one more example of why you should spend your holiday with us. Starting at noon on the Little Pigeon River in downtown Gatlinburg, the vessels you see may not be quite what you were expecting. Instead of boats, the competitors in this race are little rubber duckies that visitors can rent for a chance to win prizes. Yes, this regatta is for the birds and if your rubber ducky wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any of the categories (Treasure, Duck, and Most Creative) the trophy you receive will be a fantastic reminder of your fun-filled visit to Gatlinburg!
But Wait, There’s More
The town of Pigeon Forge wants in on this party and is offering more than a few events guaranteed to please, adding to the wow factor of your fabulous Fourth fiesta! The Patriot Festival in Patriot Park (of course) offers everything that makes Independence Day fun, including music, food, games, and a 9:50 p.m. fireworks show that will speak to your soul. Josh Turner will be performing some of your favorite hits while the group Liquid Velvet covers the songs that you know all the words to by heart. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., The Sounds of Soul in the Smokies is the feature attraction at Steven Best’s Smoky Mountain Theater, ensuring that this night will be one to remember.
Blissful Ending to the Holiday
Coming home to your Smoky Mountains vacation rentals promises to be the most comfortable highlight of a great day. Sleep in a little later after staying awake for the Gatlinburg Midnight Parade and start the day with a delicious breakfast (strawberry and blueberry pancakes topped with whipped cream is always a patriotic favorite) created in our fully equipped kitchen, and end the day with a soak in the hot tub on the deck before falling into a deep sleep filled with happy dreams in our bedroom retreat. Reserve your favorite escape today!
Gatlinburg sits at the entrance of the Smoky Mountains National Park and is easily one of the most scenic destinations in Tennessee. Visitors flock from all over the US to take in the beautiful sights and enjoy the welcoming mountain town atmosphere. For your next 4th of July getaway, consider a vacation in Gatlinburg! The city is full of fun things to do and see all year long, but it truly comes alive in the summer to celebrate America’s birthday. From great fireworks shows to theme park fun, Gatlinburg has all the charm and excitement to make your Independence Day vacation amazing. Keep reading to find out our top picks for activities for the 4th of July in Gatlinburg 2021!
4th of July in Gatlinburg 2021 Midnight Parade
One of the most unique 4th of July traditions in Gatlinburg is the Midnight Parade! Local residents here are proud to boast the title of the “First Fourth of July Parade in the Nation” and this parade is unlike any other you’ll find. Beginning at midnight after the fireworks show, the parade attracts about 80,000 spectators a year and is full of patriotic floats that honor America’s history, military veterans and other heroes. Named by National Geographic Magazine as one of the top 10 parades in the USA, this is a must-see for anyone spending the 4th of July in Gatlinburg! This year’s official parade Grand Marshal is American Idol contestant EmiSunshine, an East Tennessee native whose talent has been featured at venues ranging from the Grand Ole Opry to the TODAY Show.
View the Fireworks Show at SkyLift Park
Of course, you can’t have a 4th of July celebration without a spectacular fireworks show! Luckily, Gatlinburg doesn’t disappoint, offering one of the best fireworks shows in the nation. Free to attend, and viewable from nearly anywhere in the city, this fireworks display soars over the city’s Space Needle, making for a great backdrop to the show. Fireworks begin around 10 p.m. but be sure to prepare in advance to get the best views.
Speaking of great views, although you could observe the fireworks show from anywhere in Gatlinburg, why not make the most of your stay and get VIP seats? For the biggest and best fireworks viewing party in Gatlinburg, head to SkyLift Park! SkyLift Park was the first four-season chairlift in the South and is a local landmark. Sitting directly across from and about 100 feet above the Space Needle, SkyLift is perfectly situated to offer amazing views of the fireworks display. Make a day of it by purchasing tickets to the park and spending some time exploring the SkyLift and SkyBridge. You’ll be stunned by the breathtaking natural views here during the day and be blown away by the fantastic views of the 4th of July fireworks at night!
Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta
In addition to the unique tradition of the Midnight Parade, Gatlinburg has another unique local annual event for the 4th of July: The River Raft Regatta. Taking place on the 4th, on the Little Pigeon River in downtown Gatlinburg, this creative competition is fun for both attendees and participants. Unmanned rafts float down the river, with prizes being awarded to the top 3 finishers for both categories of rafts: Trash (not hand-made) and Treasure (hand-made). Special prizes are handed out for the oldest and youngest participants, as well as Most Creative raft. You can also rent rubber ducks to enter the competition for $2 each or 3 for $5. The top 3 duckies will also receive trophies. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the race beginning promptly at 11 a.m. Whether you want to participate or just observe, this is a 4th of July event that you surely won’t forget!
Family-Friendly Events at Anakeesta
A favorite local destination in Gatlinburg is Anakeesta Park. This theme park offers thrills and attractions designed around the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains and is a fantastic place to visit during your 4th of July vacation. Enjoy nature walks, ziplines, obstacle courses, and a rollercoaster all with the background of amazing mountain views. In addition to this great year-round attraction, Anakeesta also hosts events on the weekends that make the park extra-special. On Friday evenings, enjoy a family-friendly movie night in the park. Free with your admission, the whole family can come along to enjoy the temperate summer mountain weather and watch a classic family film. They also offer live music shows on both Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer. Whether you want to spend a day of thrills in the park, or an evening relaxing for movie night, Anakeesta is a great place to spend some of your time for the 4th of July in Gatlinburg 2021!
Between beautiful mountain views, a unique list of local events, and of course a great fireworks show, Gatlinburg is the perfect Southern destination for an amazing 4th of July weekend! Celebrate America’s birthday with a fun getaway in Gatlinburg!
Contact us today to book your luxury stay for the 4th of July in Gatlinburg!