If you need the perfect excuse to visit the Smoky Mountains this summer, consider visiting around the Fourth of July holiday. Our nation’s founding is the perfect reason to enjoy an outdoor adventure filled with holiday events here in the area. Take a look at what your 4th of July in the Smoky Mountains getaway can look like.


48th Annual July 4th Midnight Parade

Now when you explore different cities to visit you are sure to find bold claims that say a city is the best in a certain activity. While some cities may be exaggerating their claims you will find that there is no lie when Gatlinburg claims to be the most patriotic city in the country when it comes to the 4th of July! For almost 50 years, Gatlinburg has hosted a dazzling display of patriotism with the annual July 4th Midnight Parade. This year will be the parade’s 48th annual year being celebrated and is getting close to the big half century tradition taking place in 2026.

The Midnight Parade kicks off at exactly midnight, making it the first Fourth of July celebration taking place in the country each year. The parade kicks off the festivities with a new Grand Marshal each year, with this year’s special host being the ACA Awards New Male Artists of the Year Nominee and GOLD Selling Country Music Artist, Conner Smith. He will usher in this patriotic tradition in red, white, and blue of course and make sure it is the biggest event yet.

The Midnight Parade is named year after year a Top 10 Parade in the US by National Geographic and is sure to wow your whole family. A congregation of festive floats that are decked out in decorations from top to bottom will make their way through downtown Gatlinburg along Baskins Creek Bypass. The parade will also feature marching bands playing patriotic tunes along with larger than life balloons and much more. While you may have to stay up late in order to catch the event seeing the 48th Annual July 4th Midnight Parade is sure to create lasting memories for you and your family.

Watch the fireworks in the Smoky Mountains

Meet and Greet with Conner Smith

Attendees of the 48th Annual July 4th Midnight Parade will also have the chance to attend a meet and greet with Conner Smith himself the day before on July 3rd over at Old Smoky Moonshine Holler. Starting at 2:00 PM this event will offer the chance for exclusive photos and autographs with the artist. The meet and greet will be offered on a first come first served basis so expect attendees to line up early for this hour long event. You can find Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler located at 903 Parkway over in Downtown Gatlinburg.

Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales

During the month of July, the Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales event will take to the streets again. This month long event is a street performance festival with daily performances from costumed musicians, dancers, and storytellers who all portray characters from a variety of time periods dating back to the 1800s. Downtown Gatlinburg hosts the street performance with daily performances taking place from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Since the event takes place across Downtown Gatlinburg you can experience it for absolutely free. Don’t miss out on this lively event that is sure to be a unique memory of your Fourth of July visit! You can also use this time to take a ride aboard the Gatlinburg Trolley that is always free from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day!

July 4th Fireworks Finale

No Fourth of July celebration is ever complete without a dazzling fireworks display to light up the night sky. End this year’s Fourth of July celebration by attending the July 4th Fireworks Finale taking place in downtown Gatlinburg. This stunning fireworks display will be launched from the Gatlinburg Space Needle and all of downtown Gatlinburg is a great viewing point to see the show. This fireworks show has been rated as a Top 20 event with the Southeast Tourism Society, ensuring a magnificent time. You will not want to be anywhere else at 11:00 PM on the Fourth of July here in Gatlinburg!


Get Ready for Your Summer Stay

Book your vacation rental with us today and find the most comfortable stay in town. Gatlinburg offers a truly stunning selection of unique events and activities across the Fourth of July celebration this year. Reach out today to reserve your Smoky Mountains vacation rental and see for yourself!