40,000 welcome the New Year in Gatlinburg

40,000 welcome the New Year in Gatlinburg

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Thousands said farewell to 2013 and ushered in the New Year Tuesday night in Gatlinburg. Thousands said farewell to 2013 and ushered in the New Year Tuesday night in Gatlinburg.
Officials estimate nearly 40,000 people packed the streets this year. Officials estimate nearly 40,000 people packed the streets this year.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

GATLINBURG (WATE) - Thousands said farewell to 2013 and ushered in the New Year Tuesday night in Gatlinburg.

"Everybody, it's crowded and its hard to move around but it's fun because you get to see fireworks," said Kristy Coker.

It was a sight out-of-town visitors just couldn't believe.

"We usually come in the summer, this is the first time we've come this time of year and wow the lights are beautiful. There are so many people, I've never seen so many people here," said Susan Gifford.

No matter where you looked, someone was sporting festive gear. 

"My little partner in crime here got them for us, and we like to stand out, and we're here to celebrate," said Yvonne Crist about her New Year's gear.

Businesses like the Fudge Shoppe were happy to see the rush of people.

New Year's Eve celebrations are the second biggest day in sales for the year.

For others, stopping in Gatlinburg is more of a family tradition, and the countdown to midnight means so much more.

"Just a new beginning I guess, a new year, a fresh start," said John Duran.

Officials estimate nearly 40,000 people packed the streets this year.

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