Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special members named Grand Marshals of Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Johnny and Donnie Van Zant, members of legendary rock bands Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special, will serve as the grand marshals of the Gatlinburg’s 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. 

The annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4. Sevier County is under a mask mandate, and everyone is asked to social distance if attending the parade.

Natives of Jacksonville, the Van Zant brothers forged separate paths in rock-n-roll history before coming together as their own act, aptly named “Van Zant.” Donnie co-founded 38 Special in 1974 and went on to write hits and serve as lead vocalist for the act until 2013.  Johnny is the lead vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, a role since 1987 after the groundbreaking act reformed following the tragic death of brother and original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. 

The band Van Zant took off in 1998 when Johnny and Donnie joined forces on what was slated to be a one-off collaboration, titled Brother to Brother. The positive reaction to the record convinced the duo to continue pursuing the project, and a follow-up recording, Van Zant II, was issued in early 2001. The duo’s first country album, Get Right with the Man, arrived in May 2005, followed by My Kind of Country in 2007.

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