Nation’s “first” Fourth of July parade to return to Gatlinburg

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – America’s “first” Fourth of July celebration, Gatlinburg’s midnight parade, is a go this year after the 2020 edition was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

The parade kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on the Fourth. If you’ve never been, there are always elaborate floats, balloons, and patriotic displays. The 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky will commemorate the holiday with a musical performance.

Former American Idol contestant, EmiSunshine, will lead the festivities as the official Grand Marshal of Gatlinburg’s annual parade.

“We are delighted to gather together again as a community to enjoy this extraordinary tradition,” says Mark Adams, CEO/President of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This is a special year, and we are very grateful for every person involved in making this a successful event.”

The city has all sorts of fun in store for the fourth, and its grand finale is a firework show
scheduled for 11 p.m. that night.

The parade route begins at Baskins Creek Bypass and travels the length of downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road. Parade goers are encouraged to arrive early on Wednesday, July 3, to secure a place to watch the Midnight Parade along the Parkway.

The midnight parade was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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