America's "First" Fourth of July Celebration Returns to Gatlinburg After Last Year's Cancellation

The city’s Fourth of July Midnight Parade will kick off at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 4.

Gatlinburg's famous midnight parade, America's "first" Fourth of July celebration, is back after last year's festivities were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city's award-winning Fourth of July Midnight Parade will kick off at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, and will honor first responders, U.S. Veterans, military heroes, and frontline healthcare workers.

Revelers can enjoy a parade of red-, white-, and blue-lighted floats weaving through downtown streets, a musical performance by the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky, and an appearance by Former American Idol contestant, EmiSunshine, who will serve as the celebration's official Grand Marshal.

Fourth of July Fireworks Over Gatlinburg, TN
Joshua Moore/Getty Images

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

The one-mile parade route begins at Baskins Creek Bypass and travels the length of downtown to Ski Mountain Road. Events continue through July 4, beginning with the River Raft Regatta, Gatlinburg's annual "unmanned floatable objects race."

The Fireworks Finale, which begins at 10 p.m., will mark a celebratory end to the weekend. With a spectacular display from the Gatlinburg Space Needle, spectators can view the fireworks from any vantage point in Gatlinburg.

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