Top 5 Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge on July 4th

There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than the Great Smoky Mountains! We have several fun events going on to celebrate the country’s independence, and your whole crew will have fun at any of them! To help you make the most of your vacation, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge on July 4th:  

1. Gatlinburg 4th of July Parade

fireworks in the night sky

The people of Gatlinburg are so excited about July 4th they start celebrating at midnight! As soon as the clock strikes 12 am, the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation kicks off in the Smokies. Over 100,000 people attend every year, so it’s a good idea to come early!

The parade will start at traffic light #1A on East Parkway and pass by traffic light #3 on Parkway and traffic light #10 on Ski Mountain Road.

2. Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta

The fun continues in Gatlinburg with the annual River Raft Regatta. Visitors and locals alike will race rubber ducks and compete for great prizes. One duck is $2, or you can purchase 3 for $5. All proceeds go to the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation. Registration begins at 10 am at the bridge on River Road, and the race will start at 1:00 pm.

Competitors love to decorate their ducks in all sorts of creative ways, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to! However, there is a Most Creative Float competition! The rafts will float down from River Road to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

3. Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival

patriot park sign in pigeon forgeIf you love free music, then the Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival is for you! Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge is hosting a July 4th party featuring a kid’s carnival, food vendors, and great musical entertainment. Every year, there’s a concert with a few artists or bands to get the crowd pumped up before the firework show.

The festivities will start in the late afternoon. The Patriot Festival will end around 9:45 or 10:00 with an awesome fireworks display.

4. 4th of July Celebration at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

You can watch the Gatlinburg fireworks from the best seat in the house at the 4th of July Celebration at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park! You’ll be able to take in the incredible display from the SkyDeck, SkyBridge, or other section of the amusement park, and it’s a much better view than if you were on the streets of downtown Gatlinburg!

This is a special ticketed event, so you’ll want to get tickets to reserve your spot as soon as you can!

5. Gatlinburg Fireworks Finale

Red and yellow fireworks in the sky.Gatlinburg is serious about its fireworks. Designated a top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society, Gatlinburg’s Independence Day pyrotechnic display is unlike any other. Be sure to stay until the very end, because the finale gets better and better every year.

The fireworks start at 10 pm and are centered around traffic light #3, but they are visible anywhere around downtown Gatlinburg.

Where to Stay

Our vacation rentals are just minutes away from all of the amazing things to do on July 4th in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! With stunning mountain views, the very best amenities, and first rate customer service, Acorn Cabins has everything you need for a spectacular vacation. Visit our Gatlinburg Cabins page to find the perfect place to stay in the Smokies.