The Smoky Mountain Region has all the 4th Fun!
Smoky Mountain Fourth Of July Celebrations. Celebrate the Fourth of July in these Smoky Mountain Communities!
Get a jump start on the Fourth with a midnight parade in Gatlinburg! The first Independence Day Parade in the nation has been held in Gatlinburg for more than 40 years. More than 80,000 spectators gather along the route awaiting the stroke of midnight which signals the beginning of an iconic small-town patriotic parade featuring bands, floats and special honors for the nation’s military heroes. This unusual parade time also provides attendees the opportunity to wish the first happy birthday to America!
Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta invites you to “float your boat!” Bring your best unmanned raft, or really anything that floats, and enter the annual holiday race on the Little Pigeon River. The race begins at 10 a.m. at the bridge at Christ in the Smokies on River Road and ends at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Three prizes will be handed out in two categories, Trash (not hand crafted) and Treasure (hand-crafted). Get your creative juices flowing and vie for the Judge’s Choice Award which will go to the most innovative craft. Trophies and prizes will also honor the oldest and youngest participants. For more information call 800-588-1817 or go to www.Gatlinburg.com.
Pigeon Forge’s American Patriot Festival includes music, food and fireworks! The American Patriot Festival and Fireworks in Pigeon Forge kicks off mid-day with music, great street food and kid’s activities and continues well into the night. The Kids Carnival and food vendors open at noon and live entertainment begins at 1:30 p.m. This year’s event is highlighted by an 8:30 p.m. performance by country music star, Craig Morgan, whose hit songs include “That’s What I Love About Sunday,’” “When I’m Gone,” and “This Ole Boy.” Other featured entertainers include the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus and special guests Electric Avenue. Free parking is available at the Pigeon Forge Municipal Parking Lot on Teaster Lane, located between the LeConte Center and the Island. Complimentary trolley rides provide shuttle service between the parking lot and run every 15-20 minutes beginning at noon. Handicap parking is available at Patriot Park. A fireworks spectacular is scheduled at 9:45 p.m.
Attendees are encouraged to bring lots of sunscreen (Patriot Park is an open venue) lawn chairs and blankets (no coolers, umbrellas or pop-up tents allowed) and enjoy an afternoon and evening of patriotic family fun-Pigeon Forge style!
· Noon – Gates open with a Kid’s Carnival and food vendors
· 1:30 p.m. – Live music
· 8:30 p.m. – Performance by country music star Craig Morgan
· 9:45 p.m. – Fireworks Display
Knoxville celebrates the fourth in “worldly” style. Knoxville, Tennessee Fourth of July celebration is scheduled at the World’s Fair Park and features a variety of entertainment and activities on the Festival Lawn that are guaranteed to please both young and old. The all-new Home Federal Bank Family Fun Stage will feature live entertainment from 4 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. and exciting interactive fun for the whole family takes place inside the Amphitheatre. The free festival begins at 4 p.m. and ends at the conclusion of the fireworks display at about 10 p.m.
Regal Kid Zone
4 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. paddle boats on the “Lazy River;” balloon artistry; mini golf; Legos byBricks 4 Kids; face painting and a variety of other entertainment.
· 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Asian Festival Lion Dancers
· 5:15 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. Zoo Knoxville’s Einstein and Friends
· 6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Children’s Musical Artist Dre Helton
· 7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Tim Pressley and his Amazing Magic Show
Festival Lawn Stage
· 4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Bary Jolly Pirates ( a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band) on the patio of the Festival Lawn Stage
· 5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Stony Grass Bluegrass Band
· 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Kendall Ray, a piano pop artist covering hits of Billy Joel and Elton John
· 8 p.m. The KSO’s 34th Free Pilot Flying J Independence Day Concert
* 9:35 p.m. Fireworks launched from Henley Street Bridge
What is more American than the Fourth of July, baseball and fireworks? The Tennessee Smokies plan an early celebration of America’s birthday on July 3rd when Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee features the Tennessee Smokies battling it out with the Chattanooga Lookouts. The evening’s event includes an Independence Day themed extravaganza. Videoboard graphics and music are on schedule, and the night ends with an amazing post-game fireworks display. The Tennessee Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the ten-team Southern League Smokies Baseball have entertained fans of the nation’s pastime for more than 100 years. For ticket information and the team’s schedule go to smokiesbaseball.com.
North Carolina communities schedule Fourth of July fun too!
Maggie Valley offers a big bang on the Fourth of July at its annual “Backyard Fourth”
Celebrate a traditional Fourth of July in beautiful Maggie Valley’s Festival Grounds. Gates open at 6 p.m. and guests are invited to bring blankets, chairs, picnic baskets and yard games to this alcohol-free event and kick back until “dark-thirty” for the explosive and colorful fireworks. For additional information, visit www.mggievalleync.gov.
Asheville’s downtown Pack Park is the place to be on the Fourth of July. Youth activities include bouncy houses, giant slides and slack lining lessons by Slack-Librium. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Bring your own picnic or opt for some of the gourmet food trucks and restaurants located nearby. Ample parking is available at nearby parking decks, on the street, or in private lots. No outside liquor, coolers or pets are allowed in the park.
* 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Crafts by LEAF Easel Rider and yard games, by Girl Scouts Peak to Piedmont (no wristbands required.)
* 6 p.m. – Splash Fountain opens, bring a swimsuit and prepare to get wet!
* 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Ultimate Air Dog competitions, an exciting event that tests dog’s diving, retrieving and swimming talents (for more information on the event go to ultimateairdogs.com.)
South Asheville, North Carolina
South Asheville invites you to come early and find the perfect site along beautiful Lake Julian. Relax and enjoy a day at the park which features picnic tables, grills, a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and boat rentals. Park at nearby Estes Elementary School on Long Shoals Road and enjoy a free daytime shuttle from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Due to large crowds, no pets are allowed at this festival.
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Lake Junaluska’s Fourth offers fun along the picturesque lake with and afternoon parade, food, music and fireworks.
· 11 a.m. parade
· 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. BBQ picnic
· 7:30 p.m. Lake Junaluska singers concert
· 9:30 p.m. fireworks
Bryson City North Carolina welcomes the fourth with Freedom Fest
Bryson City’s Freedom Fest begins with a Firecracker 5K run and continues throughout the day. Adults will enjoy the displays by more than 60 local artisans and crafters and kids will love the multiple bouncy houses. Bring your appetite and participate in the watermelon eating contest, or grab your best friend (the four-legged kind) and enter the “Strut Your Mutt” event at Riverfront Park. Ribbons will be awarded for “best tail wag” and “Looks Most like Owner.”
Multiple bands will help you rock away the evening which culminates with a spectacular fireworks show set to a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Freedom Fest Schedule of Events
Rotary International Firecracker 5K run begins at Swain County Administration Building on Mitchell St.
· 6:30 a.m. – 7:30. a.m. – registration
· Race begins at Riverfront Park on Everett Street
· 4 p.m. – Somebody’s Child – Americana
· 6 p.m. – Colby Deitz Ban – Rock and Roll
· 8 p.m. – Mountain Faith – Americana music, and a 2015 semifinalist on America’s got Talent and 2014 momentum Vocalist of the Year by IBWMA
· The National Anthem
For more information on Freedom Fest, call toll-free 800-867-9246
FRIENDLY FIREWORKS REMINDER: FIREWORKS AND OTHER PYROTECHNIC DEVICES ARE PROHIBITED ON ALL NATONAL GRASSLAND AND NATONAL FOREST LANDS YEAR-ROUND, REGARDLESS OF WEATHER CONDITIONS OR HOLIDAYS. VIOLATION IS PUNISHABLE AS A MISDEMEANOR BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN $4,500, OR IMPRISONMENT OF NOT MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, OR BOTH.
Happy Independence Day, America! Fireworks are shown from the 2005 celebration at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)