Summer Fun Kicking Off in Gatlinburg

The season of summer fun has arrived in Gatlinburg and it comes with no shortage of activities for experiencing the best of the season. With everything from family-friendly offerings, outdoor festivals, to award-winning Fourth of July celebrations on the agenda, there is something to satisfy every visitor looking for the perfect escape.

“Gatlinburg is a be-all and end-all destination for unearthing summer’s greatest opportunities for adventure, relaxation and memory-making,” said Marci Claude, Public Relations Manager Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re excited to host a number of events that not only allow our visitors the chance to celebrate all that the season has to offer but create opportunities for connecting with Gatlinburg businesses, attractions and cultural amenities.”

Gatlinburg’s Summer calendar is packed with seasonal activities and events that will leave visitors with vacation memories not soon forgotten:

  • Fourth of July Midnight Parade – 12:01 a.m., July 4, 2019
    • Known as the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation, Gatlinburg’s Fourth of July Midnight Parade promises to be a spectacular summer celebration filled with marching bands, floats and patriotic fun. Current head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, Kellie Jolly Harper, acts as Grand Marshal.
  • River Raft Regatta – July 4, 2019
    • Visitors are invited to enjoy a fun, unmanned, floatable object race at Christ of the Smokies bridge. Free registration begins at 10 a.m. with the race beginning at noon and ending at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies bridge. Trophies are awarded in several different categories.
  • Gatlinburg’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show – 10 p.m., July 4, 2019
    • When the sun goes down Gatlinburg lights up Independence Day with a grand fireworks display. The 129th Army Band performs at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza beginning at 9 p.m. and leading up to the fireworks finale.
  • Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales - June 21 – August 3, 2019
    • The walkable streets of Gatlinburg become a live stage during the city’s summer-long performance festival. Visitors will enjoy meeting costumed storytellers, musical ensembles and cloggers portraying Appalachian characters from time periods as far back as the 1800s along the Parkway daily from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair – July 12 – 21, 2019
    • Arts and crafts lovers can enjoy over 200 booths featuring some of the country’s finest handmade items. Opened daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, artisans and craftspeople demonstrate their skills, answer questions and offer their unique art for sale.
  • Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival – August 11-18, 2019
    • Celebrating the area’s rich musical heritage, Gatlinburg’s week-long musical festival summons songwriters from around the world to compete and share their craft in the city’s downtown venues.
  • Free Parkway Trolley – June 15 – August 10, 2019
    • Offering free transportation throughout the summer, Gatlinburg’s iconic open-air trolley offers the best and most affordable way to explore the city’s festive happenings. Alternative routes throughout Gatlinburg cost as little as $2 for an all-day pass.

For more information on Gatlinburg and its upcoming events, visit

Source: City of Gatlinburg