Plan for Fourth of July Fun in East Tennessee

Picnics, barbecues, concerts, parades – everything goes off like a great big Roman candle on Fourth of July weekend in East Tennessee.

Events range from a Fireman’s Parade to a Pops concert on the banks of the Tennessee River.

Here are a few ways to spend your Independence Day holiday.

US Navy Float

Midnight parade in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Starts the Fourth of July FIrst 

The folks in Gatlinburg will make every minute count on July 4. At midnight, the parade’s grand marshal will begin the holiday parade, marking the very first 4th of July parade in the nation and setting into motion a full day of activities to pay tribute to the men and women in U.S. military services. The 572nd U.S. Air Force Band will play. Bagpipe players, decorated floats, large balloons, horses and military vehicles will be part of the parade. More than 100,000 people will line the route and stay in town because the evening fireworks spectacle is one of the largest in the area.

Celebrate with the Patriots of Pigeon Forge 

In Pigeon Forge, the July 4 Patriot Festival will feature Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and Hotel California, the Eagles Tribute band. Children’s activities begin at noon and musical entertainment starts at 1:30 p.m., all at Patriot Park. The booming finale will be a fireworks display to synchronized music.

Chattanooga Pops with Fourth of July Fun

The Pops on the River Concert will take place July 3 in Chattanooga. People are encouraged to bring a picnic to Coolidge Park and hear the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Orchestra. A fireworks show will come at the end of the performance.


Symphony orchestra in Knoxville

All the World’s a Fair in Knoxville 

Knoxvillians will gather at World’s Fair Park on July 4 for family entertainment and a performance of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. A fireworks show will bring the day to close. In Kingsport, the band Shenandoah will perform at 8 p.m. July 4 along downtown’s Broad Street. Fireworks will follow at dark. Cherokee Park in Morristown will be the setting for the annual Party in the Park, complete with band and fireworks show on July 4.

Small Towns, Big Celebrations 

In Huntsville, the fun begins on July 3 when the Huntsville Fire Department’s firefighters and friends turn the Courthouse Mall into a festival mall for foods and crafts. Local musicians will play favorite tunes. Activities continue the next day with a Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast, parade, children’s events and carnival rides. Fireworks go off at 10 p.m. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend.

Etowah’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at the L&N Depot will include a full day of entertainment, road race, family games, crafts, food concessions, beauty pageant, and fireworks display. In Spring City, fireworks will illuminate Watts Bar Lake with the annual Shake the Lake event on July 6.

And Now for Something Completely Different… 

On July 4, Chattanooga’s Creative Discovery Museum will sponsor a watermelon seed spitting contest as part of its Red, White & Blue Days. Families will gather for a giant picnic on the rooftop.

Gatlinburg’s River Raft Regatta is “limited” to anything that floats! The race begins at noon July 4. Prizes will be awarded in several categories.

The historic Anvil Shoot at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris keeps alive an old-time tradition. The July 4 celebration also features bluegrass and folk music, plus demonstrations of mountain crafts.


Pops concert in Chattanooga

 How are you celebrating America’s Independence? Share your celebration plans in the comments! 

Hi! I’m Linda Lange. As a travel writer living in Knoxville, I fully appreciate barbecue, bluegrass and Dollywood. My story...Read on

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