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7 Incredibly Fun Things To Do in Gatlinburg This Summer

Source: City of 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 of the 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. Here’s a few of our favorite:

  • July 4 parade (1)

    July 4 parade (1)

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


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.

  • 4th-of-july-fireworks-gatlinburg


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-tales-summer-gatlinburg-gcvb

    smoky-mountain tunes-tales-summer-gatlinburg-gcvb

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.

  • Smoky Mtn Craft Show

    Smoky Mtn Craft Show

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.

  • songwriter-fest-gatlinburg


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.

  • summer-trolley-gcvb


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 www.Gatlinburg.com/events.

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