Preparations are underway for the Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade.

Gatlinburg announced that the Grand Marshals for the Midnight Parade will be the Firefighters, First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers who came to our aid in recognition of their heroic efforts during the 2016 wildfires.

In addition to the community floats, giant balloons and exotic cars, this year’s parade is loaded with new marching units from around the country including: USAF Honor Guard Marching Military Unit from Washington, D.C., the 129th Army Band from Nashville, Tennessee, the Lake City Tiger Marching Band from Minnesota, the Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile, Alabama, New Edition Legacy Marching Band from Maryland and others.

The 129th Army Band will hold a free concert on Monday, July 3 at 6 p.m. on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.

The festivities continue at noon on Tuesday, July 4 with the annual River Raft Regatta, an unmanned floatables race beginning at Christ in the Smokies Bridge on River Road and ending at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Bridge.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at Christ in the Smokies. The race is free and open to the public.