As Gatlinburg prepares for its annual midnight parade, it welcomed some special guests on Tuesday.
Several people connected with the Tuskegee Airmen will serve as grand marshals for the parade.
The city hosted a private reception, followed by a public meet and greet.
The World War II fighter pilot group will be honored during the Independence Day celebration.
"It's off the charts. First of all, we've never been involved with a night time parade like this before and the fact that people recognize who we are and that they are also paying homage to America's heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen," said Ron Spriggs, Tuskegee Airmen historian.
As many as 100,000 people are expected to watch the midnight parade. It's been a Gatlinburg tradition since 1976.