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Going to Gatlinburg's 4th of July Midnight Parade? Here's what you need to know

People line the streets on both sides of the Parkway to get a good view. Organizers encourage people to get there early to get a good spot.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Nobody celebrates the 4th of July like Gatlinburg!

The city kicks off its Independence Day celebration with the nation's first and only midnight parade!

The tradition, which goes back 46 years, steps off at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 4 and travels through the main street of downtown Gatlinburg. 

The parade route begins at Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway, turning south onto Parkway at traffic light #3 and traveling the length of downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road. 

People line the streets on both sides of the Parkway to get a good view. Organizers encourage people to get there early to get a good spot.

If you are going to the parade or will be in the area Saturday night, here's what you need to know.

  • 6:45 p.m.: The Gatlinburg Police Department will close two southbound lanes of Highway 321/East Parkway from Food City to the Little House of Pancakes
  • 11:15 p.m.: all traffic on Highway 321/East Parkway, in both directions, will be stopped until the parade passes 
  • 11:30 p.m.: All northbound traffic on Hwy 441 will be re-routed from the National Park to the Gatlinburg Bypass
  • 11:40 p.m.: All traffic will be stopped throughout the parade route at 11:40 p.m. and will not resume until the end of the parade