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Gatlinburg's midnight parade ushers in Fourth of July celebrations

EmiSunshine, a rising country music star, will lead the parade honoring first responders, veterans and frontline healthcare workers.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A full day of events is scheduled in Gatlinburg, starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning with a parade led by a rising country music star.

Officials said that EmiSunshine, an American Idol contestant, will lead it as Grand Marshal. She is an East Tennessee native who was showcased on season 19 of American Idol after she previously performed at the Grand Ole Opry and several national television shows.

The 46th annual parade is meant to honor first responders, veterans and frontline healthcare workers. Floats decorated in red, white and blue will parade through the downtown area along with a marching musical performance from the 100th Army Band.

People can line the streets on both sides of the Parkway to get a good view. Organizers also encourage attendees to arrive early to get a good spot.

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. 

The celebration, which goes back 46 years, changed a little in 2020. The midnight parade was canceled due to social distancing guidelines, but the River Raft Regatta and the Fireworks Display went on as planned.

Watch the parade:

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Posted by Visit Gatlinburg on Tuesday, June 29, 2021