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Gatlinburg Independence Day celebrations go on as planned, Midnight Parade canceled

The city said the River Raft Regatta and the Fireworks Display will go on as planned along with other patriotic pop events throughout the day.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Gatlinburg held its annual Independence Day celebrations this year, but with a few changes.

The city said the River Raft Regatta and the Fireworks Display will go on as planned along with other patriotic pop events throughout the day. The Midnight Parade was canceled due to social distancing guidelines. 

RELATED: Gatlinburg cancels Fourth of July parade due to COVID-19 concerns

“Gatlinburg wants to be sure that we continue as many of our long-standing patriotic traditions as possible,” says Mark Adams, President/CEO Gatlinburg CVB. “We are encouraging everyone to be prepared for social distancing and healthy travel practices while celebrating the 4th of July in Gatlinburg.”  

New this year, the Fireworks Display was launched from the top of the Space Needle at 11:00 p.m., according to the city.

The River Raft Regatta has been a tradition for 44 years, and the city said visitors could still be able to set sail. 

The unmanned floatable race begins at 10 a.m. at Christ in the Smokies bridge. From there, racers set sail at Noon and conclude the competition at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies after all floatables have crossed the finish line.

Participants also have the option of entering the competition by purchasing a rubber duck for $2. Trophies are awarded in several different categories, according to the city.

For more information about Gatlinburg events, visit the city's events page on its website.

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