When I start planning what to do for the 4th of July, I want it to truly be an All-American experience. A parade, fireworks, a baseball game, more fireworks, a roller coaster ride or two, some shopping and good food. My family and I can find all of those activities and options for celebrating the red, white and blue in the communities in the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s so much to do that we’re literally going to have to start before the holiday to get everything in!
Tanger Outlets BIG 4th of July sale in Sevierville is so big that it actually takes five days and concludes on America’s birthday. There will be lots of extra savings on all kinds of great items in your favorite name brand outlet stores. You might want to check this link for the latest sales and coupon information. Be still, my bargain-hunting heart!
After shopping, you’ll want to spend the evening of July 3 in Gatlinburg, for the 42nd annual 4th of July Parade. What makes this event so great is that it steps off at 12:01 a.m., making it the first Independence Day parade in the U.S.! There are usually around 80,000 spectators there to honor our nation’s military and veterans and cheer on all the great bands and floats. But don’t just take my word for it. National Geographic Traveler magazine named this a “Top 10 Parade to see in the U.S.” and Livability.com called the parade one of the “Five Best 4th of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities.” It all starts at Traffic Light #1A on East Parkway in Gatlinburg and stretches more than a mile before it is finished. Arrive early to secure the perfect viewing spot along the parade route!
On the holiday itself, what’s more American than spending the day at a theme park TripAdvisor just named one of the Top 20 Theme Parks in the World? Dollywood, here we come! In between riding roller coaster and eating cotton candy and funnel cakes, we’re going to take some time during our day at the theme park to see our national symbol, the bald eagle, at Dollywood’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. Your family will enjoy the 20-minute Birds of Prey show as you learn about predators in the sky—including the majestic bald eagle. You need to then stick around for the park’s fireworks at 9:30 p.m. and take a last wild ride on the Wild Eagle or Lightning Rod roller coasters!
Time to get the sunscreen and sunglasses and make some holiday plans. And all the events happening in the Smokies don’t leave you with any reason not to celebrate the U.S. of A. on its July 4th birthday with a red, white and blue celebration!