Academy of Country Music Award Winner and Grand Ole Opry Member Mark Wills to lead the event

Gatlinburg, Tenn. - Gatlinburg ushers in a time-honored holiday tradition, celebrating the 47th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Stepping off on December 2nd, the festive cavalcade will be led by country music star and Grand Ole Opry member, Mark Wills.

Multi-platinum selling artist Mark Wills returns to Gatlinburg for his second appearance. Last Fall, Wills headlined the Gatlinburg Chili Cook-off and Winter Magic Celebration with a tremendous performance featuring just a few of his sixteen Billboard charting hits such as “I Do (Cherish You), “Don’t Laugh at Me” and “19 Somethin’.” This year, the Academy of Country Music Award winner will lead the parade, ringing in the holiday season in Gatlinburg.

Additional celebrity guests have been announced, adding to a star-studded lineup for the annual Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade.

Acclaimed by CMT as one of the “Next Women of Country,” Hannah Dasher will appear in the annual seasonal parade. Dasher recently performed at the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration, entertaining guests, and visitors alike with her vivacious country sound. A rising star in Nashville, Dasher has opened for legendary artists such as Hank Williams Jr. Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Reba McEntire. Her breakout single “Girls Call The Shots” hit over 4 Million streams, receiving praise from renowned music publications, Rolling Stone and Billboard. Along with her musical successes, Dasher is also known for her larger-than-life personality on the “Stand By Your Pan” TikTok Series. The platform is followed by over 1.5 million and has received over 18 million likes, as Dasher entertains viewers through her cooking tutorials and musical performances.

East Tennessee native and country music singer/songwriter, Janelle Arthur will also add to the prestigious list of special guests appearing at Gatlinburg’s annual holiday tradition. Arthur’s roots are steeped deep in the Smoky Mountains, performing at venues across Sevier County. These include Country Tonite Theater and Dollywood, where she even portrayed a young Dolly Parton. The country star began her rise to fame, performing on American Idol, where she placed as a Top 5 Finalist. A nod to her roots, Arthur has released country hit “Hand Me Downs” featuring Dolly Parton, herself. She has also opened for renowned musical artists such as Blake Shelton, Justin Moore, and Chris Young.

The parade will step-off at 7:30 p.m. from Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway, illuminating downtown Gatlinburg with a festive line-up of parade floats decorated by local businesses, high school marching bands, and holiday balloons. The seasonal march spans through downtown before ending at traffic light #10. Paradegoers are encouraged to arrive early on the day of the event. For optimal viewing, spectators can purchase VIP Grandstand seats in the television zone at traffic light #3. Those purchasing tickets in Grandstand seating will also receive a Santa hat. Grandstand seats are sold out. 

The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is recognized as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.” The festivities will be broadcast Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on local television stations in over 50 markets throughout the United States, giving millions of Americans the opportunity to experience a magical Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Gatlinburg's Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade has been nominated for "Best Holiday Parade" by USA TODAY 10Best! If this is one of your favorites, vote today!