Latest Info about the Parade
Tree Lighting Ceremony:
City officials will host a grand illumination ceremony of the Gatlinburg Christmas Tree at 7:25 pm on the Parkway Plaza at Traffic Light #3.
The Parade route begins at Baskins Creek By-Pass, travels to Traffic Light #3, turns south onto the Parkway, and ends at Traffic Light #10.
Lane Closure Information:
Outbound lane closures will begin approximately at 4:30 p.m. when all U.S. Route 321 traffic will be switched to one lane on the outbound side to make room for float staging. The inbound lane will shut down approximately at 6:50 p.m. All traffic along the parade route will shut down approximately at 7 p.m.
As always we would ask that people be aware of their surroundings and vigilant about personal safety. Officers and EMS will be posted throughout the parade route and available for assistance if needed.
Star-studded Parade Line-up Includes Music and Television Celebrities
The Budweiser Clydesdales will lead off the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade on December 3, 2021, ushering in the 46th annual holiday tradition. The star-studded parade line-up also includes country music star Canaan Smith and BBQ Pitmasters star, Myron Mixon.
The iconic Budweiser Clydesdale team features eight horses pulling the famous red, white, and gold beer wagon carrying two traditionally clad drivers and a Dalmatian coach dog. Originally a gift from sons to father to commemorate the end of prohibition, the horse-drawn beer wagon has become an iconic symbol of Anheuser-Busch for more than 80 years. The team travels ten months of the year, thrilling spectators with their larger-than-life presence.
Platinum selling artist-songwriter Canaan Smith returns to Gatlinburg for his second appearance, this time at the parade. Last spring, Smith held a concert in Gatlinburg to premiere the release of his sophomore album High Country Sound on April 2, 2021. Four-time world barbecue champion and star of the TV series BBQ Pitmasters, Myron Mixon, will also make an appearance in the parade. Known as the “Winningest Man in Barbeque,” Mixon is a New York Times bestselling-cookbook author, television personality and entrepreneur.
“The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade has thrilled tens of thousands of spectators for 46 years,” says Marci Claude, Public Relations Manager, Gatlinburg CVB. “Year after year, we strive to create a better parade. I don’t think our visitors this year will be disappointed!”
Beginning at 7:30 p.m. from Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway, a spectacular parade line-up of balloons, floats decorated by local businesses and community groups, and high school marching bands, spans through downtown before ending at traffic light #10. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early on parade day.
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 100 markets throughout the United States, giving millions of Americans the opportunity to experience a magical Smoky Mountain Christmas.
More Seasonal Events
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales
WHEN: Nov. 26 - Dec.18
WHERE: Downtown Gatlinburg
Through the holiday season, visitors can meet characters and storytellers and enjoy caroling along the Parkway on Friday and Saturday evenings during this annual event!
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show
WHEN: Dec. 31
WHERE: Historic Nature Trail
Countdown to 2022 in downtown Gatlinburg at the Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. At the stroke of midnight, fireworks will blast off the rooftop of the 400-foot-tall Space Needle, accompanied by special music and a rhythmic LED light display. Many restaurants and businesses will be offering celebration specials in honor of the new year. The event is free to the public.