* Harlem Globetrotters will be the Grand Marshals of Gatlinburg’s 49th Annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade *
The Mountains Are Balling
Exciting News! Ringing in the ﬁrst Independence Day celebration in the nation, members of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters will lead the 49th Annual Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade. The newly announced Grand Marshals will kick oﬀ a spectacular line-up of red, white, and blue ushering in the patriotic holiday.
Changing the scope of the All-American sport for nearly a century, the Harlem Globetrotters have been inﬂuential in challenging and breaking barriers in the sport of basketball as well as setting record-breaking feats. The team is famous for astounding displays of athleticism, including the legendary Harlem Globetrotters 4 Points Shot. Today, the team holds 21 world records relating to the sport. The team has received praise from world leaders for their charitable eﬀorts and worldwide presence of goodwill. The Harlem Globetrotters entertain millions with top-tier family entertainment and continue to inﬂuence and advocate for social change, equality, and community involvement.
Stepping oﬀ at 12:01 a.m. on July 4, the parade named as one of the “Top 10 Parades to see in the US” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, will march through downtown Gatlinburg, beginning at the Baskins Creek Bypass located on East Parkway. Festive ﬂoats decorated in sparkling fashion will line the Parkway featuring patriotic marching bands, larger-than-life balloons, and more.
The festivities continue on the 4th with the River Rag Regatta, a holiday tradition for many, beginning at 11 a.m. at the former Christ in the Smokies Museum parking area. Visitors can decorate their boats in whimsical or traditional décor, before setting sail along the Pigeon River. The race will begin at 1 p.m. and will end when all ﬂoatables have crossed the ﬁnish line at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Event goers can also purchase a rubber duck to participate in the competition for $2 or 3 for $5 at event registration.
Rounding out the festivities with a bang, is Gatlinburg’s Fireworks Finale. Visitors and locals alike will get a fantastic show, light up the night sky from the Gatlinburg Space Needle. The show is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to ﬁnd parking and avoid road closures. The event will begin at 11 p.m.
The First Independence Day Parade in the Nation has garnered national attention and award recognition for excellence in entertainment. The parade has been named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as a “Top Ten Parade to see in the US” and recognized by Livability.com as one of the “Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities.” Additionally, the event has earned multiple Grand Pinnacle Awards by the International Festivals and Events Association.