Veterans Day Celebration


November 11, 2017




Ripley's Aquarium Plaza

Join Gatlinburg in saluting America’s veterans of the Armed Forces, featuring stirring musical numbers and words of tribute on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza.

Gatlinburg Honoring Veterans on Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza Gatlinburg, TN (November 6, 2017) – Gatlinburg is formally honoring the valiant men and women who have served and are currently serving our country during this year’s Veterans Day Celebration on November 11 at 11:00 a.m. at the Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Day National Committee recognizes the ceremony, now in its 18th year, as an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day. The event is free to the public and will feature Major General Terry M. “Max” Haston as a keynote speaker.

Major General Haston began his military career as a Tank Platoon Leader for the 2/5 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. He would later go on to assume the duties of 7th Commander of Tennessee’s largest unit, the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and, in May 2005, was deployed as the Chief of Reserve Components, Multi-National Corps Iraq (XVIII Airborne Corps). Today, he is responsible for the supervision of the Military Department of Tennessee that includes the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and the Tennessee State Guard.

“We are honored to have Major General Haston as our speaker and excited to have so many other service men and women from other branches of the armed forces in attendance for the event,” said Mark Adams, President of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, “We use this commemorative day as a moment to step back and recognize and honor those who have sacrificed and dedicated their lives to protect our rights as citizens of the United States of America. We are truly proud to continually have this special ceremony in Gatlinburg.”

The event will feature musical entertainment by the Gatlinburg-Pittman High School Band and distinguished vocalists Lakieta Bagwell-Graves, who will perform the National Anthem. Likewise, special presentations will be made by the Gatlinburg Boy Scout Troop 111, Girl Scout Troop 20648, and Wings to Soar, which will commemorate the occasion with a demonstration of an American Bald Eagle. Gatlinburg Police Department Captain Jim Maples, a Vietnam veteran, will also present the POW-MIA Table/Invocation. This year the Master of Ceremonies will be WVLT anchor Alan Williams.

Looking for a special event or festival? Gatlinburg is the place to be. Whether you’re looking for arts and crafts shows, special concerts, food festivals, or holiday parades, Gatlinburg hosts a wide range of events in every season. Come join us for exciting celebrations throughout the year!