4th of July Midnight Parade
Gatlinburg celebrates the 4th of July in a big way and this year will be no exception.
For 44 years, Gatlinburg has kicked off the holiday with the 4th of July Midnight Parade stepping off at 12:01 a.m. on July 4. Stretching more than a mile, the parade route begins at Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway, turning south onto Parkway at traffic light #3 and traveling the length of downtown to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road. Parade goers are encouraged to arrive early on Wednesday, July 3 in order to secure the perfect viewing area along the parade route.
Kellie Jolly Harper Grand Marshal for 4th of July Midnight Parade
Current head coach of the Lady Volunteers, Kellie Jolly Harper, will serve as grand marshal of Gatlinburg’s 44th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade. Only the third Lady Vol head coach in the NCAA era of women’s basketball.
A native of Sparta, Tenn., Harper was a point guard for the legendary Pat Summitt at UT from 1995-99, playing 132 games and helping the Lady Vols win NCAA National Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Coach Harper’s 15-year coaching career boasts numerous victories and the honor of being one of only 11 coaches to lead three different women’s programs to NCAA Tournament appearances. Learn more about Kellie here.
The Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade 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 and was named a Top 20 Event for 2016 by Southeast Tourism Society.