July 4th events you don’t want to miss in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg 2020

SkyLift Park's SkyBridge (photo courtesy of SkyLift Park)

SkyLift Park's SkyBridge (photo courtesy of SkyLift Park)

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July 4th in the Smokies might look a bit different this year after concerns over the coronavirus lead to the cancellation of Gatlinburg’s annual Fourth of July parade and Patriot Park celebrations in Pigeon Forge. However, there are still plenty of fun ways to celebrate and a variety of fun events to attend. 

In honor of the big day, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations in the Smokies including Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. 

Many of the following events are free. Some events require tickets and reservations. Book early when space is limited as some of these events may sell out.

If you have an event that you’d like to add to our list, contact our editor at info@thesmokies.com for consideration.

1. Gatlinburg 4th of July Fireworks Finale

When the sun goes down, the city lights up with a grand Independence Day fireworks display. The fireworks are launched from the top of the Space Needle in Downtown Gatlinburg. 

The event begins with the 100th Army Band performing at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza beginning at 9pm. Fireworks begin at 11pm. Admission is free.For more information visit Gatlinburg.com.

2. Pigeon Forge 4th of July Fireworks Display

While the festivities in Patriot Park have been cancelled for 2020, the annual firework display in Pigeon Forge will still go on. 

Fireworks begin at 9:30pm. Drive-in participation is recommended. 

The free concert headlined by Clint Black has been rescheduled for July 3, 2021. 

For the latest information about this event visit PigeonForgeChamber.com.

3. Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta

This free, fun-filled July 4th celebration features an annual highly competitive race of unmanned floatables down the Little Pigeon River. 

Contestants may register their floatable at the starting line at the Christ in the Smokies bridge at 10am. 

The race kicks off at noon and ends after all floatables cross the finish line at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. 

New this year, contestants can rent a rubber ducky and enter it into the competition. Rubber Ducky’s rentals start at $2 each, or $5 for a pack of three. Competitors may also choose to bring their own at no cost. 

For more information visit Gatlinburg.com.

4. Anakeesta’s Red, White and Brew Celebration

Anakeesta kicks off their 3rd annual Red, White and Brew 4th of July Celebration with ice cold beer and some of the best views of The Smokies you’ll find in Gatlinburg. 

This two-day event kicks off on Friday, July 3 with food and beverage specials, glitter tattoos (for the kids, and the kids at heart) and live music both days starting at 1pm.

On July 3, guests will be treated to an outdoor movie featuring the 2019 remake of The Lion King beginning at 8:30pm.

This event will conclude with the Gatlinburg Fireworks show at 11pm on July 4.

We strongly suggest getting a front row seat at the Cliff Top Grill and Bar for the fireworks, and grabbing that seat early. It’s going to be a popular viewing spot. 

Event access is included with the price of admission.

For more information visit Anakeesta.com.

SkyLift Park's SkyBridge July 4 celebration is likely to sell out - if you plan on attending we suggest purchasing your tickets early. (photo courtesy of SkyLift Park)
SkyLift Park’s SkyBridge July 4 celebration is likely to sell out – if you plan on attending we suggest purchasing your tickets early (photo courtesy of SkyLift Park)

5. SkyBridge Fourth Of July Celebration

Celebrate the 4th of July at the biggest fireworks viewing party in Gatlinburg at SkyLift Park’s SkyBridge. 

This is a ticketed event and will be sold separately from regular admission tickets. Tickets are $59 per person and include event access at 8 pm on July 4 plus an all-day return pass for July 5. 

The SkyBridge is located directly above the Gatlinburg Space Needle and offers one of the best views in town, far away from the crowds below. There isn’t a bad seat in the house at the SkyBridge.

Early access begins at 8pm. Festivities begin at 10pm with live music, food and drink specials and commemorative photos. 

Event access is limited and is likely to sell out, so we highly suggest you book this one early if you plan on attending. 

Learn more at GatlinburgSkyLift.com

Dollywood's Fireworks been at 9:30pm every night during their Summer Celebration. (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
Dollywood’s Fireworks been at 9:30pm every night during their Summer Celebration. (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

6. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration

Technically, Dollywood’s Summer Celebration event isn’t a July 4th exclusive – BUT it’s still a great way to celebrate Independence Day.

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration runs from June 20 to August 2 and includes extended hours and nightly fireworks. 

If you’ve never been in the park after dark, having the opportunity to ride their award-winning roller coasters at night is a real treat. 

The fireworks show begins at 9:30pm and we highly suggest heading over to Timber Canyon for the best viewing spot.

For more information visit Dollywood.com.

However you celebrate, please stay safe and adhere to the CDC’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.


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