GATLINBURG, Tenn. – The season of summer fun has arrived in Gatlinburg, and it comes with no shortage of can’t-be-missed activities for the whole family like live entertainment, outdoor adventure, and award-winning festivals.
Back for another consecutive season, Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales 6 p.m. every night June 22-Aug. 11 features costumed performers along Gatlinburg’s Parkway, sharing the music and tales that have existed in the Smoky Mountains since the 1800s.
Gatlinburg’s award-winning Fourth of July Midnight Parade steps off at the stroke of midnight with an all new lineup of entertainment, performers and stunning floats. Famed as the nation’s first Independence Day parade, the Fourth of July Midnight Parade has garnered much national attention for its early celebration of America’s freedom. During the day on July 3, visitors can enjoy performances from the 100th Army Band. Festivities continue through July 4 with the River Raft Regatta and a firework show starting at 10 p.m.
Participants in the River Raft Regatta race can register their floatables at the Christ in the Smokies Bridge beginning at 10 a.m. From there, racers will set sail at noon and conclude the competition after all floatables have crossed the finish line at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This year eventgoers can enter a rented rubber duck into the competition (or bring their own at no cost) for $1. All proceeds go to the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation.
Arts and crafts lovers can explore more than 180 booths filled with items made by many of America’s most talented crafters at the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair held July 13-22 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Artists and craftsmen will be on-hand to demonstrate their skills, answer questions and sell their works of art at this juried exhibition.
The excitement continues with Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug. 13-22, a free event with a smashing musical lineup of artists playing at various live venues throughout downtown. A weeklong celebration of Appalachian musical roots, Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival includes songwriting competitions and workshops for aspiring artists of all genres.
Exploring Gatlinburg in the summer has never been easier with the help of the free Parkway open-air trolley service, happening exclusively 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 16-Aug. 15. All shuttles are handicapped accessible and stops extend from Traffic Light #1 to Traffic Light #10 along the Parkway route. For more information, visit www.gatlinburgtrolley.org.
For more information on these events and others, visit www.gatlinburg.com/events.
Marci Claude, Public Relations Manager
Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mobile: 865- 964-1282