It was a festive Red, White, and Blue celebration in Gatlinburg early Thursday morning. At the stroke of midnight, the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation stepped off.
"Our parades are always at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. They've (the kids with her) never seen floats lite up it's a different experience to do it at midnight," said Evelyn Colbert of Ohio.
The rain held off long enough for tens of thousands of people to line the streets of Gatlinburg. Marching bands, floats, and large balloons took onlookers back to the roots of American independence. More than 100 units from attractions to military veterans took part in the 38th annual event.
For many families, the parade has become a family tradition. Many of those attending for the first time said they hope this will become a yearly event for them.
This year, it honored women veterans and families.