Sevier County Has Plenty to Offer for 4th of July

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Gatlinburg, Sevier County (WVLT) - Sevier County is getting ready for a very busy Fourth of July, as tourists from all over, converge on a slew of festivities.

There will be plenty of professional fireworks shot in the next couple of days in the county, a parade at midnight and something new this year, a civil war battle reenactment.

Officials in Gatlinburg are gearing up for their annual Fourth of July downtown parade that's now in its 32nd year. It's a little unusual because it starts Wednesday at midnight.

"We decided the only time we could do a parade was at night time when the traffic thinned out so 32 years ago we started. It was a success and has been ever since then,” says Gatlinburg Special Events Director George Hawkins.

Hawkins says approximately 120 floats will go through downtown and take an hour and a half.

On the Fourth, just down the road in Pigeon Forge, they're gearing up for an afternoon full of music. But after 17 years it won't be the typical country artists on stage.

Pigeon Forge Tourism Director Leon Downey says they're hoping pop music will change things up just a bit. "We realize that we are going to attract a lot of different people than we would normally have which is what we're all about is attracting new visitors to Pigeon Forge."

The day is also bringing something new to Gatlinburg.

"Very few people know that there actually was a war fought here called the Battle of Burg Hill,” says Gatlinburg Special Events Coordinator Jon Elder.

150 Union and Confederate reenactors are expected to go to battle, which historically was more of a skirmish.

"It was kind of a draw. Nobody really left with large casualties, but they did skirmish with each other and they both went on their way,” Elder explains.

Gatlinburg officials say their fireworks show lights up the downtown skyline Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m..

If you're wanting to go to the Battle of Burg Hill, it will be Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.

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