Gatlinburg Celebrates 41 Years Of 4th Of July Midnight Parade

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - by Marci Claude

Gatlinburg celebrated the 41st Anniversary of the 4th of July Midnight Parade in grand style. More than 70,000 people lined the Parkway for the mile long parade honoring US Veterans and military heroes. Entries came from as far away as Minnesota to march in the parade. The 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky also marched in the parade and provided patriotic concerts over the course of the holiday. 

During the parade, Gatlinburg visitors were entertained by elaborately decorated and lighted floats from local attractions and area businesses, community organizations, marching bands, local pubic safety agencies and more. The Litchfield Marching Dragons from Minnesota, the Baltimore Twilighters and the Baltimore Entertainers also marched in the parade along with featured floats, giant balloons and exotic cars.  

The River Raft Regatta, held at noon on Monday, July 4, was well attended, with more than 120 entries. Participants from Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky brought entries for racing on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. 

To wrap up the 4th of July festivities, visitors gathered in downtown Gatlinburg to enjoy a spectacular fireworks display just after dark. The 100th Army Band entertained visitors by accompanying the fireworks show.  

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Best Professional Float
1st - Ripley's Entertainment

Best Original Entry
1st - Dixie Stampede/Lumberjack Adventure
2nd - Cuzzin' Eddie's Toors
3rd - Ole Smoky Moonshine

Best Use of Lights
1st - Ripley's Entertainment
2nd - Litchfield Marching Dragons
3rd - Dixie Stampede/Lumberjack Adventure

Most Entertaining Float/Unit
1st - Litchfield Marching Dragons
2nd - Ripley's Entertainment
3rd - Kerbela Shriners

Best Marching Band
1st - Litchfield Marching Dragons
2nd - Baltimore Twilighters Marching Band
3rd - 100th Army Band


Oldest Entrant: Pauleen Green from Powder Springs, GA - 85 years old
Youngest Entrant: Abe Griswold from South Carolina - 1 year old

1st: Allen Bonar - Falmouth, KY
2nd: Jane Holman - Maumee, OH
3rd: Tracy Porter -  Genoa, WV

1st: Brett Bonar - Falmouth, KY
2nd: Andrew Addis - South Carolina
3rd: Alan Stuller - Milwaukee, WI

The Benniger Family

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