Every year my family and I go somewhere new for the 4th of July. We always check the list of top places for the year and pick off of that. Every place brings us new adventures and this year it was Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We have never had a vacation in the mountains so, I was excited for the new change that awaited us. Something else exciting is that it was the first time vacationing with a baby. Taking a month old baby boy on an 8 hour car ride, then in the heat for a week away from home made me so nervous. It ended up being a great trip! So, what is there to do for the holiay is what you may be asking yourself, since I mean that is why you are reading this to begin with.
Gatlinburg's Fourth Of July Midnight Parade
This year it was cancelled from the rain but, I still found it very interesting and decided that I wanted to include it. For 44 years Gatlinburg has started off the Fourth of July at 12:01 a.m. with their annual parade. We actually saw people who had their chairs and blankets set up the morning of the third all lined down the streets. We had the chance to talk to some residents and they go to the top of the mountain to watch the parade from the highest view. I honestly thought that was quite cool and I am bummed I missed out. Where else can you see a midnight parade?
Gatlinburg's River Raft Regatta
I've never been to a river raft regatta. I honestly have never even heard of one before this. We found out about the regatta the day before which was quite interesting. If you don't know
what a river raft regatta is, well it is a race where anything that floats can try to make it to the end before anything else. Gatlinburg's river raft regatta allows you to enter anything that floats into the contest and however many objects you want. They have rubber ducks you can rent to enter the race. All the money that they collect from renting out ducks, as well as tips all go to buying bear trackers. What is so special about these trackers? They put them on the bears to keep track of them, watch their movements to see how far they travel, and see how these bears live. At the end of the regatta they offer prizes for different categories. I did not win because, we went to walmart the night before to make our boats but, I am very proud of those who participated. The most important thing to know ahead of time is how creative the contestants are, so build big and bold boats!
Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival
This was Pigeon Forge's 29th annual patriot festival located at Patriot Park. The event takes place on July 4th every year. The event started at 2pm with a kids carnival and food vendors. Live entertainers filled the day with entertainment and music. When the sun goes down is when the real show comes to life. Patriot Park is a great place to watch the fireworks even if you don't come to see the entertainment. From where the park is you can see the fireworks from Dollywood then you get to see more fireworks from the festival. Many other people took their chairs and blankets, laid them down on the side of the road and empty parking lots to view the fireworks.
FESTIVAL TIPS: Be sure to bring a blanket or chair to sit down. Make sure that you do have headphones for babies and small children.
*** All photo's are property of Britt's Creative Crafts. We were not paid to write this article. All information is based on my nonbiased opinion. ***