holiday lights in gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade: What to Know and Expect

Nov 29, 2017

Want the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit? Take a visit to Gatlinburg! While you are there go see the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. The parade will be held on December 1st this year at 7:30pm. Here’s what you need to know:

Heading to the Parade

During the winter months Gatlinburg becomes a hot spot for weekend getaways. This makes Fridays busy travel days in the area, and the parade this year falls on a Friday. You should allow yourself extra time to get into Gatlinburg. At busy times of the day, especially late afternoons and closer to dinner time it could take you at least an hour to get into town.ripley's shark mascots on christmas parade float

Viewing the Parade

The parade will start at traffic light 1A, continues to light 3, and follows and ends at traffic light 10.  You’ll need to decide if you plan to sit or stand to watch the parade. If you don’t mind to stand you won’t need to come to Gatlinburg really early to stake out a spot. However, if you want to sit on a bench or in your own foldable chair you will need to claim a spot. Many people, either the day before the parade or early the morning of, will bring chairs of their own and tie them off in a section on the sidewalk to claim a space for viewing the parade. After that you are free to spend your day anyway you want until that evening.

Highlights of the Paradesanta claus on parade float

This year the Grand Marshall of the parade is Del Bryant, son of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, the writers of the song “Rocky Top.” This is to honor the song’s original penning 50 years ago. The Gatlinburg parade will also honor local law enforcement, emergency responders, and veterans. You will see jolly floats light up with lights, marching bands, balloons, and Santa Claus himself!

If you plan to hang out in Gatlinburg for the day until the parade starts, we have some suggestions so you can have a full day of fun!


Helpful tips for the parade:

  • Bundle up! Temperatures have started to really drop at night.
  • Budget about $10 for parking in Gatlinburg.
  • Leave plenty of time to get into Gatlinburg.

Want to have the best start to your Christmas holiday? Come stay with us a Parkside Cabin Rentals. After you watch the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade you can warm up in front of a fire in one of our cozy cabins. You can even enjoy some hot coco and watch Christmas movies with your family; create lasting holiday memories.