Festivities and fireworks- need we say more. Here's what Knoxville and the surrounding area has to offer for your 4th of July celebrations.
First Independence Day Parade in the Nation, Gatlinburg: This parade prides itself on being the first 4th of July Parade each year and for 43 years, it has done just that. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 4, the parade begins at Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway, turns south onto Parkway at traffic light number 3 before traveling the length of downtown to traffic light number 10 at Ski Mountain Road. Fourth of July festivities continue after the parade until 10 p.m.
Farragut's 31st Annual Independence Day Parade, Farragut: From 9:30 a.m. to noon on Independence Day, Fourth of July lovers will enjoy this traditional parade. The parade starts in the parking lot of Farragut High School and heads to Kingston Pike and ends at Boring Road.
Powell's 4th of July Parade, Powell: If midnight or 9:30 a.m. is too early, Powell will start their parade at 11 a.m. on the 4th. Hosted by Powell Business and Professionals Association, the parade will start down Emory Road at 11 a.m., beginning at Clinton Highway and ends in the brickyards in Powell. Following the parade there will be music, a splash pad, hot dogs, chips, water, cotton candy and “more” to go around at the Powell Station Park.
Museum of Appalachia Independence Day Celebration & Anvil Shoot, Clinton: For a bang that's different than the fireworks, check out these anvil shoots. Anvil shooting was very common in the past as rural individuals “shot the anvil” to celebrate the Fourth of July, Christmas and rumor has it Davy Crockett's election to the U.S. Congress. Gunpowder will litter the sky as shoots occur at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You can also watch a bell-ringing ceremony, flag procession, play old-fashioned games, listen to music and watch demonstrations from beekeepers, blacksmiths, and patriotic re-enactors. Get your tickets in advance here.
River Raft Regatta, Gatlinburg: One of Gatlinburg's most famous Independence Day events? The River Raft Regatta. The annual race sends unmanned floatables of every shape and size down the Little Pigeon River. The race starts at the Christ in the Smokies bridge at noon and ends once everyone's float has crossed the finish line at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. If you're interested in participating, check in starts at 10 a.m. and you can even enter a rented duck into the competition for $1. Proceeds benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation.
Celebration of Declaration of Independence, James White's Fort: If you're looking for a way to quietly show your respect for Independence Day, this is the event for you. A flag ceremony, a reading of the Signers of the Declaration and a short speech make this event one of the most peaceful observances of the holiday. The event is hosted by the Knoxville Chapter of The Sons of the American Revolution, The Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Children of the Revolution. The event is free, but donations are appreciated.
Market Square Farmer's Market, Knoxville: Local vendors and producers will open their stands for an open-air market on the 4th of July from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market will also offer special discounts from numerous merchants downtown. If you're looking for something different than the fireworks, parades and typical 4th of July festivities, this is for you.
FreedomFest, Alcoa: Music, food and activities will start at 6 p.m on June 30 for this festivity. LaFollette headquarted firework company Pyro Shows Inc. will provide the fire power for what has become one of the most popular Fourth of July events in the area. The show starts at 9:45 p.m. and will be choreographed to popular music ranging from patriotic to pop hits.
Festival on the 4th, Knoxville:Beginning at 4 p.m., live music from Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band Barry Jolly Pirates on the Patio, Stoney Point Bluegrass Band, Kendall Ray, and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will fill Market Square. The fireworks, launched off of the Henley Street bridge, will begin at 9:35 p.m. Kid friendly performances from Zoo Knoxville and Asian Festival Lion Dancers will take place at the amphitheater. A full schedule for the free event can be found here.
Oak Ridge:The Oak Ridge Community Band will kick off this fireworks show at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at dark, around 9:45 p.m., at A.K. Bissell Park. Attendees are expected to bring a lawn chair or blanket for outdoor seating.
28th Annual Patriot Fest, Pigeon Forge:Leading up to the fireworks at 9:45 p.m., music, food and games will fill Patriot Park. Craig Morgan is the event's headliner and performs at 8:30 p.m. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.