With less than a week until the 4th of July, many Independence Day festivities begin this weekend. Check out this list of ways to celebrate America’s independence.
Dolly’s Night of Many Colors
Dollywood offers the opportunity to see festive fireworks way before the big day. Dolly’s Night of Many Colors began on June 22, and the nightly show runs until August 4.
The show, which is synchronized to music, is free with day’s admission. Some of the best spots to watch the show include Timber Canyon, in front of Grandstand Cafe, Adventures in Imagination and in front of the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame.
Celebrate on June 29 in Alcoa, Lenoir City
Freedom festivities will begin at 1 p.m. at the Lenoir City Park for Rockin’ the Docks, located at 6707 City Park Drive. Free music and activities will be provided, with food and drink vendors selling refreshments and snacks. Fireworks are expected to be over by 10:30 p.m.
Alcoa’s FreedomFest will start at 6 p.m. at the City of Alcoa Duck Pond. Just with Rockin’ the Docks, live music and activities will be available for free, with food and drink being the only cost. Fireworks are expected to be over by 11 p.m.
Attend the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation, stick around town for more events
If you want to attend the first 4th of July parade to happen on July 4, make sure you’re in Gatlinburg at 12:01 a.m. For over 40 years, the parade has marched through downtown Gatlinburg at the stroke of midnight.
Parade floats depart from Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway before turning downtown for one mile. The parade concludes at Ski Mountain Road.
The Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta is the next activity scheduled for the Great Smoky Mountain area. Registration begins at 10 a.m. for the race, with the race starting at 12 p.m. The race starts at the Christ in the Smokies bridge and the finish line is at Ripley’s Aquarium. Rubber ducks can be sent down the rive for a $1 donation to benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation.
Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, located at 186 Old Mill Ave., will play host to the annual Patriot Festival, complete with entertainment, food vendors and a kid’s carnival. Musical performances will start at sunset.
Just as any 4th of July celebration, the day out East will end with fireworks. Fireworks end the Patriot Festival at 9:45 p.m. and light up the night in downtown Gatlinburg at 10 p.m.
Museum of Appalachia anvil shoot
The Museum of Appalachia, located at 2819 Andersonville Hwy., will celebrate in its unique, old-fashioned way with an anvil shooting at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Along with the Anvil shooting, the museum is open at 9 a.m. and old-fashioned games, music and demonstrations are available until 3 p.m.
Listen to a reading of the Declaration’s signers
Sons of the Revolution, The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Children of the Revolution will host a flag ceremony, a reading of the signers of the Declaration and a short speech.
The event starts at James White’s Fort, located at 205 E Hill Ave., at 10 a.m. free of charge, although donations are accepted.
Stay in Knoxville
4th of July activities will happen in the heart of downtown Knoxville, too. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in World’s Fair Park, kid-friendly games, music and food will be available. The event is free, with additional food costs. Fireworks start at 9:35 p.m.