Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Celebration Returns for 2018

The glittering lights of Gatlinburg at night.

2018 will be here before you know it, and there is no better place to ring in the new year than Gatlinburg, TN! Our Smoky Mountain city will host its annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. This hugely popular event is expected to draw almost 50,000 people from across the nation. Visit My Smokies has all of the details on the Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve festivities.

Gatlinburg Ball Drop and Fireworks ShowThe Gatlinburg Space Needle lit up at night.

On the evening of December 31, vacationers and locals alike will gather in downtown Gatlinburg for a party unlike anywhere else in the nation. All of the restaurants and bars on The Strip will be open for business, and the downtown area will be aglow with beautiful Winter Magic lights.

The climax of the Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve celebration is, of course, the Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Located at the intersection of the Parkway and Historic Nature Trail, the Space Needle will be outfitted with special LED lights and a collection of state-of-the-art fireworks manufactured by Pyro-Shows of LaFollette, TN.

Red fireworks.

When the clock strikes midnight, the ball will drop and fireworks will shoot off from the peak of the 407-foot tall Space Needle. Gatlinburg’s fireworks displays get bigger and better each year, and we can’t wait to see the spectacular show this New Year’s Eve!

Parking for New Year’s Eve in Gatlinburg

The Strip is going to be packed with people this New Year’s Eve, so we suggest heading downtown at least a few hours before the festivities begin. If you arrive early enough, you may be able to snag one of the free spots along River Road, which runs parallel to the Parkway. Other parking options in downtown Gatlinburg include the garage at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the McMahan Parking Garage at Traffic Light #3, and the privately owned lots on River Road.Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies at night during the holiday season.

The best way to enjoy the Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve celebration is to have dinner in the downtown area, visit some of the shops and attractions on the Parkway, and then walk over to the Space Needle for the big show. For a complete guide to the city’s most popular activities, check out our listing of all the best things to do in Gatlinburg!


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