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UPDATE: The 2020 Gatlinburg Christmas parade has been canceled due to heavy rainfall.
Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is one of the biggest events of the holiday season! Everyone loves watching as Christmas cheer is spread throughout downtown Gatlinburg. This parade is one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit in the Smoky Mountains. If you can’t attend this year’s parade, don’t worry! It will air nationally on TV over 100 markets across the country! We’ve got all the details on the Gatlinburg Christmas parade and why you should attend!
About the 2020 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade
The 2020 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade will be one you definitely don’t want to miss. The 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is expected to draw in more than 60,000 spectators. The parade has been voted one of the best holiday events in the country! The route begins at Baskins Creek Bypass and ends at Traffic Light #10. This year’s parade will feature one-of-a-kind floats decorated with LED light displays, marching bands, dancers, holiday characters and large balloons.
The 2020 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade will be broadcasted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on local TV stations in over 100 markets in the United States. That means millions of Americans will have the chance to experience the magic of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains right at home!
Who is the Grand Marshal for the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade?
This year, the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade has not one, but two, grand marshals! The grand marshals are brothers Johnny and Donnie Van Zant. Johnny Van Zant is the lead singer of Lynard Skynard, and Donnie Van Zant is the co-founder of 38 Special and went on to serve as the lead vocalist until 2013. The two then went on to form their own act, Van Zant.
Last year’s grand marshal is Alyvia Alyn Lind, who portrayed young Dolly Parton in “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” and “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.” The actress is also known for her role as Faith Newman in “The Young and the Restless” and Angelica in the new Netflix series, “Daybreak.”
When is the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade?
The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade is December 4 at 7:30 p.m. on the Parkway downtown. Make plans to arrive early in order to get a good parking spot and an even better seat! The entire parade is expected to last about an hour.
Where can I park?
If you arrive early enough, you might be able to find a parking spot along River Road, which is free. If there aren’t any open spots, don’t worry! There are a handful of parking lots along River Road that charge a small fee. You can also park in one of the two city-operated parking garages, one at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and one near Traffic Light #3.
More Things to Do During Christmas in the Smoky Mountains
While you’re in town for the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade, be sure to enjoy some of the other incredible holiday festivities in the area! Take the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights in Pigeon Forge, attend Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, or do some holiday shopping. You’ll have endless opportunities for ways to celebrate the holiday season. For more ideas of things to do, read our blog, “14 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.”