The city of Gatlinburg at night.

4 Things to Know Before Going to the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

Nothing says Christmas more than the Gatlinburg Christmas parade! On December 1st, thousands of people gather for the award-winning parade and experience everything from lighted floats to marching bands to Santa Claus himself! When you stay at our hotel, you’ll be in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, which is the perfect spot to catch the excitement of the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade! Here are 4 things to know before going to the Gatlinburg Christmas parade:

1. More than 60,000 people attend

Gatlinburg’s annual Christmas parade is one of the largest in the Smokies. Each year, more than 60,000 people attend this magical event. Attendees get to experience illuminated Christmas floats, marching bands, balloon characters, and, of course, Santa Claus! There will even be some surprises throughout the night! Since so many people attend this holiday event, you probably want to get to Gatlinburg earlier to grab the best spot to watch the parade!

2. The lineup includes many local performers

ober gatlinburg float christmas paradeThe Gatlinburg Christmas parade is unique because many local businesses and theater shows participate. If you attend the parade, you’ll get to see floats designed by some of the well-known attractions in the area such as the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud and Ober Mountain. You’ll also see local marching bands perform and Christmas floats decorated perfectly for the season. The entire Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is broadcast on local television stations as well!

3. Location and time

The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade takes place on Friday, December 1. The parade route will travel along the Gatlinburg Parkway. It will begin at the Baskins Creek Bypass and end at traffic light #10. This annual parade starts at 7:30 pm and typically ends around 9 pm, but most people arrive to find a good spot about 5 pm or earlier. Luckily, our downtown Gatlinburg hotel is within walking distance of the parade route, so you won’t have to worry about finding a place to park when you stay with us!

4. Best places to watch from

night view of Gatlinburg from hotel balcony

With thousands of people attending the parade, you’ll want to arrive early to find a good place to see the incredible floats and performers. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to stay comfortable and warm during the parade if you want a front-row seat! However, some of the best places to watch the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade are high up and put you above the rest of the crowd! When you stay with us at our Gatlinburg hotel, you have the ideal spot to see the magical Christmas event: your private balcony. Avoid the crowd and cozy up on your balcony with a cup of hot cocoa to watch the festivities. If you aren’t in a balcony room, you can always head out to the rooftop lounge, sit by the fire pit, and watch the parade as it goes on by!

Whether you’re coming to the Gatlinburg Christmas parade with your family or with your significant other, our downtown Gatlinburg hotel has the perfect room to make sure your visit to Gatlinburg is the best during the winter season! Book one of our Gatlinburg hotel rooms to start planning your holiday trip!