In Gatlinburg, Tennessee, city locals and visitors intend to stay up late on Sunday night, July 3, 2016. Why? Because it’s the annual First Independence Day Parade in the Nation. The 41st Annual Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade launches at 12:01 am, making it the earliest July 4th parade in the country.
Enormous helium-filled balloons take flight Sunday night and more than 100 floats, marching bands, and decorated vehicles begin the 1-mile parade along Parkway, joined by the hundreds of volunteers who make it happen, and entrants from regional cities and organizations.
This famous event draws a large crowd of up to 100,000 spectators, who pack Gatlinburg to honor the nation’s heroes.