The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is one of the city's most exciting events! It features electrical lighted floats, marching bands musicians, helium balloons, popular Christmas characters, and more! A new Grand Marshal is selected each year! This delightful parade is the perfect way to celebrate the birthday of Jesus, our Savior and Lord! It's perfect for every member of the family! The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is huge! This hour-long event features over 100 entries and continues to grow! More than 50,000 people make their way to downtown Gatlinburg to see this festive promenade. People align the sidewalks on each side of the street. It's a good idea to bring a chair, or if you prefer, or you can stand.
The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade begins at the Baskin's Creek Bypass and ends at traffic light #10. http://www.gatlinburg.com/ is a link to the Gatlinburg Trolley's route map. It's the best way to get all the information you need to find the beginning and ending of the parade, along with the best place to be to see the parade. However, in my opinion, the best viewing of the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is downtown Gatlinburg.
Parking will definitely be a challenge the night of the parade! If you have plans to attend, COME EARLY!! About an hour before the parade begins, the city closes down the main Parkway through downtown. If you are early enough, there is free parking along River Road just off the Parkway. If you can't find parking there, privately owned parking lots charging a flat-rate fee are available. The city also contains parking garages. These are located at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies at Traffic Light #3 and McMahan Parking Garage. Because of the city's numerous parking lots, Parking is relatively easy to find (if you arrive early.)
There are plenty of things to do before the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Strolling through the downtown shops is always delight! It's there that you'll find so many unique items you can't find anywhere else! And since we're talking Christmas here, it's the perfect time to find a gift for everyone on your shopping list! The city also has plenty of restaurants! From fast food, to fine dining, Gatlinburg is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal! If you are blessed, the night of the parade may happen with temperatures between 50-60 degrees! Or, as the weather in East TN can be, you may be looking at temperatures between 30-40 degrees - in which case you can find lots of good coffee and hot chocolate to sip on as you wait for the parade to begin.
The annual Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is usually held the first week of December at approximately 7:30 P.M. in the evening. Bring a coat! Come early, and enjoy this beautiful parade! It's a magical experience you'll want to enjoy over and again!! For more information for this FREE event, contact the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-588-1817.