Gatlinburg 4th Of July Parade
Tonight there will be upwards of 100,000 people in Gatlinburg. At 12:01 am Tuesday morning, they will witness the first 4th of July parade in the nation. It’s a tradition that has been going on for over 40 years. Now, the man whose brainchild the parade was has died. Former Gatlinburg mayor George Hawkins passed away just after midnight Sunday morning…about 48 hours before this year’s parade. Hawkins created the idea for the annual 4th of July parade during his tenure as mayor. He also was instrumental in starting the Fantasy of Lights Christmas parade and the New Year’s Eve ball drop. George Hawkins was 79 years old.
This year’s 4th of July parade will feature the Harlem Globetrotters as grand marshals.