Gatlinburg prepares for Christmas parade

The 47th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The 47th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:59 PM EST
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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade on Friday.

The parade is set to step-off at 7:30 p.m. on the Parkway in Gatlinburg.

Many people arrived early to pick their spot on the sidewalk along the parade route with chairs lining the streets of Gatlinburg.

“Definitely pack your patience. It is a very popular event. So again I would leave just a little early, make plans to enjoy Gatlinburg, you know have dinner, pick a good spot to watch the parade and that way you have a smooth and enjoyable experience,” said Chelsea Trott with the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Poeple have already claimed their spot on the Gatlinburg Parkway.
Poeple have already claimed their spot on the Gatlinburg Parkway.(Kyle Grainger WVLT)

Floats, marching band units and Santa will be a part of the event that many have made an annual tradition for their family.

Named one of the 20 best parades in the southeast and with all those people, you need to come prepared.

“People come from all over the country to see this parade. It is a top 20 parade in the southeast. It’s been named that, recognized as that. So people come and make it a family tradition to kick off their winter season,” said Trott. “We have the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration. There’s millions of twinkling lights downtown so grab a cup of hot chocolate, cup of coffee, spend time with your family and friends and enjoy your walk back to your car.”

Road closures will start on East Parkway starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. That’s when all the floats will start to line up. Everything is completely shut down by 6:50 as the parade starts to move into place.

You can watch the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade on a variety of channels throughout the Christmas season:

ChannelDayDateTime
WVLTSunday12/25/20228:00 a.m.
WVLTSaturday12/24/202211:00 a.m.
WVLTSaturday12/31/202211:00 a.m.
WBXXSaturday12/24/20225:30 a.m.
WBXXSunday12/25/20228:00 a.m.
WBXXSaturday12/31/202212:00 p.m.
WBXXSunday1/01/20238:00 a.m.
EVLTSaturday12/24/202211:00 a.m.
EVLTSaturday12:31/202211:00 a.m.
EVLTSunday12/25/20229:00 p.m.