Gatlinburg Christmas Parade 2023: In-Depth Guide

With larger-than-life helium balloons, extravagantly decorated floats, thunderous marching bands, and jolly holiday characters, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade bring the most wonderful time of year to Gatlinburg!

Every year, hordes of festive spectators descend upon downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of holidays and to witness one of the best processions in America, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. If you’re eager to know when is the Gatlinburg Christmas parade in 2023, the wait is over as it comes back on December 1, 2023.  The award-winning event, uniting thousands of people from all over the country, is just right around the corner, so make sure to add this tradition to your holiday vacation itinerary!

Follow along as we bring you the roundup of the 2023 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade.

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade Grandstand Tickets

Secure the grandstand seats, strategically positioned at traffic light #3, near the parade’s starting point. Children under 5 can accompany you by sitting on your lap without an extra ticket.

Ticket costs $52.25 whether you’re seated at McMann Garage TV Zone or Convention Center TV Zone. Click here to purchase.

Must-Visit Attractions in Gatlinburg

There’s nothing better than traveling to all the best places, like the Great Smoky Mountains, without shelling out big bucks. The fun doesn’t stop with the Christmas parade in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Extend the celebration by exploring the area. Book from Tripster to get bundled savings:

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Before the highly awaited Christmas Parade Gatlinburg 2023 spectacle, city officials will hold a grand lighting ceremony of the Gatlinburg Christmas tree first. Flock to the Parkway Plaza at Traffic Light #3 before 7: 25 PM to be a part of this longtime tradition.

The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade Route

The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade 2023 starts at Baskins Creek Bypass on East Parkway, traveling South onto the Parkway before stopping at Traffic Light #10. You can also check out the event’s map to be familiar of Gatlinburg Christmas Parade Route.

About Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

For 48 years, the Parade has entranced millions of visitors and locals alike with its incredible lineup, including unique performance acts, gigantic floats, colorful balloons, and Santa Claus’ appearance.

No wonder it has been hailed one of the best parades in America by USA Today.

Related Post: Most Unique Places to Eat in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg TN Christmas Parade Broadcast

Can’t see the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade live? It’s a shame, but there’s still a chance to experience the magic. The event will be broadcast on Christmas Eve and Day on local TV stations across the United States.

Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg TN Parking Lot Locations

Remember to arrive early for the Gatlinburg Tennessee Christmas Parade. By doing so, you get to save a good viewing spot and find a place to park. You might be lucky enough to park for free along River Road. There are several privately owned parking locations near the parade route and city-operated parking garages near Traffic Light #3, but it’s easily filled up.


“When is Gatlinburg Christmas Parade?” you might ask. The event is on Dec 01 2023. For anyone curious about what time does the Gatlinburg Christmas parade start, it’s set to begin at 7:30 PM.

Experience the Christmas Parade Gatlinburg

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas in Gatlinburg for the first time or not, witnessing the annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is a must! The grand revelry draws 60,000 viewers every holiday season, so you know it’s an excellent way to usher in the holidays.

Related Post: The Ultimate Gatlinburg Itinerary for Every Visitor

Bask in the explosion of merriment and colors with floats decorated in glittering lights and ornaments. Plus, marvel at the large balloons and festive costumes. Of course, keep your peepers open for character appearances, including from the big jolly old man himself.

Prepare to be impressed with the extraordinary performances of marching bands and guest entertainers at the Christmas Parade Gatlinburg TN. Local businesses and vendors come together to offer a delightful culinary and entertainment experience.

So, grab your Santa hats and join the thousands of spectators in this longtime tradition. While in town, take some time to see the beauty of the city, listen to some country music, and experience Christmas in the Smokies with a Gatlinburg, Tennessee package.

Gatlinburg Hotels

With so many things to do in Gatlinburg, TN, extending your Gatlinburg vacation is an excellent call. Cuddle up and get cozy in a serene cabin in the woods, or rest your head within walking distance from downtown Gatlinburg.

Relax in a rustic resort with indoor and outdoor pools, or enjoy the awe-inspiring Great Smoky Mountains National Park views. Thanks to Tripsters’ many Gatlinburg hotel options, you’re never too far from a great stay. Wherever you decide to celebrate this day of feasting and family, make your booking worry-free knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

Related Post: 7 Spectacular Things to Do in Gatlinburg at Night

Need even more bang for your Smoky Mountain buck? Bundle your seasonal Gatlinburg attractions and accommodations with any of our sensational Gatlinburg Vacation Packages.


Start Date:

December 1, 2023 @ 7:00 pm CST

End Date:

December 1, 2023 @ 9:00 pm CST





Upcoming Events at Downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee - Tripster Travel Guide

628 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738 United States


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Written by Anne Joyce Raymundo

Anne is a Filipino writer who formerly managed and created marketing strategies and materials for numerous websites and eCommerce platforms. Now, her voice...

2 comments about “Gatlinburg Christmas Parade 2023: In-Depth Guide”

Dan Michlin

November 29, 2022 at 2:41 pm

When do people put out chairs

avatar of Teresa in blue tripster shirt


December 2, 2022 at 8:38 am

Hi Dan! Arriving early is encouraged; the parade kicks off at 7:30. Spectators are welcome to reserve seating anytime on the day of the parade. Enjoy!

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