new years eve in gatlinburg

Every year there are wonderful ways to celebrate the season and activities of wintertime. The Smokies celebrate the New Year with a bang! That’s a fireworks display, to be exact. Learn about how you can ring in 2019 by reading more.


In Gatlinburg, you’ll be treated to a fantastic event that starts late Monday night on the 31st of December around the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail. Not sure where that is? It’s at the base of the Space Needle! The fireworks will lift off out of the top of the Space Needle, synchronized to special music produced by Pyro-Shows. Every year this event draws more than 50,000 spectators, so plan on getting a spot early. While you’re in the city before the event (or the following day), you can also take advantage of the Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. The heated trolley continues through the 26th of January and only costs $5. Ride times are at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

Anakeesta will hold a special New Year’s Eve dinner (or you can upgrade to a buffet and champagne toast) and you can watch the fireworks from the top of the mountain at Cliff Top Grill & Bar. They also will feature live music by the Matthew Hickey Band from 9 p.m. until midnight. Click here to purchase tickets. They offer special pricing for children and seniors.

Pigeon Forge

The Island in Pigeon Forge will light up the skies with a free event featuring Tennessee native and country music singer/songwriter, Jackie Lee. Starting at 8 p.m., check out other performances (including an appearance by the Free Daps), games, giveaways, and a DJ. You can rock out with Jackie during the concert and then countdown to midnight and witness the fireworks. If you stay in Margaritaville, The Island’s on-site hotel, you won’t have far to go if you want to hit the hay afterward.

Special Shows

If you want a unique New Year’s Eve experience in the Smokies, there are several other places in the area that have set aside their normal routine for New Year’s celebrations. The Smoky Mountain Opry will have a special New Year’s Show and you can watch a live steam of the NYC Times Square ball drop while you party. Their single night special show featuring The Voice winner, Chris Blue, starts at 9 p.m. Later you’ll be able to have a meet-and-greet with the cast and dance on the stage. Beginning at 10 p.m., Country Tonite will hold their New Year’s Eve Show, complete with music, entertainment, and party favors for guests. Drink sparkling cider while you watch the balloon drop.

We hope you enjoyed our list of ideas and ring in 2019 with a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains! Have you celebrated the New Year here before? Let us know in the comments section below, and if you have some tips on the best places to stay to get the best view of fireworks, please share.

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About April Sadowski

April Sadowski is a wife, mother of a toddler, and a travel junkie. She's a content author for the Smoky Mountain region and is always looking for the latest tip for making a vacation a memorable one.

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