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New Year’s Eve is nearly here! If you haven’t made plans yet or are looking for something more interesting than sitting on your couch watching thousands of people freeze in Times Square, we have the best ideas for you – come to the Smokies!

In addition to the incredible views of The Great Smoky Mountains, beautiful cabins with hot tubs and plenty of room for entertaining – there are exciting and fun celebrations planned to help you ring in the new year.  Let’s send 2020 out with a bang and look forward to 2021!

1. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show

The City of Gatlinburg has decided to cancel this celebration for 2020 – “Gatlinburg has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration. While the city welcomes its visitors to celebrate the holidays in the Great Smoky Mountains, the well-being of our community and visitors is always our top priority. We take very seriously Governor Lee’s appeal to Tennesseans to remain vigilant over the holiday season, including avoiding large public gatherings,” reads the statement.

Since 1987, revelers have gathered on Dec. 31 under the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle to celebrate the coming year and watch the ball drop.

While no details for 2020 have been released, the event is still scheduled!

Fireworks take place at midnight, and this year are choregraphed specially by Pyro-Shows of LaFollette, TN.  An LED light show has been added to the tower as well!  Visitors are encouraged to get there early. 115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg

Can’t make it, but still want to be part of the fun? Watch the live view from their webcam any time you’d like!

You can also watch the ball drop from atop Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, where a viewing party is planned at the SkyCenter, SkyDeck and the SkyBridge, located directly across the street from the Space Needle. This event, with live music, lights, food, beer and hot beverages, is sold out. If you already have tickets for this, you can begin loading the Skylift at 10 p.m.

2. New Year’s Celebration at The Island

Originally canceled for 2020, The Island in Pigeon Forge found new ways to celebrate despite social distancing requirements needed in 2020.  This year, the celebration stretches from The Island out into the large FREE parking area.  After speaking with the City of Pigeon Forge and getting the necessary permits, The Island’s New Year’s Eve celebration is scheduled to take place December 31!

Performing this year are locals Jed Wyatt and Jackie Lee.  The Free Daps, of Walt Disney World popularity, will also have a set on the main stage.

This year’s celebration looks a little different for COVID-19 protocols.  The main stage will be in the Pigeon Forge Municipal Parking lot (AKA the large lot between the Island and the Convention Center on Teaster Lane).   Physical distancing markers guide guests to stay apart, temperature checks performed, and all guests attending are encouraged to wear a face covering.

For guests who would like to enjoy the show a little more privately, The Island has you covered!  WIVK 107.7 FM will broadcast the show beginning at 11:45 p.m.   Views from home can watch the events live on CW-Knoxville beginning at 11 p.m.

Gates open at 8 p.m. with the show kicking off at 9 p.m.

3. Dollywood

You can’t stay until midnight, but Dollywood IS open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  The theme park is open 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. both days. In 2020, Dollywood highly encourages reservations in advance to ensure you’ll be able to enter the park.

Fireworks take place nightly on Friday and Saturday nights when weather permits.

Christmas lights and shows continue through Jan. 3. See our blog post for all the details!

4. Enchanted Winter at Anakeesta

enchanted winter event at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg

Anakeesta is a theme park located on 70 acres of forested land in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg.

While there are no night time events planned for the 2020 season, an evening visit to Anakeesta is always an option!  Open from 9a to 12 midnight on December 31, Anakeesta still has plenty to offer.

A daytime visit will offer up plenty of stellar views, meals, and shopping.  Live music is planned from 1:30-4:30p this year.  Monroeville, a popular East Tennessee band, performs on the Black Bear Village band stage.  This engaging band, headed by band leader Matt Munsey and his wife Brittany, offers up folk, country, and alternative music.  Best of all? This performance is included in your regular ticket price!

At night, Anakeesta is aglow with twinkling lights and Christmas carolers. You can even take a selfie in a life sized snow globe!  #doitforthegram

Winter cocktails are flowing at The Bar at the Top of the World this December.  The Hot Wassail Cider drink offers patrons the option to add the liquor of their choice from apple flavors to spicy cinnamon to classic bourbon.

Anakeesta is located at 576 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

5. Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Bash

Ring in the New Year with Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge.  Live music begins at 9:30 p.m. and plays all night long until 12:30 a.m. on New Years Day.

Local Appalachian Rock band Tuatha Dea plays their brand of cutting edge Americana music to keep you dancing long into the night.

It’s only $20 per person or $70 for a table of 4 people.  The event is 21+ and includes a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  Purchase tickets in advance: https://www.exploretock.com/hardrockcafepigeonforge/

Hard Rock Café is located at 2050 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

6. A Masquerade Party at THREE area restaurants!

Three local restaurants are throwing a Masquerade party to ring in 2021!  Loco Burro, Crawdaddy’s, and Pucker’s offer up an opportunity to keep you dancing late into the night.  Live music is offered at all three locations and this year admission can even include Loco Burro’s rooftop bar.

Bring your face mask and your OTHER face mask and join in the fun.  Tickets start at $25 for access to three parties, and $35 to access the rooftop bar party.  Book your tickets here.

The party begins at 8 p.m. with a champagne toast at midnight.  21+ only.

2020 masquerade party in gatlinburg on new years eve

7. Country Tonite’s New Years Eve show

Country Tonite has once again been voted the Best Show in Pigeon Forge.  Why not take the opportunity to ring in the New Year with some incredible performances?

The 9:45 p.m. showtime is your last chance to catch the Country Tonite Christmas Show in 2020.  Your favorite Christmas songs performed by talented singers and dancers are made even better by stunning costumes & brightly decorated sets.  Don’t miss your chance to see Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and even the Sugarplum Fairy from the Nutcracker.

Midnight brings a balloon drop while the band plays Auld Lang Syne.  Your admission gets you party favors and a non-alcholic drink while you mingle with the cast after the show.

Book your tickets today – a steal at only $38.50 for adults and $28.50 for kids 13-17.  Kids under 12 are free!

Country Tonite is located at 129 Showplace Boulevard on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

Classic New Years Eve Music

At midnight, you’re going to need the words to the classic Auld Lang Syne. It was a Scotts-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788


Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should all acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
And surely you will buy your cup
And surely I’ll buy mine
And we’ll take a cup o’kindness yet
For auld lang syne
We too have run around the slopes
And picked the daisies fine
We’ve wondered many weary foot
Since auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
We too have paddled in the stream
From morning sun to night
But the seas between us broad have roared
From auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Book a winter wonderland cabin!

When the fireworks are finished, the kisses given and the song has been sung – you are going to need a place to lay your head. Let American Patriot Getaways help you plan your stay – whether you already are our guest or also are looking for a winter wonderland cabin.

When you book one of our Gatlinburg cabins , you’ll be close to all the action, excitement, and new attractions the area has to offer. Book today and let us know how you plan on spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains in 2020!

Give American Patriot Getaways a call at 800-204-5169. Let our experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun, food and entertainment for an adult or family vacation that will have you wanting to come back as soon as possible.

See our Pinterest board Gatlinburg Luxury Cabins. For more adventures, go to our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide

Check out all our vacation guides, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy New Year!

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