Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve draws record crowd

ZZ Fireworks at the space needle

Fireworks at the Space Needle/photo submitted

By Marci Claude

A record crowd gathered for the 27th Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. One of the largest organized events in the nation, attendance surpassed expectations, with more than 60,000 people gathering on the streets around the Space Needle to ring in the New Year.

“The family friendly event was very well attended this year,” stated Marci Claude, Gatlinburg PR Manager. “Favorable weather, low gas prices and the unique nature of the fireworks show are all certainly contributing factors to the large turnout for the celebration.”

At the stroke of midnight, New Year’s Eve revelers were treated to an extravagant fireworks display launched from the 400 foot tall Space Needle. Firing off fireworks from the top of the tower, and the ability of the audience to be so close to the action are what make for an experience unlike any other in the nation. The show, produced by Pyro Shows of Lafollette, Tennessee, features 900 shells fired from the rooftop and several thousand devices off of the elevator shaft. Special music and rhythmic LED lights on the tower are choreographed for the fireworks.

Gatlinburg has produced the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show since 1987. Preparations begin months in advance and hotels sell out early. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead to celebrate the New Year in Gatlinburg. For more information about Gatlinburg, call (800) 588-1817 or visit

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