Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights kicks off Christmas season

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Jolly ol’ Saint Nick brought up the rear of the parade much to the delight of young parade-goers.

Tens of thousands of spectators lined the Parkway in Gatlinburg for the annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Christmas music filled the air as numerous floats slowly made their way along the parade route. Local businesses and tourist attractions such as the Dixie Stampede, Lumberjack Feud, Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show and many others entered colorful floats of varying themes.

The Cabin Fever Vacations’ float depicted a room in Santa’s Workshop. The float featured several elves standing around a table creating toys for the good girls and boys while the tune “we are Santa’s elves” played in the background.

American Idol winner Caleb Johnson served as Grand Marshal waving at fans as he rode on the City’s float.

Attendees were greeted by the curious site of all the parade participants wearing red shiny noses. Parade organizers were hoping to set a world record for the most participants wearing the colorful noses. It will be several days before it is determined as to whether or not a record was set.

Marching bands from several schools across the south marched in formation playing Christmas tunes as majorettes, dressed in holiday attire, kept cadence while twirling batons and sporting the red noses. Among the many bands present was Oxford High School.

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Live elves were featured on a float by Cabin Fever Vacations at the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg.

A medley of Christmas tunes—including “Let it go,” the theme from the hit Disney movie “Frozen”—delighted fans.

Classic cars, including convertibles and Mustangs, cruised along the route adorned with colorful Christmas lights followed by antique tractors with glowing decorations.

WVLT’s Kyle Grainger rode on a float sponsored by George Hawkins Events & Promotions. Local polka musician Harold Rode was featured sitting behind a table playing holiday classics on bells.

Toy Soldiers walked along the route followed by a sleigh representing the Smoky Mountain Opry. The zany cast of the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater piled into a classic car dressed in vaudeville era attire.

Cartoon characters such as Spongebob Squarepants rode by followed by a brightly lit train carrying the Kathy McCarrell’s Majorettes.

The theme from “How the Grinch stole Christmas” echoed along the parade route as a float carrying the Tennessee Cinderella winners that were wearing regal robes.

No Christmas parade would be complete without the “jolly old elf” himself. Santa Claus rode on a float created by Santa’s Claus-et. Santa brought up the end of the parade causing the faces of young spectators to light up with joy.

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