The country is beginning to open up again as more people are getting vaccinated, and the Smoky Mountains are ready to celebrate. Exciting 4th of July events are gearing up all across the WNC Smokies with parades, live music, delicious summer foods, and eye-popping firework displays!

Events and schedules are subject to change. So, please check with each venue before visiting to get the latest details about opening times, closures and any Covid related safety requirements. Now, read on to find out where you can celebrate the good ol’ U.S. of A. in Maggie Valley and beyond in 2021!

Backyard Fourth in Maggie Valley, NC

Right here in Maggie Valley, you can join in the town’s annual Backyard Fourth celebration. Hosted at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, the gates open on the 4th of July at 6:00 pm, and admission is free. Bring your picnic blankets, chairs, food, bubbles, hula hoops, and games! (Just FYI, this is an alcohol-free event.) Enjoy an evening of picnics and fun before the exciting fireworks show starts at dark.

Foodie Favorites in Bryson City

On Saturday, July 3, head over to the artsy town of Bryson City to explore its charming shops, galleries, and museums. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, chow down on flavorful summer food and drinks at their fantastic restaurants. Swing by local food trucks for delicious street food – like funnel cakes, shaved ice and kettle corn – that you can enjoy at one of the many picnic tables or pavilions nearby. Or if you’re looking for a little adventure, there’s incredible whitewater rafting nearby. As the sun sets and darkness falls over the mountains, grab a picnic blanket or lawn chair, sit back, relax, and get ready to take in the epic fireworks show that starts at 10:00 pm.

Classic 4th of July Weekend on Lake Junaluska

Lake Junaluska hosts a special patriotic weekend with plenty of family-friendly events to keep you busy from Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4th. Enjoy live bluegrass music with Balsam Range, finger licking BBQ, floating wish lanterns, fishing, bird watching, golf, boat rides, and lakeside summer fun! It all culminates in a spectacular fireworks display at 9:30 pm on July 4th.

Stars and Stripes in Waynesville

The Stars and Stripes daytime celebration in Waynesville runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Kick things off with a fun children’s parade at 11:00 and watch as the kids’ faces light up amidst a sea of American flags. After the parade is over, wander down the charming small town Main Street and browse through sidewalk sales as festive music is performed in the background. There aren’t any fireworks in Waynesville, but you can head over to Maggie Valley for the big light show at the Fairgrounds.

Festive Music in Brevard

Brevard kicks their 4th of July celebrations off at 8:00 am with a 5k/10k Firecracker Run. Lace up your sneakers or cheer on the runners to get the celebratory juices flowing. After the race, head to the streets downtown for the Fine Arts & Craft Festival that goes from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Don’t miss the Classic Auto Show that stretches on for blocks, then mosey over to the Courthouse Gazebo for various live music shows that last all day.

If more music is what you’re looking for, the Brevard Music Center Festival hosts the Patriotic Pops Concert at 2:00 pm, complete with color guard and live cannons. There’s a bicycle parade, a hot dog eating contest, and so much more to enjoy before the big fireworks show at Brevard College at 9:30 pm.

Downtown Asheville Independence Day Celebration

Head to Pack Square Park in Downtown Asheville, NC. Beginning at 2:00 pm, you’ll find activities that are fun for the whole family, from bounce houses to live music. Bring your chairs and picnic blankets to relax after you browse through the delicious offerings from local food trucks, where you can purchase food, beer, wine and cider. (No outside alcohol, coolers or pets in the park.) Then settle in for the fantastic fireworks display that starts at 7:30 pm.

If you need a home base for your 4th of July weekend in the Smokies, the Meadowlark Motel offers rooms and cabins with a relaxing Appalachian chic style and amenities like fun games and live musical performances on our BackPorch Pavilion.

Reminder: Fireworks are illegal in National Forests

Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on all national grassland and national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Regulations are enforced, and violation is punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.