Each November 11 we honor the sacrifices of the nation's service members with Veterans Day celebrations in cities across the country. Gatlinburg, TN is proud to be named an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day, as designated by the Veterans Day National Committee. One of only 41 such cities, Gatlinburg will mark this special day with activities affiliated with the National Veterans Day Observance taking place at Arlington National Cemetery.
Commemorating the End of World War I
On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day in celebration of the anniversary of the end of World War I. After the Korean War ended, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day in honor of everyone who fought for our freedom, not just those who took part in the First World War. Today we continue to celebrate Veterans Day each year with activities and special events taking place across the country.
Let Your Patriotic Spirit Show
In Gatlinburg, you'll find Ripley's Aquarium draped in red, white, and blue for the event, offering a fitting backdrop for this day of remembrance and tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our nation.
You and your family will enjoy a day packed with patriotism and national pride. Past celebrations have included military jet flyovers, live music, speeches, and bald eagle presentations. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. on the Plaza at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, where the crowd will pay tribute to local veterans, enjoy inspiring and heartfelt speeches from community leaders, and hear a rousing selection of patriotic music performed by the Gatlinburg-Pittman High School Band.
Other Fun Gatlinburg Activities
While you're in Gatlinburg, don't miss the opportunity to check out some of the other area attractions. Local artisans show off their talents along an eight-mile loop designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail. You'll find everything from handcrafted quilts to traditional earthenware and hand-carved kitchen utensils. Pick up some early Christmas gifts, or even take home a special souvenir for yourself.
There's plenty of fun for the kids, as well, including Wonderworks of Pigeon Forge, Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium, and Wild Bear Falls. Or take the aerial tram up Mt. Harrison to get a view of the Great Smoky Mountains you won't soon forget. There's a lot to do at the top, so plan to spend a day wandering through Ober Gatlinburg's wildlife exhibits and souvenir shops. While you're there, be sure to test your navigational skills in the new Amaze'n Maze, a 4,600 square-foot labyrinth that will have you twisting and turning for hours.
When it comes to paying tribute to our country's veterans, there are few places more fitting than Gatlinburg, TN. Surrounded by the splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains, it's easy to see what makes us so proud of our heritage. Your entire family will discover a new appreciation for the hard-fought battles that keep our history and culture safe, and allow our children to grow up knowing the beauty and spirit that makes up the United States.