By Leif Palmer
Posted on December 23, 2020
There's probably never been a year that we've been as glad to say goodbye to as 2020. The reasons are too many to go into; suffice it to say that one of the most turbulent years in recent history will soon be wrapping up, and we'll be able to say “Sayonara, 2020!” once and for all. The good news is that we'll also be welcoming in a new year. While we'll still have some challenges to deal with as we start 2021, at least we can face them with a clean slate and a fresh chance to make the best of whatever comes our way.
We'll be celebrating New Year's Eve in Gatlinburg a little differently this year than we have in years past. Traditionally, the city would stage its New Year's Eve ball drop and fireworks show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. However, due to the surge in the COVID pandemic, the city has canceled that event for this year. Getting shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of people probably isn't the best way to curtail the spread of the virus right now.
However, that doesn't mean you still can't ring in 2021 in the Smokies. This year, maybe that New Year's Eve celebration will look a little different. Instead of visiting a crowded restaurant or nightspot, maybe you could book a hotel or motel room on the Parkway and take a midnight stroll while enjoying all the Winterfest lights the city has to offer.
An even safer idea would be to rent a cabin in the mountains and have a social-bubble New Year's Eve gathering with just your family. You could assemble your favorite foods and beverages and make a party of it as you stay up until midnight to ring in the new year. And since you're in a cabin, you can all watch your favorite countdown shows on the big-screen TV.
On New Year's Day, everyone could enjoy a relaxing day of eating more holiday foods, watching football games or catching up on movies and TV shows. When you're ready to get away from the cabin, you could head to downtown Gatlinburg and see what shops, attractions and restaurants might be open. Thanks to our parking lots and parking garages in Gatlinburg, TN, you'll find plenty of places to park your vehicle while you explore the sights of the town.
Who knows? You may wind up establishing a brand-new New Year's Eve/Day tradition that you'll want to continue in years to come!
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.