Freedom Fest, Bryson City July 4th

Freedom Fest, Bryson City

July 4, 2019
One of our favorite small towns has one of the biggest July 4th festivals in the North Carolina mountains! The main street (Everett) in downtown Bryson City is closed for an old-fashioned, all-American celebration. From an early morning race to the best fireworks in the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll find plenty to do all day. Admission is free.

Freedom Fest, Bryson City

The festivities kick off at 8 AM for the Firecracker 5K with walk-up registration until 7:30 AM. The street festival begins at 10 AM with the favorite "Strut Your Mutt" pet contest at 10:30 AM. In addition to handmade arts and crafts vendors, enjoy live music at the Bridge Stage after 4 PM and plenty of festival food. Most of the downtown shops and restaurants will be open also.

2018 headliner will be Mountain Faith, a semifinalists on America’s Got Talent. For an entertainment schedule, go to the Bryson City Web site.

Bryson City July 4th Watermelon Eating

Find plenty of fun things for the kids at Riverfront Park - including the watermelon eating contest! 

Bryson City July 4th Paddleboard

For a unique way to enjoy the festival, get a paddle board or kayak rental from Bryson City Outdoors and ride down the Tuckasegee River. 

Bryson City July 4th Fireworks

Watch the fireworks from many great spots downtown, starting at 10 PM. If you stand on the bridge over the river, you can see the reflections too. For more Freedom Fest info, go to the Bryson City Web site.

Train Rides
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will have three trains on the 4th. It's a busy day, so buy tickets well in advance! The 10:30 AM excursion goes to the Nantahala Gorge and the 1 PM trip follows the Tuckasegee River to Dillsboro. Their special 7 PM Freedom Train goes to Fontana Lake and returns to town in time for the fireworks. Dinner on the train includes BBQ and apple pie. Read more about the scenic train trips.

Nantahala River Whitewater Rafting

Nearby July 4th Favorite Things to Do

Directions & Parking
Bryson City is about 65 miles from central Asheville - about a hour drive via the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. Take I-40 West to exit 27 and follow US 74. Their Visitor Center is at 12 Everett St, inside the grand, historic Courthouse. Find many lots with parking nearby.

Photos courtesy of the Bryson City / Swain County NC Chamber of Commerce.

More About Bryson City

Cabin in Bryson City
Bryson City Lodging: Cabins, B&Bs & Hotels
Find a wide variety of lodging accommodations in Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains, including log cabin rentals, hotels, bed and breakfast inns and campgrounds.
Bryson City Smokies Travel Planner
Great Smokies Bryson City Travel Guide
Order a free 96-page vacation travel guide (or download a digital version) for the Bryson City area with things to do, dining and lodging for the Great Smoky Mountains. Includes the "All Aboard" official publication for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

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