Visitors from around the South and beyond descend upon Gatlinburg, Tennessee every New Year's Eve to observe the town's well-known ball drop and fireworks show. In the days leading up to New Year's, Gatlinburg's Winter Fest is in full effect, where the entire town is covered in Christmas lights. On New Year's Eve itself, the streets of Gatlinburg are packed with visitors who are in town to enjoy a party that gives Times Square a run for its money. Most of Gatlinburg's restaurants are open well past midnight and offer specials where you can get a meal, drinks, and an outdoor balcony seat for watching the fireworks show. Fireworks can also be watched from the street.
Just before midnight, a ball is dropped from the town's 32-story Space Needle building, and at midnight an impressive show of fireworks is displayed, shot from the Space Needle. After the fireworks show, a DJ plays music and the street party rages on into the wee hours. Gatlinburg's beautiful natural setting and mild weather make it a great Southern New Year's destination. While in the area, visitors can enjoy hiking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park or skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg, the area's only mountain ski resort.