George E. Hawkins, 79, died in his home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on July 2, 2023. He served on the Gatlinburg city commission, starting in 1976, and was elected mayor by his colleagues. He was a hairdresser, business owner and had worked as director of media relations for the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mayor Hawkins was a “big thinker who wanted everything done right,” said one person who knew him. He is credited with the creation of the Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade, which marked its 48th season this year. This year’s parade was dedicated to his memory.
Hawkins also was involved in creating the Festival of Lights Christmas Parade and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop – both designed to boost tourism in the mountain town.
His obituary reads: “He worked for over 40 years to make the city he loved the best it can be.” The full obituary is here.
Receiving of friends will take place at Gatlinburg First United Methodist Church from 2:30-4 p.m. with services at 4 on Sunday, July 9, 2023.