Celebrating the Fourth of July is a grand old tradition for any red-blooded American, and we in East Tennessee are no exception. It’s a great time of year; it kind of feels like the smack-dab middle of summer. It’s starting to really get humid and hot, and the days have hit their longest. Fireflies are still out in the twilight, and grills have been firing up on weekends for months, now! And, let’s not forget to mention the awesome lake recreation this year, since we’ve been getting fabulous doses of rain in between these sunny days.
Some people from out of town are surprised to learn that they can buy fireworks and set them on fire on their own property here in Tennessee. There are a few exceptions to this, of course: use caution, don’t aim them at people or set them off near crowds. And don’t light anything explosive within city limits. And, beware of terrified pets (especially your own!) Keep them in the house, barn or pen where they can feel safer and be less likely to bolt in panic from all the explosions in the sky.
If you’re not the light-it-yourself kind, and you’re looking for something with a little more pow than the kiddos’ sparklers, there are some public celebrations planned near you!
The annual Fourth of July Celebration at Cherokee Park is set for Tuesday, July 4 at 5 p.m. It’s a free event, but the rescue squad will be asking for donation for parking. It’s family-friendly, with live music, food vendors and (after dark) the traditional fireworks display! Check this website for details.
If you’re closer to Jefferson County than Hamblen County, check out the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. It gets going at 2 p.m. on the corner of Russel and Main St., heading past Carson-Newman University. Just remember to slather on the sunscreen and drink plenty of water, because this year’s July 4 is forecasted to be in the 90s. Visit their Facebook page to find out more.
If you don’t mind huge crowds, Gatlinburg always hosts a midnight parade (“the first in the nation!”) to honor both our nation’s independence and the bravery of the city’s emergency responders after last year’s devastating wildfires. Check out this website to find out more about food vendors, fireworks and other entertainment.
Another highly attended celebration is the Fourth of July Celebration at World’s Fair Park. Lots of good company, live music, food vendors and, of course fireworks when the sun goes down. Visit the World’s Fair Park website to get more details.
Celebrations all over East Tennessee!
For a more comprehensive lists of locations and times for you and your family to ooh and aah over fireworks this year, visit this WATE page.
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