While some cities cancel, postpone Fourth of July festivities others opt to hold events with restrictions

As Independence Day approaches, many municipalities across Tennessee have modified or postponed fireworks displays and other Fourth of July events to comply with health and safety regulations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Some municipalities also canceled events, concerned that festivals and fireworks displays would draw too large of a crowd to safely practice social distancing and risk further spread of COVID-19, especially as other nearby communities canceled or modified events.
Here is what municipalities across the state have decided for their events as of June 29:

MODIFIED
The town of Adams will hold its fireworks show behind the Bell School House provided by the Adams Fire Department. However, the annual barbeque picnic and dance have been canceled, as well as the 42st Annual Thresherman Show typically put on during July 4.
The city of Athens and the Athens Parks Foundation will hold an Independence Day Fireworks show on July 4 beginning at 9:30 p.m. at Athens Regional Park. The event will be a high-altitude show designed to be seen from a large viewing area, allowing for social distancing. Due to the nature of this show and the fact that these high-altitude shells require an expanded safety area, the park will be closed to people and traffic all day on July 4 including during the fireworks show. Additional viewing directions will be forthcoming closer to the event.
The town of Chapel Hill will hold a fireworks display on July 3 at Forrest High School in downtown Chapel Hill beginning at dark.
The city of Cookeville will partner with Putnam County to hold a July 4 fireworks event. The Red, White, and Boom Fireworks Show will be held at the Putnam County Fairgrounds for the sixth year. A virtual concert will accompany the display.
The city of Crossville’s Leisure Services Department will hold a fireworks display on July 4 at the city’s Centennial Park beginning at 9 p.m. Those who attend are asked to observe social distancing practices as much as possible.
The city of Dunlap will hold its annual Fourth of July Music Festival at Harris Park on July 4. The concert will be headlined by Confederate Railroad and there will be a parade and fireworks.
While Farragut’s annual Independence Day Parade has been canceled, the town is asking residents and businesses to participate in the Festive Fourth at Home in lieu of the parade. Citizens are asked to decorate their homes and businesses prior to July 4 and send their locations to the city by July 2 so a map of decorated locations can be made. From 9:30 to 11 a.m., citizens will then be able to drive by those decorated homes and businesses.
The city of Gallatin will hold a fireworks display but with no festival due to COVID-19 concerns. A fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m. without vendors or events. Those attending the event are asked to socially distance while doing so.
While there will be fireworks and some other festivities, the city of Gatlinburg canceled its midnight Fourth of July parade. In previous years, fireworks were launched from the city’s Space Needle at 11 p.m. The annual River Raft Regatta will still be held.
The Greenbrier High School Band program will continue its Turning of the Pig, a community-wide festival held for more than 100 years. The event will be held beginning at 4 p.m. on July 3 at Greenbrier City Hall Park with food, carnival games, live entertainment, and local artisans. Pulled pork will then be on sale beginning the morning of July 4 when the city will hold its July 4 barbeque sale from 6 a.m. to noon.
The town of Greeneville will hold its 8th Annual American Downtown celebration with music, fireworks, and a parade beginning at 7 p.m. on July 4. To meet social distancing guidelines, the event has been transformed from a downtown-focused event to a citywide event. The parade will be caravan style with vehicles only and will pass locations where residents, business owners, and employees can view the parade without having to leave their homes and businesses. Designated parking lots with social distancing rules have also been set up for viewing. Separate concert locations and food trucks will be held at various locations throughout the city. The fireworks show will begin at 10 p.m. behind Greene High School.
The city of Hendersonville will be holding its Stripes, Stars, and Guitars event from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on July 3. The event will feature live music, fireworks, and celebration but the amount of people allowed to attend the event is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
While the annual Firemen‘s Fourth celebration at the Hunstville mall in Scott County will be much smaller than usual, the town will hold its annual parade at 8 p.m. followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. on July 4.
The town of Jonesborough has canceled its annual Jonesborough Days festival and instead will hold a Fourth of July Block Party downtown on July 4. The event will not have food or craft vendors but instead encourage visitors to patronize downtown businesses. A drive-in-style movie screening is also planned for the parking lot behind the historic Jonesborough Courthouse.
The city of Knoxville announced plans for “Knoxville’s Neighborhood Trails of Red, White and Blue.” All neighborhood organizations across the city are encouraged to participate in the event that promotes physical distancing, while also offering a sense of community this Fourth of July. Neighborhoods can choose one or two streets for the friendly competition. Residents will be asked to decorate their houses, porches, lawns, mailboxes, driveways, and dress up in patriotic style. People will be able to drive through the participating neighborhoods to enjoy and celebrate all of the creative décor from July 3-5. Judges and a caravan parade will also drive through the participating neighborhoods on July 4 between 1-4 p.m.
The city of Lebanon will have its annual fireworks display but has canceled events typically held beforehand, such as concerts and inflatable bounce houses. The city’s free fireworks display will be held at the Wilson County Fairground’s Agriculture Center. Residents are asked to watch the display from their cars and practice social distancing while doing so.
Lenoir City will hold its 20th Annual Rockin’ the Docks at Lenoir City Park on July 4. Food vendors and live music will begin at 1 p.m. and fireworks will be held at 10 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to watch both from the land and the lake.
The city of Manchester will hold a fireworks display on July 4 beginning at 9 p.m. with the fireworks synchronized to music played on a local radio station. Residents are encouraged to watch the display from the safety of their vehicles at the city’s recreation complex.
Mt. Juliet will hold a fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m. on July 4 at the youth baseball and softball fields on Lebanon Road. The display will be a fundraiser for Mt. Juliet Little League with residents charged per car parked in the area. The show will be shorter than last years and concession stands and inflatables have been canceled this year due to COVID-19.
Nashville will not be holding its annual Fourth of July block party concert though a fireworks display will be televised on July 4 at 9 p.m. to honor local healthcare workers. The hour-long broadcast features a soundtrack recorded by Nashville musicians. The changes in Independence Day tradition comes as COVID-19 precautions continue to shutter virtually all major summer gatherings. Firework spectators will not be allowed in city parks.
The Museum of Appalachia at Norris will hold its Annual Independence Day Celebration and Anvil Shoot. The anvil shoots will be held at 10 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. There will also be historic demonstration, old-time music.
Pigeon Forge will mark Independence Day with the city’s annual fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on July 4 in Patriot Park. Drive-in participation is recommended. The free concert, which was supposed to be headlined by Clint Black, has been rescheduled for 2021.
The Signal Mountain Lions Club will still hold its barbecue at Althaus Park but in a drive-thru fashion and only in bulk when ordered in advance. The annual neighborhood parade in Signal Mountain has been canceled as has the live music and children’s activities. Organizers said the cancellation was due to social distancing concerns.
The city of Springfield will hold its annual fireworks display, but J. Travis Price Park will be closed to the public during the display to ensure the safety of citizens. Citizens are asked to find one of the locations around the park to view the show, which is to be viewable from several areas.
Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings confirmed his town’s fireworks display will take place as usual, including a preshow parade. Fireworks will start around 9 p.m. at Three Forks Community Park preceded by a parade along Main Street.
The city of Winchester will hold a Lights Over the Lake Fourth of July celebration in conjunction with the Twin Creeks Village, Marina, and Resort. The waterfront show is available by advance reservation only with the show to begin at 9 p.m. on July 4.
The city of White House canceled its Americana Celebration and Fireworks Show though the White House Parks and Recreation Department will still hold its 20th Independence 5K at White House High School.

POSTPONED
The city of Clarksville will delay its traditional Independence Day Celebration scheduled for July 3 to comply with social gathering guidelines. While a future date for the display has not been set, city leaders have suggested including the fireworks display as part of Riverfest on Saturday, Sept. 12.
The town of Collierville has canceled its annual Independence Day Celebration previously scheduled for July 3 and rescheduled the fireworks display for a celebration of the town’s 150th anniversary in the fall. An event on Sept. 5 during the Labor Day weekend will feature the display. Officials said they decided to cancel the July 4 celebration normally held at H.W. Cox Park as it often draws crowds in excess of 20,000 people, which would make social distancing difficult.
The annual Oak Ridge July 4th Fireworks Celebration at Alvin K. Bissell Park has been canceled due to several challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Community Band canceling its performance and similar events being canceled in the area. There is also a risk for larger movement of crowds because of other events being canceled, so Oak Ridge canceled its event to prevent the risk of those from out of the area coming into the city for an event. The city of Oak Ridge looks forward to holding a fireworks celebration at a later date but that is greatly dependent on the outcome of the ever-changing coronavirus.
The town of Pegram has canceled its annual, all-day Fourth of July event. Mayor Charles Morehead said the Pegram event usually has a large turnout at Pegram Park and the fact that other area events were canceled created concerns that more people than usual would attend the celebration in Pegram, making social distancing difficult. Morehead said town officials are exploring the possibility of holding a similar all-day event during the Labor Day weekend.
The city of Tullahoma has decided to postpone its annual Fourth of July fireworks display until Labor Day to honor frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. The city will instead hold an event during the Labor Day weekend to honor medical professionals, first responders, teachers, and all essential workers.

CANCELED
The annual Freedom Fest held in the city of Alcoa was canceled well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Road construction near the Alcoa Duck Pond where the festival is normally held prevented the event from being held this year.
The volunteer group who holds Barlett’s annual Fourth of July event canceled it due to concerns that the state’s reopening plan did not allow for it and that the festival would “create an atmosphere that may endanger the health and well-being of the residents of Barlett.”
The town of Bell Buckle and Bell Buckle Chamber of Commerce canceled the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration and fireworks at Bell Buckle Park.
Officials with the city of Brentwood announced the city will not host its annual Fourth of July fireworks event in order to comply with state and local social distancing requirements. The event, held annually at Crockett Park, is known to draw large crowds and is part of the city‘s Summer Concert Series and includes live music.
The city of Chattanooga canceled its annual Pops on the River concert and fireworks display at Coolidge Park. The city was hoping to have a scaled-back drive-up fireworks show, but was not able to secure sponsors for the event. As minor league baseball has also been canceled for the season, there will be no fireworks at the Chattanooga Lookouts field either.
The annual Collegedale Freedom Celebration typically held at the Collegedale Greenway was canceled due to “an abundance of caution.”
The Cross Plains Heritage Commission has canceled its Fourth of July Remembrance ceremony at Kilgore Cemetery. Instead, a virtual remembrance will be held with guest speakers on the Visit Cross Plains Facebook page. The fireworks show typically scheduled by the Cross Plains Fire Department has been canceled for this year.
Officials with the town of Decatur canceled the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. Officials from the town said that their highest priority “is the health and safety of our volunteers and community members. We cannot ensure proper social distancing and the safety and health of our residents if we host an event and invite the public to attend.”
The city of Franklin canceled its annual, day-long Franklin on the Fourth festival that culminates with an annual fireworks display. With the event often garnering more than 10,000 attendees, city officials felt that it would be difficult to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Officials in Germantown decided to cancel the city’s annual Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza as the event often draws tens of thousands to Municipal Park. Officials said they were concerned social distancing could not be safely maintained among such a large crowd and instead encouraged residents to have their own private celebrations.
The city of Goodlettsville canceled its annual Independence Day Celebration at Moss-Wright Park due to both public health concerns and fiscal resources in the current economic environment.
The town of Graysville canceled its annual Freedom Fest due to health and safety concerns. The event is normally held at Kristopher‘s Kingdom Community Park.
Officials with Soddy-Daisy announced the cancelation of their fireworks event due to concerns that widespread cancelation of other area events would draw a larger crowd than considered safe under social distancing guidelines. Members of the city’s Vietnam Veterans of American chapter who normally host the event said they wanted to exercise “an overabundance of caution” and would “rather be safe than sorry” in case the event drew a crowd too big to meet with health and safety guidelines.
Spring City officials canceled the annual “Shake the Lake” event. City Manager Stephania Motes said the swath of cancelation in nearby communities forced Spring City to cancel its own celebration over concerns that the event would grow beyond its normal numbers and be too difficult to handle.