The show – or at least the part it that includes colorful explosions – will go on.
Hamblen County and the Terry Law Firm announced Tuesday the 2020 Independence Day celebration in Cherokee Park will take place Saturday with a few changes.
The celebration will be fireworks only with no musical acts for the fourth. The park will be open but those who attend will be encouraged to follow social distancing practices and make use of the park’s open spaces. For those who prefer, the fireworks will be livestreamed on a variety of platforms, including www.citizentribune.com and Morristown Utilities FiberNet.
Officials with The Terry Law Firm, which has sponsored the fireworks portion of the annual celebration for four years, wanted to make sure the tradition stayed alive despite the challenges of COVID-19.
“We thank The Terry Law Firm for making this possible,” Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain said. “We thank the folks who are streaming the fireworks for making it comfortable for folks watching from home or on their cell phones.
“We want folks who come to observe social distancing practices, protect themselves, their families and others and enjoy the fireworks.”
Brack Terry said the reason the law firm stepped up to sponsor the fireworks in the first place is that they wanted to preserve that July 4th tradition for the community. It didn’t seem right to cancel, or postpone the fireworks.
“We didn’t want to see that tradition end, so we got involved with our team to make something happen for the community,” Terry said. “
Brittain said that while no food trucks have been approved, it’s an option that’s being considered. Non-food vendors and the Kids Zone will not be at the party this year.
“We, as the county, want to celebrate Independence Day as much as we can, as safely as we can offer,” Brittain said. “The firework celebration is a good opportunity to do that.”
The Morristown-Hamblen Rescue Squad will be in charge of setting off the fireworks. The group traditionally oversees the parking of cars at the free event as a fundraiser. Brittain said it’s unclear if the squad will be doing the parking this year, but said somebody will. Brittain also said law enforcement officials will be at the park as well to provide security.
“We want everybody who comes to have a good time, practice good social distancing and be safe,” he said.
Brittain added that there will be a new event on Sept. 5, celebrating the county’s 150th year anniversary that will feature music, a smaller amount of fireworks and some of the same festivities traditionally held at the July 4th celebration. Brittain said Faithfully, a Journey and Eagles cover band will be the headline performers at that event.