Knoxville prepares for a stormy Fourth of July Celebration

Knoxville prepares for a stormy Fourth of July Celebration

Posted:
Crews begin setting up for the big event. Crews begin setting up for the big event.
"The event is rain or shine," said Special Events Director Kyndra Brewer. "The event is rain or shine," said Special Events Director Kyndra Brewer.
Organizer say to bring lawn chairs instead of blankets for seating on the lawn because of the mud and recent rain. Organizer say to bring lawn chairs instead of blankets for seating on the lawn because of the mud and recent rain.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for much of the area through Friday and that forecast has organizers behind Knoxville's big Fourth of July celebration preparing for what to do when the skies open up.

The city has never had to cancel a Fourth of July celebration due to the rain and it says this year will not be the first. Crews are already setting up at World's Fair Park.

But organizers say they do have plans in place if the weather turns ugly.

"The event is rain or shine," said Special Events Director Kyndra Brewer. "It's always been rain or shine."

In those 29 years, crowds have had to deal with all kinds of weather, including severe storms. Brewer says if it happens again they are prepared.

"It was just two years ago that we had severe weather roll in and it came in quick," said Brewer. "We have the severe weather plan on the LED screens throughout the park from the time they step onto the park grass."

If a severe storm does come through, crowds are instructed to head to the Holiday Inn, Knoxville Convention Center or the 11th Street Garage.

As for the conditions of the grounds at World's Fair Park, that could take some preparations on the part of the patrons. The lawn is already saturated and muddy in some spots from all of the recent rain.

"A beach blanket or beach towel probably won't work so well," said Brewer. "Bring your chairs and rain boots and rain slickers and kick back and enjoy because it's still going to be a great night."

Even with all the preparations underway, organizers say they are hoping for the best all the while keeping a watchful eye to the sky.

The Fourth of July Festival is free and opens at 4 p.m. The symphony begins playing at 8 p.m. and the fireworks get underway at 10 p.m. The fireworks will go on a 30 minute delay if there is lightning in the area.

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