ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Many Fourth of July events across East Tennessee have been canceled this year because of the pandemic, but some are still happening while utilizing state COVID-19 guidelines for fireworks displays.
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank says while she wants everyone to enjoy themselves, they should keep COVID-19 guidelines in mind.
“We’re not doing any type of festival or vendors or designated gathering so just watch from their car or find a place to set up with their family, with the governors guidance,” Frank said.
State guidelines encourage “drive-in” participation or other ways to promote social distancing.
The show will be taking place on Anderson County High School property, and will be visible to those watching from far distances. The company in charge of the display, Pyro Shows INC. says they will be using larger shells that shoot higher in the sky.
“The largest shell’s gonna be an 8 inch shell. an 8 inch shell has a capability of climbing to about 850 feet before detonation. so this gives a much borader viewing area. people in about a half square mile radius can actually see the shells,” said James Woods, the southeast regional sales manager of Pyro Shows.
This event was made possible by the county commission and members of the community. The county allocated $12,000 to the event off the ground. Local residents and business owners raised an additional $11,750 to help the county pay for the rest of the show and pay for the larger shells to have a larger show.
Mayor Frank says she hopes this event can be an escape from some of the difficult times we’ve had the last couple of months.
“So many events that we are normally used to have been canceled. So I threw the idea out there and folks really said, yeah we want this. They just needed this moment to come together as a body of people and be united in celebrating the founding of our country,” Frank said.
The event starts July 4, at 9:45 p.m. near Anderson County High. The show will last 20 minutes. The school campus will be closed, so spectators are encouraged to park and watch from any public area near exit 122.
Those enjoying the show from their cars can also tune into Merle FM, 96.7 for an custom soundtrack accompanying the fireworks.
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