Museum of Appalachia celebrates 4th of July with annual anvil shoot

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CLINTON (WATE) – As many people enjoy the Fourth of July holiday at barbecues or by the lake, some spent the day getting a taste of history. The Museum of Appalachia every year hosts a special event where visitors witness a real-life anvil shoot.

Dozens of people watched a blacksmith launch an anvil over 100 feet in the air, how rural communities used to celebrate special events before there were fireworks.

“It was actually done to celebrate Davy Crockett’s election to Congress and we thought we should try to do that. So we found someone that said, ‘Okay we’ll try it,’ and we did it and it was successful and we’ve been doing it every year since,” said Elaine Meyer, Museum of Appalachia president.

Though the practice has come and gone, the museum brings back the tradition every year just in time for Independence Day.Related story: Things to do in East Tennessee: 4th of July edition

“You know this is a great time of the year for everyone to get together. It’s real patriotic,” said Clinton resident Howard Tuggle.

Visitors also spent the day observing museum exhibits and real-life demonstrations from rag doll making to blacksmithing.

“I do mostly demonstrations showing people how to do blacksmithing but I also do teaching here too. Some people bring young kids which are my favorite and I bring them back here and show them how to make a hook or something and we have a lot of fun,” said blacksmith Jack Bligh.

Visitors also had the chance to witness the raising of the Liberty Pole and hear a special bell ringing ceremony.

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