The coronavirus may have put a damper on many goings-on, but the Lights over the Lake Fourth of July celebration will proceed as usual at the Winchester City Park Saturday.
Crowds gather every year at the Winchester City Park to watch one of the most spectacular free fireworks extravaganzas all around.
The show, which typically begins as darkness falls, will start at 9 p.m. and is expected to feature fireworks for nearly half an hour.
The dazzling event is made even more spectacular as the fireworks are reflected in Tims Ford Lake next to the park.
In addition to hundreds of carloads of spectators scattered around the park, boaters normally crowd throughout the lake to see this exceptional performance.
This year, a number of food trucks are expected to be set up on site to offer their best selections, so be sure and come out with a big appetite.
Spectators may choose to bring blankets to set up a prime spot near the Red Roof Pavilion.
Twin Creeks Marina and Resort and its property holdings sponsors the event in collaboration with the city of Winchester, and Pyro Shows from Lafayette mans the fireworks side of the event.
As usual, Winchester promises to provide a magnificent show and encourages everyone to bring the entire family out.
Winchester City Administrator Beth Rhoton said that with the COVID-19 pandemic having isolated many residents to their homes, giving them a fun, safe alternative seemed like the ideal thing to do this Fourth of July.
“We felt as a city that this was more of a reason to have the fireworks this year,” Rhoton said. “Other communities have been cancelling their shows, and we thought this would give our residents and visitors something fun to enjoy at a time when they could really use it.”
She said spectators can stay near or in their cars and adhere to social-distancing guidelines, promoting a safe environment.
Sewanee’s July 4 celebration canceled
Franklin County folks have always been devoted to celebrating the Fourth of July in a big way.
In addition to the annual Winchester fireworks show, Sewanee has, for many decades, offered a full day of activities on the mountain.
However, this year that event has been canceled.
Jade Barry, board chair of the Sewanee Fourth of July committee, explained the organizers’ situation.
“It is with great sadness that I must announce the cancellation of the 2020 Sewanee Fourth of July Celebration,” Barry said. “This collaborative decision has been made with our community’s health and safety at heart.”
Barry went on to explain the particulars for what is surely a disappointing decision for so many who have attended each year to revel in the huge parade, the arts and crafts shows, fireworks show, contests airplane rides and more.
“This popular day in Sewanee poses too great a risk for increasing the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and our celebration does not need to be a reason for further contributing to the growth of this pandemic,” he said. “We encourage community members and businesses in town to decorate patriotically and families to observe this day of remembrance more intimately so as to continue the spirit of celebrating our nation’s independence.”
COVID-19 cancels Huntland’s parade
Huntland traditionally has a Fourth of July parade. However, the city decided that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not a good time to hold the event.
Estill fireworks on July 11
Estill Springs will have the Neal Family Fireworks celebration on July 11 with activities going on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The site is located a 123 Harris Chapel Road in Estill Springs.
Local fireworks stands are set up throughout Franklin County’s communities, offering the usual electrifying conceptions for those who prefer at-home fireworks or neighborhood shows.
Fourth of July safety
The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow.
“If your community is reopening, it’s important to know which safety measures to take as you venture out in public,” reported Joel Sullivan, regional executive with American Red Cross of Tennessee. “We have seen a spike in COVID-19 once again in Tennessee so it is so important to follow these coronavirus precautions.”
• Continue to socially distance by staying 6 feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
• Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult.
• Follow guidelines for your area when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
• Stay home if you are sick.
Many public fireworks shows are canceled this summer to avoid holding events where large crowds will gather. If you plan to use your own fireworks, check first if it is legal in your area.
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
Grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year in the U.S. To avoid this:
• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
• Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
• Make sure everyone stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
• Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire.
• Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
Warmer weather means enjoying the water.
Be “water smart,” have swimming skills and know how to help others.
This includes home pools — where young children are most at risk of drowning — and open water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes — where people are more likely to drown than any other location.
With less access to lifeguarded aquatic facilities this summer, some may consider open water environments that are not designated for swimming.
2. If you choose to take your family to the water, make sure the area is designated for swimming and has lifeguards on duty. Once there, maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you.
3. Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical distancing is difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breathe. Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
4. Designate a water watcher whose sole responsibility is to supervise people during any in-water activity until the next person takes over.
5. Kiddie or inflatable pools can be a great way to have fun. Drain the water from the pool and flip it over after swim time is over.