By Richard Rourk
The Town of Erwin is set to celebrate U.S. Independence Day in style.
The annual Town of Erwin Fourth of July Parade is set to take place downtown on Saturday, July 3.
“We have been closely monitoring the Covid situation all year, and felt that it would be safe for us to have this parade now,” said Town of Erwin Communication Specialist Jamie Rice.
“We have seen the turnout increase for other community events and we truly believe we will have huge attendance for this parade,” Rice added.
The Town of Erwin Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshall is Wayne Clark, a World War II veteran.
“We are so excited to feature Mr. Clark,” Rice said. “He is such a sweet man that has done so much for this country.”
Town of Erwin Mayor Glenn White is excited to see the annual parade return to Erwin.
“The Town of Erwin is honored to organize this event for the men and women who have served our nation,” White said. “We are a very patriotic community and are proud to support our veterans.”
Kicking off the festivities is the Breakfast for the Brave. Beginning at 9 a.m. veterans will be treated to free breakfast at Erwin Town Hall. The breakfast will be provided by Hardee’s, Food City and the Mary Patton Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
At 10 a.m. motorized vehicles are scheduled to meet at the staging areas at the old Morgan Insulation property on 2nd Street.
The parade is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.
Following the parade, there will be a veterans cookout at Veterans Memorial Park. The hotdog lunch is provided by Food Lion.
From 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. there will be a Downtown Splash Dance on the corner of Love and Main. The Erwin Fire Department will be opening the hydrant. There will be free snow cones courtesy of North Ridge Community Church.
“The children bike riders will be at the end of the parade and instead of them riding all the way up to Gentry Stadium, they can stop in front of First Baptist and cool off with a free Snow Cone provided by North Ridge Community Church,” Rice said.
Other organizations and communities are also celebrating Independence Day.
Following the festivities in Erwin on Saturday, July 3, The Clinchfield Railroad Museum and the Unicoi County Heritage Museum will be opening for the season from 1 to 5 p.m. This opening will allow great photo opportunities with some of the most historical and iconic pieces of history in Unicoi County.
The Flag Pond Ruritan Club will host its annual Fourth of July celebration on Saturday, July 3. The event will start with a tractor parade at 6 p.m. followed by music by the Tennessee Bluegrass Band at 7 p.m. Anyone can participate in the parade. Food will be provided by the Ruritan Club. The fireworks will begin about 9:30 p.m.
Also at 6 p.m. on July 3, Tennessee Hills Mountain Melodies, located at 3051 Unicoi Drive in Unicoi, will host a Fourth of July celebration “Red, White & Blessed.” The festive evening will be filled with many unexpected surprises, games, music, dancers, singers, actors and more as attendees come together to celebrate the nation and remember those who fought for American freedoms. A patriotic theme of “The Greatest Generation of the 1940’s” will be featured. The wearing of military garb, patriotic colors or costumes from that era is welcomed. There will be military guests from out of state, as well as throughout eastern Tennessee that will be participating. Admission is $6. For more information call (423) 220-0610; (423) 388-5683; or (423) 735-7355.
Closing out the festivities for July 4 will be the Town of Unicoi hosting its annual Freedom Fest, presented by Jones and Church Farms, Sunday, July 4, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Unicoi Elementary School, located at 404 Massachusetts Avenue. The event will include plenty of food, live music and the Unicoi County Hospital Fireworks Spectacular at dark. America’s favorite ’80s tribute band, The Breakfast Club, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. to crank up the party in honor of America’s independence while families dance the night away to favorite rock and roll classics. Powershift, a band comprised of emergency first responders from Elizabethton, will open the evening at 5:30 p.m. and warm the crowd with their country and rock tunes full of local flavor.