FourthJuly

The stage at Hartsville’s amphitheater in the park will be empty on July 4 as the annual ‘Music in the Park’ event will not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade and fireworks show will take place.

Hartsville’s traditional Fourth of July celebration will be cut back substantially this year because of ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers told The Vidette that the fireworks show would take place as scheduled at 9 p.m. on July 4 in Hartsville City Park. However, the Music in the Park festivities that traditionally precede the fireworks will not be held.

“The Music in the Park, in my discussions with Steve Paxton, will probably not be done this year,” Chambers said. “Under the guidelines, you can only have so many people in a space. It was just not going to see the kind of return on (the Band Boosters’) investment.”

Music in the Park is typically organized by the Trousdale County High School Band Boosters as a fundraiser for the band.

“We just didn’t think we could pull it off this year,” said Paxton, assistant director for the Marching Yellow Jackets.

Paxton said the band was looking into having some kind of fall event to celebrate Trousdale County’s sesquicentennial — the 150th anniversary of its 1870 founding as one of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society had planned to incorporate a celebration into the July 4 festivities.

“We’d like to try, if the guidelines change a bit, is go ahead and do a celebration; have stuff in the park, music,” Paxton said. He added that the Band Boosters were looking into having a car show in the fall as a fundraiser as well.

Chambers said the fireworks show presented much less of a challenge in terms of social distancing, since spectators are typically either inside or next to their cars in the park during the annual show.

“Our fireworks people are not really congregated in one certain area, so they’re already separated,” the mayor said. “It’ll be spread out throughout the park so I don’t think there will be any issue there.”

Amber Russell, the county’s Veteran Services Officer who organizes the July 4 parade, said she and Mark Presley were working on organizing a parade for this year.

“We’ve gotten the green light to do the parade if we can put it together. We need to see what the guidelines say as to whether people can be lining the streets or throw candy,” Russell said.

Presley announced via Facebook last Friday that the parade would take place and begin at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in participating can contact Russell at 615-808-1054 or Presley at 615-374-1010.

“The parade is actually not organized through the county… They haven’t spoken to me one way or the other about holding the parade,” Chambers added.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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