Monroe County residents will not have to stray far from home to enjoy Independence Day celebrations Saturday.
All four towns have big plans to celebrate the holiday. There is a chance of scattered showers and storms Saturday, but it is not expected to be unusually hot for July with highs predicted to be in the 80s.
For the first time in several years, Madisonville will put on a Fourth of July celebration in the downtown area in the form of a street fair.
The event will start at 4 p.m. in the afternoon with the Sequoyah High School majorettes.
The celebration features dancing, a wide variety of music from gospel to Southern rock, food and a fireworks show from Houston Park at night fall.
The fireworks show by Pyro starts at dark at 9:30.
While Madisonville has held previous July 4th celebrations at Kefauver Park, the decision was made to do this one downtown where there is more space and better parking.
Sweetwater gets things started with a road race early in the morning on July 4. There is a 7:30 a.m. start time for the downtown Independence Day 5K (Proceeds benefit Monroe County Young Life).
After the 5K is over, there will be a kids fun run again this year (free event), called the Duck Park Dash for ages 12 and under. Runners can register for the 5K now at: https://runsignup.com/Race/TN/Sweetwater/OneNationUnderGodIndependenceDay5K
11:30 a.m. – Cornhole Tourney at Fire Hall No. 2 on Highway 322: $20/team, double elimination, cash prizes.
3 p.m. – Parade down Highway 11 (Main Street. Anyone who wants to participate should be at lineup at 2 p.m.-location to be announced). A short ceremony at gazebo will follow the parade.
This kicks off the remainder of the day. Kids Zone with inflatables will open and there will be live bluegrass music and karaoke contest downtown. The contest will be from 3:30 p.m.-6:30), There will be vendors, food, (as always admission is free) and Dancing in the Streets with Salt & Light Studios (around 8:30 p.m.).
And of course, the ever popular fireworks show at the Recreation Park by Pyro Shows at dusk (9:30 p.m.).
Vonore is calling its 2015 Fourth of July celebration “Every Hero Has A Story!
Food and craft vendors will begin setting up around 5 p.m. Food Vendors are donating a portion of their profit toward completion of the Vonore Veterans Memorial Park. Crafters are paying a $10 vendor fee.
A parade will kick things off at 7 p.m. The grand marshal of the parade will be Shay Langeions, a Naval commander from Vonore. She will be driven by Mayor Bob Lovingood.
Parade lineup is at Vonore Middle School, beginning at 6:00. Anyone wanting to be judged should be ready by 6:30. Parade begins at 7:00, going thru downtown Vonore and ending at Vonore Baptist Church.
From 7:30 to 9:30, the Southbound Band will be playing in the Heritage Park, across from City Hall.
There will also be a book signing by Lowell Russell at the Vonore Heritage Museum, a raffle of a four-foot bald eagle to raise money for the Veterans Memorial Park (the eagle is donated by Black Bear Trading Post) and at night fall, the Vonore Baptist Church will put on a fireworks show.
Tellico Plains plans two days of fun.
To kick off the celebration, Cotton Eyed Joe in Knoxville will host karaoke at Krambonz from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, July 3.
On Saturday, July 4, at 3 p.m., there will be a horses-only parade. The parade will travel on Highway 165 by Volunteer Federal Bank and head towards Cherohala Skyway Market.
In addition, from July 2-5, the North Carolina Wagon Train will be camping out in the “Charles Hall” field across from Hardees. Anyone who wants to camp out with them is welcome to join.
For more information about the parade or the Wagon Train, contact Ricky Shaw at 423-519-6000.
The Dance on the Square is now the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Tellico Plains Fire Department, who has kept the annual tradition going.
If the weather is bad, the event will be rescheduled to the following Saturday, July 11.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Independence Day, July 4, in the town’s historic Town Square. It is free to the public and will kick off at 4 p.m. with activities
The Square Dance will begin around 7:30 p.m. and continue until midnight.
Crowd-favorite Tim Childress and the Unwound Band, who have been together since the early 1990s, will headline the entertainment and call the dances for the night.
There is also a variety of vendors and activities planned, including the return of the Fun Zone. For just $5, arm bands can be purchased for children and they can play on the inflatables, slide down the water slides and participate in games all night long.
The Fire Department maintains the Fun Zone so parents can leave their kids and go enjoy the dancing.
Non-food vendor/booth spots for the Square Dance are still available at a cost of $25 each. There is no charge for non-profit and church booths.
The Fire Department will have concessions set up with a variety of food for sale, including hamburgers, hotdogs, barbecue, nachos, drinks and more.
The downtown area will close to all traffic for the event, but there are several parking areas available for attendees, including parking by Main Street, the new City Hall parking lot and in the TDS lot.
In addition, the Fire Department will have a handicap area sectioned off for people who want to attend the event, but need closer parking.
For more information about the event or to sign up for a vendor spot, contact Sisson at 423-261-4341 or Dawn Williams at 423-295-5675. All proceeds from the event go to help the Tellico Plains Fire Department. This year, Williams said proceeds will be used toward purchasing new equipment.