Families and friends filed down to the fields next to Freedom Hall Civic Center Wednesday evening to claim a spot with lawn chairs, tents and blankets to watch the 27th Annual Independence Day Celebration and fireworks display.
Michelle Perkins, of Roan Mountain, said the Freedom Hall fireworks is somewhat of a tradition for her family and said she has been coming to the event for about 14 years.
“I just love coming down here for the fireworks,” Perkins said. “It’s fun too. There’s a lot of fun stuff. It seems like it’s time for fireworks before you know it.”
Sundra Campbell said she and daughter, Ryleigh, came from Elizabethton for the festivities to look around at the different vendors and to enjoy the games and inflatables set up for kids.
“So far we’ve bounced. We’ve done the big slide,” Campbell said. “I love it. You see a lot of friends, a lot of family, in here together and I think it’s a good time to bond.”
She said the holiday has always been a good reminder of our freedoms as Americans.
“I like to know I have my freedom and I like to know that she’ll grow up and have her freedom,” Campbell said.
Jimmy Jackson, of Erwin, said this was his third year watching the fireworks in Johnson City said that it’s always been a great day and overall event.
“You have a good time meeting up with family and friends and listening to some pretty good music and top it off with a really good fireworks show,” he said.
Walking around the inflatable area, Gloria McClinton, with her grandson, Adarius, said they decided to go to the Fourth of July event because he wanted to come out to the festivities.
“Just came out to see what’s going on and watch the fireworks,” McClinton said.
She said the whole day means a lot for Americans because our freedom was not free.
“Being an American, the Fourth of July means a lot, because if it hadn’t been for that particular day, we wouldn’t have the freedoms that we have to do things like this,” McClinton said.
While there was a slight breeze lingering, the event was hot enough to require some cold treats from food vendors such as lemonade, shaved ice and ice cream to cool down.
Pizza and kettle corn were also crowd favorites for those wandering the area looking for food or a snack.
The entertainment was also packed down to the minute with performances by Nash Street, Linda Davis, Jessica Nixon and Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier.
Fireworks by Pyro Shows of Lafollette illuminated the sky over the crowd with a 20-minute show that started around 10 p.m.
This year’s event was presented by IGA and the fireworks were sponsored by Pepsi.