(Lee Talbert, Johnson City Press)
As cities across the state are canceling their annual fireworks celebrations on account of the heavy rain throughout the region and more expected today, officials with local Fourth of July events have said they will continue with their scheduled plans rain or shine.
Keisha Shoun, from the city of Johnson City’s Community Relations Department, said the 28th Annual Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Freedom Hall Civic Center was still a go for area residents.
“Fireworks will not be canceled or delayed,” Shoun said. “If there’s lightning or ... extreme downpours that would completely negate them, they might be delayed a little, but we are not planning on any sort of delay or cancellation.”
The annual parade in downtown Elizabethton is also still on for today, starting at 1 p.m., according to Bob Cable, Elizabethton City councilman.
The town of Unicoi’s Independence Day celebration, Freedom Fest, is also not canceling its scheduled activities at 5 p.m. today, including the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
The town of Greeneville posted a comment on the Johnson City Press Facebook page saying its scheduled parade at 2 p.m., entertainment and kids activities at 2:30 p.m. and fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. are still on schedule for today.
Today’s local Fourth of July celebrations are vastly different than last year’s Independence Day events that dealt with record-setting temperatures that crippled outside vending tables and booths at Jonesborough Days, as well as prompted the cancellation of the festival’s fireworks show.
Last year, the region experienced a drought in June, which was then followed by temperatures ranging from 90-100 degrees, with heat indexes as high as 105 degrees.
According to the National Weather Service website, today is expected to have an 80 percent chance of rain, with showers and thunderstorms likely. Tonight, showers and possibly thunderstorms are again predicted, with a chance of rain at 60 percent. The high today is predicted to be 79 degrees and the low around 65.
Rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue Friday, with a chance of rain at 60 percent throughout the day and night. The high Friday is expected to be around 81 degrees, with a low of 65, with the rain chance decreasing to 50 percent on Friday night.
According to the NWS, Saturday and Sunday will both have a 50 percent chance of precipitation, with rain and thunderstorms. Saturday’s high is forecast to be around 83 degrees, and the low around 67.
Sunday’s high is expected to be around 84 degrees, with a low around 66. The chance of rain on Sunday drops to 30 percent.
According to the NWS, Monday also has a 40 percent chance of rain during the day and drops to 30 percent at night, with a possibility of showers and thunderstorms. The high should be near 85 degrees with lows near 66.
On Tuesday, there is only a 20 percent chance of rain expected, with highs near 86 degrees and lows around 67.
Wednesday is forecast to be partly sunny, with a high around 86 degrees, according to NWS.
Elizabethton Bureau Chief John Thompson and Erwin Bureau Chief Brad Hicks contributed to this report.