This Week’s Tennessee Tourism Round Up: Celebrating Independence Day

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - by Jill Kilgore

A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Fourth of July this year, according to AAA. Here are the Independence Day celebrations, festivals and events going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.

Independence Day Celebrations

Tennessee State Parks – Whether you’re looking for something to do the weekend before or the day of, there are plenty of freedom-celebrating activities with everything from fireworks and glow runs to pontoon tours and candle making tutorials.

June 28

Somerville – The town of Somerville Star Spangled Celebration kicks off at 7 p.m. at Historic Somerville Square.

Mike Watkins will perform his newest chart-topping single “Oh Say Can You See.” Bring a picnic or get a snack from food vendors.

June 29

Roan Mountain – Roan Mountain State Park commemorates the Independence Day Celebration the old-fashioned way with a bicycle parade, traditional field games, checkers tournament and more. Activities start at 9:30 a.m.

June 29-30

Linden – Celebrate the Fourth in style at the Commodore Hotel for patriotic drink specials, dinner specials and live music during Music on Main Street 7-10 p.m. Saturday night.

June 29-July 15

Jonesborough – It’s the summer of 1776 and the nation is ready to declare independence, only if the founding fathers agree. Jonesborough Repertory Theatre presents 1776 the Musical.

June 30

Tiptonville – Picnic, play volleyball, let the kids play, fish and relax during the Independence Day Celebration Fireworks and Concert 7 p.m. at Historic Reelfoot Lake. All festivities will be in the American Legion area.

Columbia – Join the Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Maury County Park around 9 p.m. Come early and tune your radio to 87.9 FM to hear synchronized music to the show.

July 1

Alcoa – The free 40th Annual City of Alcoa FreedomFest 6-11 p.m. at the City of Alcoa Duck Pond features food vendors; children’s activities including face painting, a climbing wall, inflatables, military exhibits and live entertainment.

Elizabethton – Experience the 4th of July 18th century-style. What did colonists think about a new nation? Walk among historical characters and hear their reactions to the Declaration of Independence 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Watauga.

July 3

Bartlett – Bartlett’s annual Fireworks Extravaganza 6 p.m. at Bobby K. Flaherty Municipal Center is a free celebration with live music, activities and program recognizing veterans. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

Millington – The city and Millington Naval Base team up for the Flag City Freedom Celebration 4 p.m. at USA Stadium for an impressive fireworks display, kids’ area and live music. Bring picnics, blankets and chairs. The event is free with $5 parking.

Collierville – Celebrate the nation’s birthday as you enjoy one of the largest fireworks displays in the Mid-South. There will be live music, food trucks and more for the Independence Day Celebration 6-10 p.m. at H.W. Cox Park.

Clarksville – The Fort Campbell Band and Carl Wockner will perform during the Independence Day Celebration 6:30 p.m. at Liberty Park. Activities include sack races, patriotic balloon pop, most patriot person contest and food from local vendors.

Hendersonville – Freedom Fest features craft booths, live music, family activities, kids’ zone, delicious food, fireworks and more to support the Chamber Foundation 5-10 p.m. atDrakes Creek Park.

Chattanooga – Enjoy BBQ from Sugar’s Ribs, Clumpies’ ice cream, live music and fireworks from the riverfront veranda and lawn, starting at 6 p.m. for the BBQ, Music & Fireworks Star Spangled Banner Supper at Chattanooga Theatre Centre.

July 4

Gatlinburg – Celebrate the nation’s birthday with the nation’s first Midnight Independence Day Parade. Experience floats, balloons and marching bands as they pay tribute to our country. The parade begins at traffic light #1A on East Parkway downtown to traffic light #10.

Memphis – Celebrate the 4th with fireworks along the riverfront at Mud Island River Park; a family-friendly Fireworks Viewing Party at the historic Peabody Hotel; moon bounce, games, crafts, food and fireworks at Germantown’s Municipal Park, the community Cooper Young Independence Day Parade at Peabody Elementary SchoolCentral Gardens’ 4th of July Parade; and a fireworks and cookout at the Memphis Redbirds 4th of July Celebration at AutoZone Park.

Nashville – Let Freedom Sing! features live performances by Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Lucie Silvas and more at Fifth Avenue and Broadway with one of the nation’s largest fireworks show synchronized to a live performance by the Nashville Symphony at Ascend Amphitheater. The Music City July 4th party is free.

Union City – Bring the family to Discovery Park of America for all day events and $10 admission to the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be the Ringing of the Bell Ceremony, live music, food vendors, bounce houses, ice cream and fireworks at night.

Jackson – Enjoy the Firefighters Freedom Festival 3 p.m. at McKeller-Sipes Regional Airport. The fest features children’s activities, entertainment, food and drink vendors. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Norris – Enjoy the Fourth of July in dramatic fashion at the Museum of Appalachia with historic anvil shoots. Guests can also enjoy arts and crafts, bluegrass music, food and more.

Farragut – The town of Farragut’s 30th Annual Fourth of July Parade features bands, floats, animals, dancers, antique cars and more. The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. on Kingston Pike at Farragut High School with a salute to veterans.

Pickwick Dam- Bring the whole family to enjoy a spectacular July 4th Fireworks Show 9 p.m. over beautiful Pickwick Lake.

Lexington – The 2018 Festival of the Lakes at Beech Lake includes water slides, zip lines, barbecue cook-off, pageant, cardboard boat race, kayak boat race & more with music by James Otto, Andy Avery & more. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Cookeville – Red, White & Boom 4-10 p.m. at the Putnam County Fairgrounds features free activities including bounce houses, cornhole, a large sandbox, watermelon eating contest, live music and a fireworks show.

Nashville – Join Adventure Science Center’s Red, White and Boom 7-10 p.m. with a view of Nashville’s downtown fireworks show, science demonstrations, planetarium laser show and hands-on activities. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children.

Nashville – Find out if you can stand the heat at the free Music City Hot Chicken Festival 11 a.m. at East Park with hot chicken dishes, live music, cold beer from Yazoo and other delicious eats from local vendors.

Monterey – Celebrate America’s freedom at the all-day Fourth of July Celebration at Whittaker Park with a flea market, live music and food.

Pigeon Forge – Head over to Patriot Park for live music, food and games to celebrate Independence Day. Patriot Fest is free.

Land Between the Lakes – Celebrate America’s birthday 1-4 p.m. at the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm. Visitors can take part in old time games, crafts, a pie eating contest and patriotic toasts.

Other Festivals & Events Across Tennessee

June 28

Memphis – The Memphis Symphony and Second Presbyterian Church choir perform patriotic songs 7:30 p.m. at Levitt Shell. Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass will be special guests.

Memphis – Craig Campbell and Danielle Bradberry rock the house 7:30 p.m. at Handy Park for the free live summer concert series Kix on Beale!

Memphis – Tour the gardens and discover different herbs used in your favorite cocktails. Stop by the gin and tonic bar to create your own mix or sip drinks from bitter to bubbly for Gin & JUNEipers at 6-9 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. Tickets are $40.

Memphis – Get competitive while enjoying family-friendly board/card games, like chess and spaces, in the Central Atrium of Crosstown Concourse. The event starts at 6 p.m. followed by the live Game Show with Myron Mays at 6:45 p.m.

Clarksville – Make a toast to almost Friday at DJ on the Dock 5 p.m. at Beachaven Winery for happy hour, blush wine spritzes, cornhole games and tunes from DJ Benton Lewis.

Chattanooga – Yoga, vino and vinyasa come together for an intense practice, art-inspired dialogue and a cool down featuring wine from Empire Wines. Artful Yoga begins at 6 p.m. atHunter Museum of American Art.

June 28-July 1

Nashville – Come down to rock with live music, while enjoying delicious food, whiskey and some of the most beautiful motorcycles in the country for the Music City Motorcycle Rally atFontanel’s Carl Black Chevy-Woods Amphitheater.

June 28-Aug. 11

Gatlinburg – The Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales street performance festival takes place each night in downtown Gatlinburg and features musicians, storytellers, artisans, cloggers and more at different locations along the Parkway.

June 29

Cookeville – Grab a blanket and watch “Black Panther” for the free After Dark Movies in the Park 7:30 p.m. at Dogwood Park.

Nashville – Listen to bluegrass and roots pickers jam in circles under the trees 7-11 p.m. at the Full Moon Pickin’ Party at Percy Warner Park. Tickets are $25 and money raised protects Warner Parks, its education programs and special projects.

Linden – Bobby Keel, who wrote songs for Garth Brooks, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard and more, performs 6-9 p.m. at the Commodore Hotel.

Roan Mountain – The Stemwinder quartet of musicians playing guitar, mandolin, bass and banjo entertain at the Summer Concert Series at Roan Mountain State Park amphitheater. The free concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Elizabethton – Gather around the campfire for Stories & S’mores 8:30 p.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Enjoy tales, wit and humor from the park’s resident storyteller.

June 29-30

Savannah – Live music, a buck dancing contest, pickin’ & singin’ and a cake are on tap for the 40th annual Savannah Bluegrass Festival downtown and at Wayne Jerrolds River Park. Enjoy the music, food, shopping and dining downtown.

June 29-July 1

Jonesborough – Take part in the Jonesborough Days Festival downtown, featuring live music, storytelling, a 9 a.m. parade Saturday, fireworks Sunday at 10 p.m., children’s entertainment, craft vendors, games, food and more.

June 30

Medina – The Venue at White Oak Farms will host Summer Songwriter’s Night “In the Round” experience with stories behind some of the biggest hits like “Whiskey Lullaby,” “Watching Airplanes,” and “Tin Man.” The event starts at 7 p.m.

Eagleville – Journey to Tennessee’s largest petting farm, Lucky Ladd Farms, to grab a slice during the Watermelon Festival. There will be a splash zone, inflatable slides and fun activities.

Nashville – A unique brunch experience 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Guests can enjoy food, drinks, mimosa and bloody mary bars, music and a live auction. Proceeds go to the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy.

Nashville – The Fisk Food & Music Festival 2-9 p.m. at Fisk University features performances by Tim Cunningham, Blair and more with food vendors, a kid zone and mini health fair.

Spring Hill – A free and fun event for the whole family, the Spring Hill Family Music & BBQ Fest 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tennessee Children’s Home includes a barbecue cook-off, food vendors, kids zone, free parking and great local music.

Mt. Pleasant – Rev up your engines and support veterans at Wings & Wheels Thunder over Maury 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Maury County Airport. The $10 donation per car for the cruise-in supports Maury County Veterans & Shop with a Cop.

Franklin – Enjoy delicious sliders created by talented chefs from five Southern states as they compete in the Great Slider Showdown 4-7 p.m. at the Factory in Franklin. Guest judges include the Food Network’s Alton Brown.

Columbia – Taste some of the finest cornbread and white beans Maury County has to offer at the White Bean & Cornbread Supper 5-8 p.m. at the Athenaeum. Tickets are $5 and benefit the Athenaeum’s ongoing restoration.

Knoxville – The Rockin’ the Classics: Classic Car and 50s Rock ‘n’ Show is a blast from the past 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Historic Ramsey House. Vote for your favorite car, enjoy delicious food and listen to live music. The kid-friendly event is free.

Bristol – A Great American Tapestry tells the story of the Southern mountains’ musical birth and evolution. After the screening of the documentary at 7 p.m., the Birthplace of Country Music Museum will host director David Meinstraub for a Q&A session.

Tellico Plains – A community tradition since 1958, the Tellico Plains Annual Dance on the Square begins 5 p.m. with live music, square dancing, kid zone, cotton candy and snow cones during a night of family fun.

Cumberland Gap – The White Lightning Trail Festival celebrates the history of East Tennessee and Appalachian culture with musical performances, handcraft demonstrations, beauty pageant, 5K, arts, crafts, food and specialty vendor booths.

June 30-31

Nashville – Studio Tenn’s Legacy Series returns to historic Ryman Auditorium 7 p.m. for The Glen Campbell Legacy: A Tribute to the Rhinestone Cowboy.

July 1

Lafayette – Enjoy an evening of music under the stars 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by the Nashville Symphony at Key Park.

July 1-31

Knoxville – Explore downtown Knoxville during the month-long Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt in boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, at the Farmers Market and on the freedowntown trolley.

July 3

East Nashville – The July 3rth East Nashville Block Party 4 p.m. to midnight closes down North 12th Street between Ordway & Calvin for great music, food and local beer.

Bristol – The Birthplace of Country Music Museum welcomes Love Canon at 7 p.m. to debut their new album, Cover Story: A Journey through Music’s Great Decade, in the Performance Theater.

July 5

Goodlettsville – The free Music on Main concert series 6:30-8 p.m. at Goodlettsville City Hall’s Gazebo Park features live music by Red Light 11, a kid’s zone and other family activities.

Nashville – Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Auditorium feature incredible performances by some of the biggest names in bluegrass and newcomers who carry on the tradition. Vince Gill takes the stage for the summer series at 7:30 p.m. July 5.

Chattanooga – Charlie the Head brings on the heat for Bands on the Bluff: Psychedelic Summer 6 p.m. at Hunter Museum of American Art. Enjoy live music, art activities, neon experiences and ice cream treats and tours of the special exhibits for $5.

July 5-7

Eagleville – Tennessee’s largest petting farm and family fun park salutes heroes by offering free admission to Tennessee firemen, police officers, active/retired military, veterans and their families for Hometown Hero Days at Lucky Ladd Farms.

July 5-8

Nashville – Travel to a galaxy far, far away and enjoy Star Wars: A New Hope in concert as the Nashville Symphony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center performs John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score live.

July 6

Jackson – Caleb Minter takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. for Music at the AMP at West Tennessee Farmers Market. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, a picnic basket or shop or visit one of the food concessions.

Lexington – Enjoy live entertainment, shopping and fun for First Friday Night on the Square 6-9 p.m. at Lexington Court Square.

Cookeville – Travel back to 1985 for “Back to the Future” on the west patio at the Cookeville Depot. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy popcorn and soda for $1 each. Summer Cinema at the Depot continues Friday nights at 8 p.m. in July.

Cleveland – Enjoy live music, free face painting, giant inflatable slide/obstacle course, great food, homemade ice cream, pizza and more at the First Friday Festival 7 p.m. on theCourthouse Square.

July 6-7

Smithville – Get your toes tapping at the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival with various state and national championships, jam sessions from talented musicians and juried craft exhibits.

July 7

Shiloh – Shiloh National Military Park features free rockabilly music at Concert in the Park 5:30 p.m. on the lawn of the park’s visitor center. Memphis rockabilly artist Jason D. Williams performs, whose piano skills draw comparisons to Jerry Lee Lewis.

Hurricane Mills – Spend Independence Day weekend with family fun, music and a fireworks show at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch with a special Salute to Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn with performances by Tre Twitty and Tayla Lynn.

Nashville – The Nashville Zoo transforms into a water wonderland complete with slides, wet and wild games, splashy attractions 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Summer Splash H2Oliday. See zoo animals devour special popsicles like frozen grapes, turkey broth pops and chilled mealworms.

Crossville – Tennessee’s Miss America & Kellye Cash perform a special benefit concert for Youth Town 7:30 p.m. at Cumberland County Playhouse.

Granville – Native Tennessean John Tomlin & Company perform tunes steeped in bluegrass tradition 6 p.m. for Sutton Ole Time Music Hour. Admission is $20 and includes a Southern-style dinner beginning at 5 p.m.

Maryville – Yesterday & Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience 7:30 p.m. at Clayton Center for the Arts is an innovative and unique show anchored by brothers Billy, Ryan and Matthew McGuigan who leave the song choices up to the audience.

Bristol – Caller Tyler Hughes leads a Square Dance 7 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for an evening of old-fashioned fun to get your feet moving. No partner or experience is necessary for the free event. Donations are appreciated.

Ongoing

Pigeon Forge –Families can experience award-winning attractions like Wild Eagle and Lightning Rod and unique shows like iLuminate and DRUMLine Live!, with extended park hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. during Dollywood’s Summer Celebration.

Gatlinburg – Ride the Aerial Tramway or drive to Ober Gatlinburg’s restaurant to dine above the town. The new Saturdays in the Summer series brings live music 6-8 p.m. all summer long. Sevier County residents ride the tram for free.

Memphis –Levitt Shell’s free live music series continues at Overton Park. Live performances kick off at 7:30 p.m.

Memphis – Join the Stax Museum of American Soul Music 2-4 p.m. every Tuesday in June and July for the Live in Studio A concert series, free for Shelby County residents. There will also be free hands-on activities for kids.

Collierville – Meet family and friends at the bandstand 7-9 p.m. each Thursday night in June and July on the Historic Town Square for live music, food and fun for Main Street Collierville’s 2018 Summer Concert series.

Crossville – The Cumberland County Playhouse presents the story of Quasimodo and Esmeralda with breathtaking spectacles during the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the classic gothic novel by Victor Hugo.

Nashville – Art in the exhibit, Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century, focuses on globalism, mass migration, ideologies and technology, while sculptures in the exhibit The Presence of Your Absence is Everywhere are showcased by critically-acclaimed artist Afruz Amighi. Both exhibits will be at Frist Art Museum through Sept. 16.

Nashville – Musicians Corner in Centennial Park offers free live music 5-9 p.m. Fridays noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays with Kidsville and Dogsville activities, food trucks and more.

Nashville – The Natchez Hills Winery at Nashville Farmers Market presents a free music series every Friday, Saturday & Sunday on the outdoor patio stage, showcasing new and upcoming Nashville talent.

Clarksville – Trek to the depths of one of the largest caves in the region at Dunbar Cave State Park. Tours are limited to 20 people, so reservations are strongly encouraged. Register online here.

McMinnville – Downtown McMinnville comes alive on Friday nights in the summer with local food vendors, a beer garden and live music for Mainstreet Live! Concerts on the Plaza.

Knoxville – The free Concerts on the Square series continues 7-9 p.m. every Thursday at Market Square with performances by local bands ranging from classical music to blues, from swing to Americana and from soft rock to country.

Andersonville – Kick back, relax and enjoy live music during Sundown Saturdays 6 -10 p.m. on the patio of Stardust Marina, voted one of the top five marinas in East Tennessee.

Norris – Take a lawn chair or blanket and listen to  a weekly line-up of free music at Concert on the Commons, beginning 7 p.m. each Friday night outside at Norris Commons.

Lookout Mountain – Enjoy bluegrass and a mix of modern and folk country music with a spectacular view of Seven States for Rock City’s Summer Music Weekends.

Chattanooga –Sing, explore and pretend in favorite places from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an exhibit at Creative Discovery Museum based on the award-winning PBS series. Meet Daniel the Tiger 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Chattanooga – Experience a broad spectrum of musical genres during the free Nightfall Concert Series 7 p.m. every Friday night through Aug. 31 outside in Miller Plaza.

Elizabethton – Learn something new this summer with History at Home Summer Programs at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park with interpretive hikes, tours of Carter Mansion and Sabine Hill, and tomahawk throwing. Click here for the schedule.

Gatlinburg – Experience Summer in the Smokies every Wednesday through Sunday at Anakeesta with live music. Crafts and games for kids are offered weekdays and every evening you can toast your own s’mores at Firefly Village. 


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