The Town of Greeneville is setting health guidelines for its 4th of July celebration in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The 8th annual American Downtown, beginning at 6 p.m. on July 4, has been modified to a citywide celebration to keep from attracting a large crowd to downtown as in previous years, according to organizer Amy Rose.
“We want to bring our community and visitors together to celebrate in the safest possible way,” said Rose, public relations manager for the town.
According to a release from the town, the celebration will use the following safety measures:
- A limited supply of masks will be available at Gosnell’s Stereo and Music on Tusculum Boulevard, where the celebration will start with a concert by Aaron Walker Band at 6 p.m. Audience seating at Gosnell’s will adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the show, which will end with a performance by Strong Ties gospel bluegrass, beginning at 6:45 p.m.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be located at Gosnell’s and the final concert location of the evening, Hardin Park. To social distance at Hardin Park, each individual or family is asked to bring a blanket to designate their seating area at least 6 feet from their neighbors while enjoying the show. The Hardin Park concert will feature Flying Js at 7:30 and Imperial Inc. at 8:15.
- Following the concerts, and prior to the fireworks how, a caravan-style Andrew Johnson Bank Parade will be held throughout town. Organizers have received approximately 70 requests of locations for the caravan to pass. The route is being mapped and will be announced soon.
- To social distance at the fireworks show at Greeneville High School, individuals and families are asked to stay with their vehicles or bring blankets to designate their seating areas in the same manner as at Hardin Park.
Everyone is welcome to wear their own masks and bring their own hand sanitizer to the celebration.
“We just ask that everyone use common sense,” Rose said, “and we truly hope this will be a day when everyone can set aside their worries and celebrate.”
Organizers of American Downtown have been monitoring guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Gov. Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge.
On June 4, Lee released guidelines for large community events, which call for a distance of at least 15 feet between vocalists and audience members at concerts. For more information on the Tennessee Pledge, visit www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery.
The latest Executive Order from Lee limits social gatherings to 50 people and remains in effect until June 30.
The Town of Greeneville is currently under Phase III of its COVID-19 reopening plan, which allows gatherings of up to 500 people (if allowed by executive order). The town’s reopening plan is available at www.greenevilletn.gov under News & Announcements.
In addition to modifying the parade, COVID-19 precautions resulted in cancellation of the hot dog eating contest, T-shirt sales, and Kids Zone for 2020, Rose noted.
As a safe alternative to the Kids Zone, this year’s celebration includes an art contest for kids. The deadline to enter the Greeneville Superhero Art Contest is June 30. Prizes will be awarded in the following age groups 5-7, 8-11, 12-14, and 15-18.
To enter, draw or color a representation of a superhero and submit the artwork at Town Hall or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, search for “Greeneville Superhero Art Contest” on www.facebook.com.