Fourth of July - ONLINE ONLY

The coronavirus isn’t stopping the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air over Dickson this Fourth of July, thanks to VFW Post 4641.

The post is marching forward with its annual Independence Day fireworks show, said Jamie Kelley, a bartender at the post who was authorized to speak on the matter by the commander.

“We are going to be bigger than ever this year,” she said in a phone interview last Thursday.

She said people can see the display from several locations where social distancing shouldn’t be difficult to do, such as the bank parking lot. Spectators can also visit the post at 215 Marshall Stuart Dr., where there will be live music and activities for kids.

The post is accepting donations for this year’s show, which could get a lot more viewers than usual because celebrations in Cumberland Furnace and White Bluff have been called off due to COVID-19 concerns.

Roberta Bowlby, the wife of Cumberland Furnace Community Center President Norman Bowlby, said in a phone interview last Thursday that a lack of money was also a factor in the cancellation.

She said an annual barbecue — a major fundraiser for the fireworks, usually held in April — was cancelled this year due to health advisories about the virus.

She said progress is being made on repairing the community center — also known as the B.H. Starks Memorial Community Center — which was heavily damaged by flooding in 2019.

Norman Bowlby said previously that the fireworks display typically draws upwards of 3,000 people.

Misty Rodgers, administrative assistant for the Town of White Bluff, said in an email June 11 that the Fourth of July celebration “has, unfortunately, been cancelled for 2020. This is the result of social distancing due to COVID-19.”

She said there was no vote by the town council. She said town department heads made the decision based on an executive order from Gov. Bill Lee.

The Crossroads Church of God of Prophecy in White Bluff traditionally puts on a fireworks display on the holiday, earlier than the town's display.

Pastor Gary Riley said the church isn’t doing so this year because of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.

“Hopefully we will be able to do it again next year,” he said in an email last Friday.

Residents of the town will be heading west on U.S. 70 to Dickson if they want to see fireworks nearby on the holiday because Pegram, which is about the same distance in the other direction, has canceled its all-day July 4 festivities.

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