UPDATED: In Williamsburg, fireworks show to go on; display canceled in Corbin
Fireworks are still scheduled to light up the night sky in Williamsburg and Jellico this Independence Day, but fireworks in Corbin Tuesday have been canceled due to dry conditions.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said Monday afternoon that he met with Williamsburg Fire Chief James Privett and the two rode out to the field near the waterpark where the fireworks will be shot off.
"We'll have volunteer fire trucks there. We'll have our fire trucks there. We are going to wet the ground before and get it good and soaked. We are going to have everybody in place just in case anything happens, but we've made a decision we are going to go ahead and do it," Harrison said.
"I believe that the guys can handle it so we are going to go ahead and with the celebration."
Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe promises that it will be a great show.
"At dark thirty on the fourth we will have our biggest fireworks show, the biggest we have ever had here. Last year was great, this year is going to be even better," he added.
Jellico Mayor Les Stiers said Monday morning that his city's fireworks show is definitely on for the Fourth of July.
Stiers said the fireworks are shot off over a marshy area and as a precaution, the fire department will be standing by with a 2,000 gallon tanker should anything catch on fire.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney confirmed Friday that city leaders were forced to make the regrettable decision to cancel the fireworks for reasons of public safety. The fireworks display was to be held at The Arena off of Cumberland Falls Highway in south Corbin.
"There's just no rain in sight and the county is under a burn ban ... we just didn't think it was a good idea," McBurney said.
"There's some nursing homes out there and if you get a lot of people together, many of them will be setting off their own bottle rockets and stuff, it could just be a real problem."
Events sponsored by the city's Main Street Program, scheduled to be held downtown, will continue as normal. McBurney said the city is considering holding a fireworks display instead to kick off the NIBROC Festival in August, weather permitting.
Whitley County is one of 66 Kentucky counties in a level one drought, which indicates moderate to severe drought conditions have developed primarily affecting soil moisture and vegetation. Counties with this designation can expect reduced supplies of agricultural water and heightened risk of wildfires. 23 counties are considered abnormally dry but not yet in a level one drought condition, and 24 counties are in a level two drought.
Fourth of July festivities in Williamsburg will take place Wednesday and conclude Friday evening.
Williamsburg will see some significant changes this year to its Independence Day celebrations.
This year the 5-K Freedom Run, which had taken place the last three years, has been cancelled in addition to WEKC radio's gospel music concert, which had taken place the last 11 years.
This year the Williamsburg Fourth of July Parade has been added, which will begin 11 a.m. at the city school and end near the courthouse on Main Street.
The line up for the parade will start at 9:45 a.m. Anyone with questions about the parade can contact organizer Erin Mays at 521-1848.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday the Charles Gatliff Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the William Whitley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will hold their annual Let Freedom Ring bell ringing ceremony at Patriot Park next to the Hutton School of Business on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands.
At 2 p.m., a bell ringing ceremony will take place with a replica of the Liberty Bell being rung 13 times in honor of the 13 original colonies.
Festivities continue with registration for the annual Sid Strunk Corn Toss Tournament at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Kentucky Splash Waterpark followed by the actual tournament at 4 p.m.
There is a $10 entry fee per player in the double elimination tournament. There is a $300 guarantee payout with games being played rain or shine.
"Sid was really a great person as far as the corn toss tournaments here. He was just an outstanding man to work with us on not only this program but Old Fashioned Trading Days too," Sharpe said.
Nighttime festivities will start Wednesday at the Kentucky Splash Waterpark at 7 p.m. with the Picnic in the Park under the pavilion. Grilled hotdogs, chips and a drink will be sold for $5.
The hotdog eating contest will follow. There is no gate entry fee at the waterpark after 7 p.m.
At 8 p.m., the Seventh Annual Duck Derby will take place in the lazy river. The grand prize will be $500.
Proceeds from the duck derby will also go to benefit the Shop with a Cop program.
"Fireworks will be as soon as it gets dark. I'd say probably around 9:30 p.m. or somewhere in there," Sharpe said. "I urge everybody to come into the parking lot of the waterpark to be able to get out and get home fast. Otherwise, it may take a while if they park somewhere else."
Police and emergency service personnel will be on hand at the waterpark to direct traffic that night, and traffic along Ky. 92W will be stopped after the fireworks to let traffic out at the waterpark.
"Police will be at intersections to help get them on out and get them on the Interstate or wherever they are going," Sharpe said.
"It is going to be a great show and we urge everyone to come out."
Festivities will resume Friday evening with the Williamsburg Main Street program's third block party of the summer.
"We are going to have an old fashioned block party downtown with Klassyc Tymes out of Monticello," Williamsburg Main Street Manager Nannie Hays said.
The free block party will take place from 8 - 11 p.m. at Bill Woods Park, but you have to bring your own lawn chairs.
Corbin's Independence Day Block Party will be held 4-9 p.m. today at Nibroc Park.
Main Street Director Andrew Salmons said Bluegrass/folk rock band Tidal Wave Road and country artist Travis Wayne will provide the musical entertainment.
In addition, the contestants in the Texico Country Music Showdown will take to the stage at 7 p.m.
"It is an American Idol type of event, sponsored by Texico and put on by KD Country," Salmons said, noting 15 contestants have entered.
Along with the music, Salmons said there will a variety of food and craft vendors.
"It will be all kinds of cookout type food," Salmons said.
There will be a variety of activities for children, including inflatables and face painting.
Many of the downtown merchants will be open and be offering special promotions.
Independence Day Block Party 4-9 at Nibroc Park
Admission is free. Parking will be available in the city lots on Depot Street.
The City of Jellico is planning a two-day celebration that starts late Tuesday morning and culminates with fireworks Wednesday evening.
There will be food, arts and crafts with vendors opening each day at 10 a.m.
There will be a southern gospel music concert from 5 - 10 p.m. Tuesday and from 1 - 10 p.m. Wednesday at the main state.
New this year is stage two, which is located in the grassy area to the right of the main stage. There will be an open mic starting at 1 p.n. each day with all classes of music.
On Tuesday, there will be a battle of the bands from 6- 10 p.m.
On Wednesday, there will be a talent contest from 5 - 9:30 p.m. with a $100 cash prize for first place, a $75 cash prize for second place and a $50 cash prize for third place.
There will be a watermelon eating contest and old fashion sack race at 11 a.m., and festivities will culminate with a giant fireworks displace at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
For more information, call the Jellico Tourism Office at 784-3275.
"Bring your lawn chair and enjoy all the events available," noted Jellico Tourism Director Jake Bennett.
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