In past years, the Fourth of July Committee booked major acts that attracted more than 30,000 people to Rogersville City Park.
However, the program has been pared back significantly in recent years since a major sponsor was lost.
Committee co-chair Carolyn Elder told the Times News Wednesday that the primary focus of this year’s resources will be on fireworks.
“We are not starting until 5 p.m. because that afternoon crowd was just getting smaller and smaller,” Elder said. “We have two musicians. I was hoping to have a third but was not able to work that out, and that’s why the late announcement. I have found that what the locals are more interested in are the fireworks. They have parties at their homes and just go to the fireworks, and although our funds are limited, that’s one aspect of the Fourth we didn’t want to suffer.”
Elder said the committee checked into which local music groups consistently “pack them in” and booked the two that were available on the Fourth.
The opening act is singer songwriter Andrea Davidson, who moved into the Pressmen’s Home and is developing a songwriter’s venue there. Her biography states, “She is well-known nationally and internationally for her ability to captivate audiences as a multi-instrumentalist and powerful one-woman performer.”
The headliner is Bulls Gap, which is from, appropriately enough, Bulls Gap. The group features Scotty Arnold and Jerry Vincent, the original founders of Southernwings/Bullsgap.
“Last year people just begged us to get this group, but we had already committed all the budget before people started asking us to get them,” Elder said.
Hawkins County-based fireworks experts/presenters Bob and Julie Smith are matching the Fourth of July Committee’s fireworks expenditure to give the community twice the show that the committee is paying for.
The fireworks will begin as soon as it’s dark enough, sometime around 9:25 p.m.
There will also be food venders at City Park during the event, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament registration begins around a.m., and the city pool will be free and open from noon until 7 p.m.
The annual Fourth of July Parade through downtown begins at 11 a.m., and the theme this year is “I Pledge Allegiance.” Participant staging is at 10 a.m. at the East Rogersville Baptist Church parking lot.
The Fourth of July Committee is still looking for a sponsor to pay for the bouncy houses that are typically available for youngsters at the event. Unless a sponsor steps forward, the attractions won’t be part of this year’s program.
Anyone interested in sponsoring is encouraged to contact the committee by emailing [email protected]