published Monday, July 4th, 2011

Get off the couch: Guide to 4th of July activities

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, it’s the Fourth of July, and that means that you won’t have to travel too far to find the celebration up in your neck of the woods, right?

LISA DENTON: Yes, my house is an unofficial pit stop for family and friends heading out to events at Soddy Lake. I really should charge a fee or at least put out a tip jar. There’s a lot going on at the ballparks that people turn out for.

BARRY: I know many Independence Day events took place yesterday, but there are still a couple of places to find some ’cue and some fireworks today. I also see that the Soddy party will have a firemen’s muster.

LISA: The firemen’s muster does stand out among Fourth of July festivities. They’re expecting probably half a dozen teams to compete in speed and skills events. It’s all for fun, but there is a big trophy that the highest-scoring team will get to take home. And there’s a car show until 2 p.m. and vendors and activities for the kids all day long. At dark, the fireworks will light up the sky over the water. It’s a pretty cool day.

Signal Mountain is also doing its big shindig today at the playground behind the Golf and Country Club. Did you know that this is the Lions Club’s 50th year to prepare barbecue and set off fireworks?

BARRY: I did know that. I understand they have a new mascot, Irby the Lion, who is named after an old colleague, Irby Park. These celebrations are like daylong time machines in a lot of ways. They haven’t really changed much over the years, and I hope they never do. Parades, food, music and people walking around handing out “howdies” and hugs.

LISA: You’re right. These Fourth of July spectacles are like a little picture postcard of life in a particular town. Even if it only comes around once a year, these events contribute to the quality of life.

BARRY: Yep. By the way: Stay away from those firemen.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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