After Fourth of July fireworks fizzled out in heavy rains two months ago, some event planners looked ahead to the next big holiday. Which brings us to Labor Day.
This weekend, three of these rescheduled events are on the calendar. Of course, those plans come with this summer’s standard caveat: Weather permitting.
At press time, WRCB meteorologists were calling for temperatures in the low 90s, high humidity and the possibility of spotty storms.
Spotty? We’ll take spotty. It beats the soggy slog that marked late June and early July.
So, yes, weather permitting, you can take in a concert of classical music and fireworks in Collegedale, munch on another round of barbecue and see fireworks on Signal Mountain and get a Soak Ya soaking and fireworks at Lake Winnepesaukah.
Who knows? Maybe Labor Day weekend fireworks will prove so popular that Chattanooga will follow Knoxville’s lead and start its own Boomsday tradition.
Saturday fireworks at Lake Winnie
Lake Winnepesaukah, 1730 Lakeview Drive in Rossville, will make up for one of its missed Fourth of July fireworks shows with pyrotechnics on Saturday, Aug. 31. (The second is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4.) Hours on the dry side of the North Georgia amusement park, which includes such thrill rides as the Cannon Ball roller coaster, right, are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday (with fireworks at close); noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1; and noon-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Hours at Soak Ya, the adjacent water park, are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 1-7 p.m. Sunday and 1-6 p.m. Monday. Unlimited rides cost $31.95 per person (which includes Soak Ya admission); guests 2 and younger or 55 and older pay $15.95 per person. For more information, call 706-866-5681 or visit www.lakewinnie.com.
Classical music and fireworks in Collegedale
Not that they needed it, but the 65 musicians of the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra had an extra two months to prepare for their Labor Day weekend concert. Set for Sunday, Sept. 1, the patriotic program was rained out of its original pre-Fourth of July date.
“We are practicing twice this week to put the final touches on the music,” says Richard Hickam, who will mark his last time conducting the ETSO with this performance.
Hickam says he has had “the pleasure of working with an incredible board and musicians for eight years,” but now that he is living in Orlando, Fla., he has new projects to work on “and thought the orchestra could be served better with some new energy.”
Taking up the baton will be Dr. Brian Liu, who will be introduced at the concert. ETSO fans may recall that Liu performed the Tchaikovksy Violin Concerto at a previous ETSO concert. Before that, Hickam says, he and Liu played together in the orchestra at Southern Adventist University under Orlo Gilbert.
“For our junior and senior years, Brian served as concertmaster and I served as assistant director,” Hickam says.
The concert will open with Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and close with Peter Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” In between are such standards as “Yankee Doodle,” “America the Beautiful,” “Hymn to the Fallen” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Hickam says “Fanfare for the Common Man” will be dedicated to Ray Minner. The husband of former ETSO musician Laurie Minner collapsed and died moments before the 2012 Fourth of July concert.
Sunday’s concert will start at 8 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park in Collegedale. The fireworks show, presented by the city of Collegedale, will follow. Admission is free.
In case of rain, the concert will move to the auditorium of Collegedale Academy, 4855 College Drive East, and city officials will determine if the fireworks show can go on.
Veterans Memorial Park is located along the greenway path across the street from the Collegedale Public Library. It is accessibly only by foot. Parking is available at the library, 9318 Apison Pike, and at City Hall, 4910 Swinyar Drive.
For more information, visit www.etsomusic.org.
Fireworks, barbecue on Signal Mountain
A Signal Mountain Lions Club barbecue is a rain-or-shine event.
So it was on the Fourth of July, when the club’s annual fireworks display fell victim to the waterlogged weather.
And so it will be on Monday, Sept. 2, when the Lions will again heat up the grill for the Labor Day barbecue.
Weather permitting, the postponed fireworks show is scheduled the night before, Sunday, Sept. 1.
Mel Tryon, a member of the club’s board of directors, says July’s weather was quite a change from July 2012, when drought conditions led the fire department to request that the club forgo the fireworks.
“So we rescheduled for Labor Day (2012), and then we got rained out,” he says. “We ended up doing it on Halloween.”
Whatever the weather does to the fireworks schedule, barbecue will be served in Althaus Park.
Club president John Moon reports that more than 1,400 pounds of pulled pork, bratwurst and hot dogs will come off the grill, starting at 10 a.m. Monday. Sides, drinks and desserts will be served alongside.
Patrons may eat at tables within the pavilion or drive through for takeout. Local musicians will provide entertainment. The adjacent playground provides built-in children’s activities.
An added bonus of the Labor Day barbecue is a raffle, set to start at 1 p.m. Grand prize is a car, and the winner gets to decide on taking a Ford, Chevrolet or Nissan or choosing the cash value instead.
“We sell 700 tickets at $50 each, and businesses donate other prizes,” Tryon says. “About every 12th ticket wins a prize equal to the cost of the ticket, so you have a chance to at least win your money back.”
Club members will be selling raffle tickets from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at Pruett’s at 1210 Taft Highway and Ace Hardware, 2000 Taft Highway. The club uses the funds it raises from the raffle and barbecue for its community programs.
Althaus Park, the site of both the fireworks and the barbecue, is behind Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club, 809 James Blvd.
The town’s rescheduled Fourth of july parade will start at 10 a.m. from Alexian Village to Aethaus Park.
Up for a drive?
Knoxville lays claim to the nation’s largest Labor Day weekend fireworks show, called Boomsday.
Fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1. The display features more than 20,000 shells and will be choreographed to an original soundtrack produced by Star 102.1 FM.
Leading up to the fireworks finale are live entertainment, family fun zone with inflatables, paddleboard classes, Rolling Video Games and temporary tattoos for adults and children. Events start at 1 p.m. on Neyland Drive in downtown Knoxville.
Admission is free. Fees will be charged for some activities and for concessions.
For more information on parking and road closures, visit www.boomsday.org.
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.