Mix 400,000 patrons, hundreds of vendors, a 30 minute fireworks show and the result is one the largest firework shows in the southeast.
However, to most Knoxville residents, this day of organized chaos is simply known as Boomsday.
The annual Knoxville Labor Day fireworks spectacle is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 1. Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature food vendors, contests, a family fun zone, merchandise and live entertainment. Boomsday goers can expect the fireworks show to begin at 9:30 p.m. and last until around 10 p.m., according to the Boomsday event calendar.
For its 26th anniversary, Boomsday will be returning to its traditional location on the Henley Street Bridge, which has been under construction for two years. The company has been working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the city of Knoxville and Pyro Shows over the past several months to determine the best launch site for the event, according to Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville and a sponsor for the event.
"It is very important to continue to provide our community with a top-notch event year after year," Bumpas said. "After much discussion, the Henley Bridge was determined the best location."
According to WATE, this year 20,000 shells will be loaded onto tractor trailers and rolled onto Henley Bridge before being launched over the Tennessee River in synchronization with music played by local radio station Star 102.1 FM.Boomsday is the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the nation and has been named one of the Top 20 Southeastern Events, according to the Southeast Tourism Society.
The first Boomsday event was attended by a few hundred guests in 1987. However, the Labor Day stalwart almost didn't become the tradition it is today, Christ Protzman, senior vice president for the Journal Broadcast Group."There was a question whether or not we'd have Boomsday a second year," Protzman said in an interview with WVLT in 2012. "Thankfully our city officials said 'yes let's keep going.'" This year 400,000 people are expected to attend Boomsday, an event that has become "Knoxville's signature event," according to Bumpas.
"Boomsday is a favorite tradition for many Knoxvillians and East Tennesseans," Bumpas said. "It's very important to continue to provide our community with a top notch event year after year." Before the fireworks begin, family and friends can enjoy several activities including Paddleboard 101 classes taught by Billy Lush Brand, Rolling Video Games, Little Thunder Railroad and more, as found online. The NatureRaised Farms performance stage will feature live entertainment beginning with local soul R&B group, Soulfinger at 2:30 p.m.
Cerebral Mechanics Dance Crew, which specializes in Underground Street Dance, will start at 5 p.m. followed by Nashville's pop-country star Amanda Cramer at 7 p.m.Boomsday regular Stephanie Moss, an undecided freshman, said she cannot wait for the "delicious food, cool vendors and to see all the people." Moss also said she is excited to see the fireworks finale this year, and encouraged all residents in the Knoxville area on Sunday to pay the event a visit.
For those who cannot attend Boomsday, it will be aired live by WBIR at 9 p.m. For more information on events and parking, visit the Boomsday website here.