The torrential downpours and the relentless thunderstorms doomed Independence Day long before UT students and Knoxville residents could hope for sunny weather and clear skies.
The National Weather Service in Morristown predicted there would be between two to five inches of rain this past weekend, with a 100 percent chance of showers and possible thunderstorms on July 4.
Indeed, rain did fall almost all day in downtown Knoxville, but it did not stop students and residents from celebrating the Fourth of July.
“I had a lot of fun,” Morgan Pinns, Knoxville community member said. “I actually danced in the rain.”
Many East Tennessee towns either rescheduled or postponed Independence Day activities. Clinton at Lake Front Park and Oak Ridge both postponed firework shows until yesterday, Kingston postponed until Saturday, July 13 and Campbell County altogether cancelled all festivities.
One of the year’s largest events, the annual Festival on the Fourth, features performances by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Worlds Fair Park and celebrated its 29th anniversary this year. The Orchestra played as scheduled, with fireworks closing the show. Although, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office helicopter “Fly-Over” and the Knoxville Fire Department Rescue Squad’s rappelling of the Sunsphere were cancelled, and promised to return next year.
Although it had been a cloudy, wet day, residential communities in Farragut and Lenoir City set off fireworks once the sky was dark enough last Thursday. But not without complications.
“Dad bought some fireworks that we were all really excited about until the neighbors blew us away with their own,” said Rodolfo Urquieta, rising junior in English, who spent his weekend in Morristown where the weather was just as dismal. “It was pretty comical because it started raining really hard so barely got anything lit.”
Despite the gloomy weather, Independence Day 2013 still maintained the real joy behind a holiday.
“In the end, the fireworks were an abysmal failure, but the family time was great,” Urquieta said. “I think that’s all that matters and what the holidays are all about.”