By Ashley Rader
Forget Winter Wonderland. Downtown Elizabethton will turn into a Red, White and Blue Wonderland for this year’s Fourth of July celebration.
With plans for the Fourth of July parade lineup almost finalized, members of the event’s planning committee have turned their attention to dressing up downtown Elizabethton to reflect the patriotic spirit of the town.
Committee chairman Bob Cable said decoration setup would begin Sunday, June 30. Volunteers will paint a red, white and blue star at the intersection of Lynn and East Elk Avenues that morning, and the traffic lines through downtown Elizabethton will be painted red, white and blue that night.
Also on June 30, the large wreath will be hung on the Covered Bridge, which will be illuminated with red and blue lights.
Director of Electric Services Rob Toney said colored lenses for the spotlights had been ordered and were expected to arrive in time to be installed by June 30.
“We are hoping the light will cast out and the colors will show up good on the Covered Bridge,” Toney said.
Large banners announcing the parade will be installed over East Elk Avenue on July 2.
The rest of downtown will be decked out in Independence Day finery in the days leading up to the parade. American flag-themed banners will be hung from the overhead light supports under the canopies along East Elk Avenue and American flags will be placed along the edges of the street. Also, on the Elk Avenue Bridge, red, white and blue bows will be placed on the lamp posts.
“It will be beautiful,” Cable said. “It will be a very picturesque scene.”
But transforming downtown Elizabethton isn’t all the parade will do: it will be used as an opportunity to honor local veterans for their service to the country.
Ninety-four-year-old Albert Williams, a World War II veteran, will be the grand marshal for the parade. Additional veterans will be honored during the parade and will be escorted along the route by members of the Carter County Car Club.
At the end of the parade, a tent will be set up near the Monument to give veterans a shady spot to watch the rest of the parade procession.