When country star John Anderson and folk-rockers the Lovin’ Spoonful have everybody swaying to the music at Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Festival on July 4, they will be helping a variety of area charities and non-profits.
The organizations – ranging from the Girl Scouts and the Pigeon Forge Fire Department to the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club and Relay for Life – are food and beverage vendors for the Patriot Park celebration.
“Tens of thousands of guests will be at Patriot Festival, and proceeds from what they eat and drink will directly support an array of causes,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, which organizes Patriot Festival.
Other vendor organizations include Pigeon Forge High School, the American Legion, the Great Smoky Mountain Shrine Club, the Sevier County Humane Society and several churches.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the visual backdrop for an afternoon and evening of music, which are capped by one of Tennessee’s major Fourth of July fireworks shows. Admission is free.
Anderson (pictured), who literally helped build Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House prior to his singing career, has had No. 1 hits with “Swingin’,” “Wild and Blue,” “Straight Tequila Night’ and “Money in the Bank.” Hits such as “Seminole Wind” and “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday” get instant recognition.
The Lovin’ Spoonful are part of the musical fabric of the 1960s and are 2000 inductees into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Festival guests can count on “Do You Believe in Magic,” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” and “Nashville Cats” as well as “Summer in the City.”
The festival’s lineup also features rising country artist Chris Janson.
Patriot Festival begins at noon when a multi-faceted kids’ play area opens. Among its attractions are a climbing wall, a mechanical bull and a giant inflatable slide. Access to the play area is free.
Music begins at approximately 1:30 p.m. and continues into the evening. A 20-minute fireworks show, one of Tennessee’s largest for Independence Day, blasts off at about 9:30 p.m.
It will be visible throughout Pigeon Forge, and Knoxville radio station WIVK-FM will broadcast a soundtrack for the pyrotechnics.
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and sunscreen.
Handicapped parking is available at Patriot Park. Other parking is at the city’s parking facility on Teaster Lane. Guests can hop a free Fun Time Trolley to the festival or walk the Pigeon Forge Greenway along the Little Pigeon River to Patriot Park.
Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free to 1-800-251-9100.
Tom Adkinson, APR
for Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism