| June 30, 2009 - The Festival on the Fourth promises once again to deliver a wide variety of family fun including entertainment, activities and treats at the City of Knoxville’s Fourth of July celebration.
The free festival begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4, with the Opening Ceremonies at the Tennessee Amphitheatre and doesn’t wind down until the conclusion of a great fireworks show nearly eight hours later.
In between, festival goers will be treated to good music, good food, good fun and good times. In addition to the City of Knoxville, The Festival on the Fourth is sponsored by WBIR-TV, WDVX and The Knoxville News Sentinel.
The opening ceremony features soloist Elaine Graham performing the National Anthem while the Knoxville Fire Department’s Honor Guard presents the colors. The opening will also feature performances from the Knoxville Arts and Fine Craft Center’s adult and children’s dance troupes.
During the day most of the activity will center on the North Lawn of Worlds Fair Park, home base for a variety of family friendly activities, including inflatable play areas, face painting and art projects.
Children, for example, will have the opportunity to work on 10 different hands-on art projects under the supervision of the Knoxville Museum of Art staff in the Art Tent located on the North Lawn.
Nearby, on the WDVX Stage, a terrific group of bands and solo acts, ranging from local favorites to a fast-rising country performer will entertain festival goers with a great mix of music. This year’s performers will include Freddy Smith – who will also emcee the shows - The Bearded, Van Eaton and Friends, The Lonesome Coyotes and Matt Stillwell.
Emcee Freddy Smith and his Patriotic Poultry Show will get things rolling on the WDVX Stage at 3 p.m. Smith, the popular host of WDVX’s “Rise-N-Shine” morning show combines his passions for bluegrass and raising chickens to produce a hysterical show you won’t soon forget.
The Bearded, an East Tennessee-based band that combines old string and rhythm with swing and blues music, follows at 3:15 p.m.
Alabama natives, Van Eaton & Friends, hit the stage at 4:30 p.m. with a blues-tinged bluegrass sound they attribute influences ranging from Townes Van Zant to Elvis and Hank Williams and the Muscle Shoals Sound.
The Lonesome Coyotes, performing at 5:30 p.m., have been a Knoxville favorite on the country/rock scene since their formation in the late 70’s. The Lonesome Coyotes have played such venues as the Long Branch Saloon; The World’s Fair in 1982 and even made an appearance on the soap opera, “One Life to Live”.
This year’s WDVX headliner is Matt Stillwell, a singer/songwriter from Sylva, N.C. who calls Knoxville his adopted home.
Stillwell is best known for country music that is described as fun and rowdy. “My shows are pretty big parties,” said Stillwell, on his website, “but I have a lot of serious songs and a lot of story telling I do.” He considers some of his greatest influences to be Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Ben Harper.
Stillwell will go on at 6:45 p.m.
At 7 p.m. The City of Knoxville & Knox County Military Family Community Covenant Ceremony will take place on the KSO Stage on the South Lawn of the Park.
Starting at 8 p.m., the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra begins the 25th Annual Pilot Independence Day Concert on the World’s Fair Park’s South Lawn. The two-hour show features the KSO performing a mix of patriotic and Americana pieces. Conducted by KSO Musical Director Lucas Richman, this medley will be the perfect accompaniment to the Fireworks Spectacular.
The Fireworks Spectacular – beginning at 9:35 p.m. - is presented by Pyro Shows Inc. of Lafollette, which also presents the Boomsday fireworks display.
The City of Knoxville reminds you that no pets, no coolers and no alcohol will be allowed on the site during the festival. Food and beverages will be available throughout the park.
Free parking is available in lots around World’s Fair Park including: the 11th Street Parking Garage, ADA parking at Fort Kid parking lot, World’s Fair Park parking lot, Blackstock and Locust Street Garage. There will be no buses from the Coliseum.
Officers from the Knoxville Police Department will be on site throughout this event. Lost children will be taken to the World’s Fair Park Security Building.
More information about Festival on the Fourth, including a schedule of events, is available at www.cityofknoxville.org/events/4th.