For the first time Mt. Juliet’s Independence Day fireworks celebration has two shows planned to light up the skies July 4, both scheduled for 9 p.m.
The city had cancelled its Fourth of July celebration orchestrated the past 30 years by local nursery owner Tom Needham. City officials said there was lack of an appropriate and safe place for the fireworks.
Needham will hold his own fireworks display in south Mt. Juliet behind Providence Marketplace.
Mt. Juliet later voted to approve a $15,000 contract with Impact Pyro for a fireworks show. It will be at the Mt. Juliet League Park on Lebanon Road. According to City of Mt. Juliet Parks Director Rocky Lee, the display will start at 9 p.m. and parking at the facility will cost $10 per car.
“This is a fundraiser for the park,” he said. “It’s for the kids.”
There are about 350 parking spaces at the ballfields.
Lee said viewing will be available at Charlie Daniels Park and the parking lots at Publix and Kroger on Lebanon Road. Viewers of the city show can tune the radio to 94.1-FM and hear music synchronized to the fireworks. The city show is expected to last about 20 minutes; Needham’s show is expected to last about 30 minutes.
Needham opened a GoFundMe account to help raise funds to continue his display. AS of 2 p.m. Monday, it had raised $13,700. Needham and his wife, Janet, donated the first $10,000 to the fund. He said he had to pay another $1,400 to hire extra police for security.
Needham’s “Celebrate America’s Birthday” show will be held on private property located on the south end of Providence Marketplace below Publix.
“This show is for the citizens of Mt. Juliet, funded by the citizens of Mt. Juliet,” Needham said. “It’s the best venue. It’s free. You can see it anywhere from the Providence Mall area.
“We just want to celebrate the birth of America and continue the celebration of the birth of our nation. We would love to have everyone there to celebrate America.”
Lee said the event at the ballfields is the first city-only sponsored Fourth of July display.
“It’s a huge fundraiser and maybe next year we will add a carnival-like atmosphere,” he said.