MJ parks

The caboose at Charlie Daniels Park was painted by artist Becca Toungette. She won a Wilson County Tourism Office contest to receive the assignment. COURTESY BECCA TOUNGETTE

Mt. Juliet Parks Director Rocky Lee said Charlie Daniels Park is closed except for green space and walking trails.

He also said that when visitors return to the park, they will see a new mural on the railroad car next to the Mt. Juliet Community Center. Artist Becca Toungette, who won a Wilson County Tourism Office contest, painted the mural.

The mural on the caboose features Mt. Juliet resident Charlie Daniels playing a fiddle and other Mt. Juliet themes.

“Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, the community center, tennis courts, gym and pickle ball are off limits,” Lee said. “We even had to close the playground and volleyball. They were not practicing social distancing.”

The basketball courts and skateboard area are also closed. The pavilions are not being rented, but can be used by small family groups.

Lee said four part-time parks employees were laid off, but maintenance crews have been mowing all city parks. 

Christmas Parade changes

Lee said the Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade organizers are trying to figure out a new parade route because the event usually starts at West Wilson Middle School, which was heavily damaged by the tornado last month. 

“We are thinking of starting it at the League Park and ending it at Charlie Daniels Park,” Lee said.

He said the parade will go on despite last year’s tragedy at the end of the parade when 7-year-old Rowan Frensley was killed when he fell off his float.

“When we looked at the video, we saw that nothing could have been done to prevent that accident,” Lee said. “That float was doing all safeguards. The driver was driving so slow and there were chaperones on and walking beside the float.”

Lee said parade organizers are considering have the float safety meeting the night before the parade. Previously it was held the day of the event. He also said that the rule against standing on a float will be more strictly enforced.

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