Ethel Sprouse, mayor of Cedar Bluff, traced the history of Liberty Day during a recent meeting of the Centre Lions Club. Former Mayor Bob Davis, Former Town Clerk Mary Shaner and others started the event more than 20 years ago.
“It started with a car show and a few activities for the kids,” said Sprouse. “From that, it has grown every year. This year we are anticipating some 30,000 people coming in here.
They don’t all come to Cedar Bluff at the same time. The festival starts in the morning at 8 a.m. We will be full by 9 a.m. People come in waves. We will probably have 20,000 people there between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Then we will have a lull. And then we have another 10,000 to 15,000 people come in. Most are new people.”
In addition to offering local citizens and visitors a good time on the Fourth, the annual event brings in significant revenues to Cedar Bluff and Cherokee County, Sprouse said.
The festivities begin at 9 a.m., with a flag raising ceremony by the Centre Honor Guard Sprouse said, and music and activities will be held in the park throughout the day.
“Our main entertainment attraction this year is Wade Trammell from Centre,” said Sprouse. “He is now living in Chattanooga but has graciously agreed to come and be our main attraction.”
And the finale for the event is the annual fireworks show.
“How many of you have been in a boat on the water for the fireworks?” asked Sprouse. “Did you like it? That is the main attraction and we are excited again this year that we are going to be able to do that. It will be a 10 to 12 minute show. It costs $1,000 a minute to do the fireworks. That is an overwhelming burden for the town of Cedar Bluff. We are able to raise the money to put on the festivities during the day. Everything is free to the public.”
“A lot of people come in here just for those fireworks,” said Sprouse. “ We are asking you to help with whatever you can to help us afford that.”
The Centre Lions Club voted to donate $100 toward the fireworks at the 2012 Cedar Bluff Liberty Day Celebration.
“We struggle every year raising enough money for the fireworks,” said Sprouse. “Some way God takes care of us and we manage to get it done.”