According to Lions Club members working at the annual Franklin on the Fourth festival on Thursday, the steady stream of people coming and going all day made it a success.
Some arrived early to beat the heat while others dropped by later and made it a celebration with neighbors and friends.
The festival offered something for all ages – bounce houses, a petting zoo and pony rides for the kids, music throughout the day ranging from rock ‘n roll and bluegrass to jazz and everything in between and plenty of shopping opportunities. Food trucks and vendors selling leaf gutters, handmade wood products, jewelry, food, beverages and much more lined two blocks of Main Street, Public Square and Third Avenue South.
As sisters Lisa, Melissa and Tina Messer were taking selfies among the American flags around the grassy square, they spoke about what the Fourth of July meant to them.
“This is a day to honor our country and all those in the military past and present who have defended her,” Tina Messer said.
“It’s a day to celebrate the freedom they gave us,” Melissa Messer added.
“This is a day to come together, have a good time and celebrate the freedoms we have,” Lisa Messer said.
The DeHoog family came all the way from Ontario, Canada so their children could experience a smalltown American festival with their cousins. According to Mia Welscott of Spring Hill, the DeHoogs checked a number of possibilities on the internet and decided on Franklin.
Londyn and Loreyah Peeler’s grandmother is in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. She has visited the Franklin area several times and wanted to spend the holiday in Williamson County with her grandchildren before the Army moves her to California, so she drove down just for the day.
There’s a Tennessee saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a while.” Thursday ended up being just that kind of day.
As the sun rose higher into the sky, temperatures also rose - along with the humidity. Luckily, there was plenty of cold beverages and shaded areas available around Public Square and Main Street between Fourth Second avenues.
Late in the afternoon, as the Lions were preparing for the annual Kids Parade, the gentle breezes kicked it up a few notches, ushering in dark clouds, thunder, lightning and rain. The festival was temporarily closed until the lightning ceased, and attendees were told to find shelter in stores or the Second and Fourth Avenue parking garages.
Though delaying the Kids Parade for 30 minutes, none of the excitement and fun were lost due. Led by the Dixieland Band, dozens of decorated bicycles, scooters, wagons, strollers and children circled the square landing in front of the stage for the awards. Isla Simmons received the trophy for Most Creative; Claire Kinnan was awarded the Most Patriotic trophy; Leighton Brown received the trophy for Most Creative on Wheels; and Max Gallion took home the trophy for Most Patriotic on Wheels.
The 2019 Overall Best of the Parade went to Reese and Bella Settle and their decorated electric car.
The Dixieland Band took the stage for a last round of music before everyone headed to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm where they were entertained by Rubiks Groove and enjoyed food and drink at the concession stand until dark, when fireworks lit up the night sky.
Carole Robinson may be contacted at email@example.com