Knoxville (WVLT) - Thousands of people turned out for the big celebration in downtown Knoxville Wednesday night.
Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has the story.
It was all the food, games and entertainment you could ask for to celebrate the Fourth of July.
It was a great time for people to come celebrate our freedom and have some fun.
It's a day full of celebration, Independence Day and the 25th anniversary of the 1982 World's Fair, and it started off with a bang.
"At some point they basically say, alright, lean back and trust the rope, but I'm not very good at trusting things I can't control," former Vol Dane Bradshaw said.
But former UT basketball player Dane Bradshaw did just fine and brought the spirit of the holiday to World's Fair Park.
"It's Independence Day, the day our country became free," spectator Linda Odle said.
To wish our country a happy birthday, about 60,000 people came out to celebrate.
"It's just great to see the flag and people taking pride in the country, whether they support everything or not," Navy veteran Jay Wigle.
You can see red, white and blue on just about everyone, and no matter how they wear their stars and stripes, it's to say thanks.
"It's about our country and the troops and supporting them. It's just a great time to be with your family," spectator Ashley Conrad said.
Especially about family who can't be here to celebrate.
"I'm hoping that my brother doesn't get sent off, but I know he wants to if he will," spectator Nicole Hawkes said.
Nicole Hawkes' brother is in the Marines, so she wears her colors proudly to support him.
"I'm scared that I might lose him, but I know that's what he wants to do, because he wants to fight for his country," Hawkes said.
But July 4th also brings back memories, proud memories of serving our country.
"It means a lot. I feel like I put my time to make Independence Day worthwhile for the country and for others," Wigle said.
And the celebration ended with a bang.
"With July 4th in Knoxville, you think of sitting on the lawn, listening to the symphony and seeing some awesome fireworks," Second Lieutenant USMC Andrew Hurd said.
To not only celebrate our independence, but to remember those fighting today to secure our freedom for tomorrow.
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