KNOXVILLE,Tenn. (WVLT) A steamy hot grill, check. Family fun, check and 20 minutes of fireworks.
"We'll probably have 30-35,000 if you include all the city and talk about the people on the roofs.. the people on the bridges.. downtown.. South Knoxville shore line ... We're talking 60-65,000 people," said Director of Special Events Mickey Mallonee.
Sally Green came early to the event this year to beat the crowds and says she has high expectations for the show.
"Definitely excited, very excited and the big kids are too," said Green.
City authorities say it takes a whole year to plan this patriotic event which is almost completely run by sponsors. The city of Knoxville shelled out $15,000 this year and also debuted a new farris wheel as a part of the program.
"We are at capacity and we have a waiting list and that happens just about every year. It has gotten to be such a big event that attrition is the probably the best way you can count on getting in," said Mallonee.
But the big efforts have paid off. People from surrounding cities have heard about the show and came to see it from themselves.
"It's great. I think they've done a real good job and you know it feels just like home. I mean, anywhere you go in East Tennessee pretty much feels like home," said John Miller of Johnson City.