Thunder in the Park Keeps 'Rolling' Sept. 2

Are you ready for fun, festivities and fireworks?

Saturday, Sept. 2, Wilson Park will once again host Union County's signature Thunder in the Park festival, a free event that will light up the night with a professional fireworks show. The gates open at 5 p.m.

This is Thunder in the Park's second year. The brainchild of former Union County Chamber of Commerce president Leslie Corum, it was a partnership between the Chamber and Union County government. This year, Union County government is taking the lead to bring the thunder once again.

Union County Mayor Mike Williams said the success of last year's event surprised everyone.

"We were told to expect 2,500 to 3,000 people, and we had close to double that," he said.

Vendors ran out of food, and local businesses reported having record-breaking sales during last year's event. Festival organizers are taking a cue from last year's numbers and increasing key infrastructure elements, doubling last year's numbers of portable restrooms and trash receptacles, and increasing the number of food vendors. Pyroshows, the professional fireworks company that brought Boomsday to Knoxville, is providing the fireworks for the event again this year, and WIVK radio is the flagship sponsor.

A new sound system will ensure that folks can hear music for the fireworks program anywhere on the grounds. There will be music for the entire event, and Southern Drift will return with live music again this year. Williams said all music will be family-friendly.

"Southern Drift did a very good job last year, and we were glad to have them," he said.

Plenty of activities will keep all ages entertained while they wait for the big fireworks show. For the kids, there will be an inflatable slide, free face painting by Faces Gone Wild, and Zach Richardson with Captain Z's Fun-makers. There will be a special tent with bingo games. Richard Childress Racing will bring one of Austin Dillon's #3 racing cars for the public to view, as well.

If you're into cars, #3 isn't the only one you'll see at Thunder in the Park. There will be a cruise-in car show along with the festival, and all are welcome to bring special, unique cars, motorcycles, tractors and more. The car show isn't judged, but those participating will be entered to win door prizes.

Food vendors include both professional food trucks and local fundraisers. On the list as of this writing are: Mr. Pizza, Greek Pita Sandwiches, Union County Soccer, Gypsy Kitchen, Calvin's Food Cart, Hawg Heaven BBQ, Boy Scouts of America, Union County Lions Club, Parrott's Concession, Willow Ridge, Maynardville Elementary School and Hibachi Chicken.

There will also be merchant booths, including Bar M, Lularoe, Renewal by Anderson, Senior Citz, Tupperware, Prissy Picket, Friendly Farms, Little Valley Creations and Greens Shop, Comb Ridge Crafters, FFA, Beth Bonds Boutique, Martin Shafer, Church of the Good Shepherd, and a fundraiser for Union County High School homecoming queen.

"We don't want to do too much, but we do want to grow a little bit each year," said Williams. "It's to give thanks to all the people in Union County. It brings people into the county and shows that Union County can put on a good event where people can have a good time with their family and not spend a ton of money."

"A lot of people didn't think that we could pull this off, but anytime we can do an event of a large nature like this and show the good people that Union County has the willingness to work hard, I think it helps our county. We may be a small county, but we're competitive."

Share

Comments

Where do we park for this event? Also if there is rain, where and how will we know this event is canceled or not canceled? Thank you

There will be Event parking signs located at Durham Road just b-4 you get to the
High School the Event at this time will not be canceled because of rain.

Other articles and events that may be of interest.

Hog Club member Abigail Foust at the state show

The Union County 4-H Hog Club headed to the state competition last weekend, a truckload of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and the hogs they spent the fall and winter raising.

Read More
Remembering Fiddler "Bitt" Rouse

The fiddler has played his last tune for the night, but Bitt Rouse will not soon be forgotten. Most people would not know of whom you were speaking when you mentioned Palmer Stiner Rouse, because nearly all his life he was known by his nickname. My sister, Dorothy Kitts, had him as a 5th grade student at the old Rush Strong School in Lead Mine Bend. Then he was called “Bitty” Rouse because he was so small for his age, but he grew to quite a tall man. The nickname was shortened to “Bitt.”

Read More
EMERGENCY ALERT:  THIS IS NOT A DRILL

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to this Week’s Article.

Now I don’t mean funny ha, ha, I’m talking funny in terms of things which make you go HMMM!

Read More
Writing Episodes

Last week I put out a call for those interested in writing their memoirs. Beginning with “It was a dark and stormy night” as Snoopy did in the Peanuts cartoon series is NOT the way to go.

Read More
 Cat on a Hot Coal Stove

Tennessee Williams once penned a play entitled “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. There was a 1958 movie based on this play starring Elizabeth Taylor (as Maggie Politt), Paul Newman (as Brick), Burl Ives (as Big Daddy), Larry Gates (as Dr. Baugh), and several others. Liz Taylor, who died of congestive heart failure at age 79 in 2011,

Read More
Cigarettes

Do you smoke? I did. I quit on my thirtieth birthday sixty years ago. That is longer ago than most people are old. I started during the war, World War ll, that is. Most everything seemed to be rationed, but cigarettes weren't.

Read More
Philippino Egg Rolls with Sweet Sour Sauce

This recipe is from Lita, Jamie Porter's Filipino wife. They came to Tennessee to visit us a year ago. Lita made these for us. I wanted to chop the veggies in my food processor. She was horrified. They must be chopped by hand, she told me.

Read More
Woodworking with Hal Galbraith

Historic Ramsey House Presents The Legacy of Woodworking with Hal Galbraith February 24, 2018 10 am to 2 pm

Read More
Tinsmithing Workshop with David Drake

Historic Ramsey House Tinsmithing Workshop with David Drake February 10, 2018 9 am to 1 pm

Read More

The Botts Family Singers will be our special guest at Fellowship Christian Church Sunday January 21, 2018, 6:30 P.M. Come join us for this special singing and worship service.

Read More
The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.