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Loud and proud on the 4th of July

  • Lynn Fox holds the red cloth about to be lifted on the Liberty Pole - Collin Riggs

  • Daughters of the American Revolution gathered on one of the old homesteads during the Ringing of the Liberty Bell ceremony on July 4 at the Museum of Appalachia. - Collin Riggs

The Museum of Appalachia held its annual anvil shoot this past Saturday, July 4, hosting four separate shoots across the day, each pulling in more than 200 people.

More than 860 people visited the museum over the course of the day, enjoying the food and activities despite the heat.

Blacksmiths and beekeepers sold their wares, and the Boy Scouts of America set up saws so people could learn how pioneers cut large logs.

Multiple times throughout the day, the Daughters of the American Revolution and representatives of the Tennesseans for Living History organization paraded across the grounds. At the end of their processions, Lynn Fox, a member of the Tennesseans for Living History, stepped forward to educate the festival attendees on the tradition of liberty poles and the history behind the tradition dating back to the Sons of Liberty in the Revolutionary War. After the raising of the liberty pole, the procession moved on to the ringing of the liberty bell, where each of the first 16 states had their name and state mottos read aloud before the bell was rang.

Multiple bands played on the main stage overlooking the field where the anvil shoot occurred, including the Teno Family, the Museum of Appalachia Band, and Matt Foster, out of Summerville, Georgia, and a couple played guitar and banjo on one of the porches of the old cabins for most of the day.

One of the anvil shoots had a guest shooter to light the fuse, one William Bear Stevenson, who is on the board of directors for the Museum of Appalachia.

Elaine Myer, the president of the museum, said the whole event went very well.

“Most people had their masks on like they were supposed to, and they distanced like they were supposed to and I was really pleased. I thought they did very well. It was a little smaller than years passed, but everyone wore their masks indoors and everybody seemed really happy with the event.”

Myer said the museum was happy to partner with both organizations again, as they have in the past.

“We’ve partenered with [Tennesseeans for Living History] for other events in the past, and it just worked out that we got to partner with them this time. I thought it really added to the ambiance.”

The museum is trying to organize a festival for the end of the month, but currently isn’t sure whether they will be able to have it or not with the rising number of Covid-19 cases across the country.

“We were really happy to be able to do Fourth of July. We’re just evaluating day-to-day right now, with Covid on the rise. We’re not sure what we’ll be able to do next.”