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Anvil shoot, processions mark July 4

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A daylong series of hourly “anvil shoots” with their accompanying big booms, along with processions of Revolutionary War troops helped the Museum of Appalachia once again put on a full slate of activities celebrating America’s Independence Day last Thursday.

Crowds were thick most of the day, especially when the anvil was shot into the air by a huge charge of gunpower each hour in the museum’s special version of July 4 “fireworks.”

People lined up along a rope set up at a safe distance from the anvil shoot site for each blast, as gunpowder was set off inside the top of one anvil to blast another, sitting on top of it, more than 200 feet straight up into the air.

A brisk breeze blowing during the 11 a.m. shoot seemed to have no effect on the trajectory of the 200-pound anvil.

But the blast itself was loud enough to startle the crowd – and most likely anyone up to at least a quarter-mile away. As the anvil rose to its arc, then began dropping back to earth in the large field behind the museum’s main building, the crowd broke out into cheers.

Men dressed as Revolutionary soldiers and women wearing attire of the same period marched in a procession waving flags through the museum grounds several times during the day, with the men carrying replica firearms of that period of American history.

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Market Night, ‘Tasty Thursday’ this week

Two downtown Clinton events are on tap this week, beginning with the “Tasty Thursday” food truck rally from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, and the downtown merchants’ Market Night from 5-8 p.m. Saturday.

The food truck event will be held at 425 Eagle Bend Road, in the vacant lot next to the former Real Dry Cleaners building, featuring food by Hamock’s, Waffley Good, and the Kennedy Grill, along with a lemonade stand run by Isaiah House 117 of Anderson County.

“We did the food truck rally last year through the fall, and this year so many people have been asking about it,” said Katherine Birkbeck, director of the Historic Downtown Clinton group, which is sponsoring the rallies.

“So we’re now partnering with Hamock’s to hold the event in the parking lot next to where they will soon be opening their new restaurant, and we will have it this Thursday, as well as Thursday July 25, Aug 1 and Aug. 8. We won’t have one next week because of the [Anderson County] fair.”

The Hamock family announced earlier this year that they would be opening their new Hamock’s Restaurant in the former dry cleaners’ building probably early next year. But they have been setting up tables at local events to sell Darlene Hamock’s locally famous chicken salad and other dishes.

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AMSE presents ‘Maker Station’ cart

Pre-registered groups of students can work on engineering skills at the American Museum of Science and Energy with the maker station.

It will be available during select hours on Monday and Wednesday for pre-registered guests who pay a small fee, $5 per student for groups of 10 or more and $7 per student for groups with fewer than 10 individuals, via a first- come, first-served signup sheet.

The station will allow visitors in grades 5-8 to explore and reinforce the engineering process design skills being taught under the current Tennessee state curriculum.

AMSE Foundation summer campers who are pre-registered during the summer months will also use the maker space cart.

Kids may sign up at

Coal Creek Miners Museum shows off new brick walkway

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A crowd turned out on Independence Day to get a first look at the new Memorial Brick Walkway in front of the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top, and participate in a ribbon-cutting event celebrating the completion of the walkway.

It’s inlaid with bricks bought by donors to the museum, most of the bricks engraved with the names of former Coal Creek-area miners and family members – with one theme in mind: memorializing those who lost their lives in two major mining disasters in the area in the early 1900s.

Rocky Top Mayor Kerry Templin was on hand to cut the ribbon as spectators looked on, including United Mine Workers officials and descendants of Coal Creek miners.

Construction of the walkway was the result of a fund-raising campaign the museum began last fall to pay for upgrades, including a new second floor of exhibits.

Museum officials said at Thursday’s event that the second floor has not yet been opened to visitors, but could be within the next few months.

In December, the museum was notified that it had been awarded a $50,000 grant from the state of Tennessee to help with the expansion.

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County veterans invited to community breakfast July 13

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Military veterans from Anderson County are invited to come together this Saturday for a community breakfast to honor veterans.

The breakfast, hosted by Anderson County citizens, is locally sponsored this month by a political candidate for a state office.

In addition to door prizes and the breakfast sponsorship, a new doughnut sponsorship has been added. July’s sponsor is Regina Copeland.

The breakfast will be held at the Clinton Community Center, 101 S. Hicks Street.

The chow line opens at 8:30 a.m., and there will be a brief program at 9 a.m. honoring veterans.

All of the veterans breakfasts recognize and honor local veterans and their families for their service to the United States.

Anderson County residents and community volunteers are working together to make the breakfast a free monthly event that will allow veterans of all ages and branches to fellowship and share stories together.

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