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City blasts ahead with Fourth plans
Yankee Doodle - Stokely Newman.jpg
Stokely Newman, shown enjoying last year’s Yankee Doodle Children’s Parade with help from a popsicle, can celebrate the news the city is planning to hold its downtown Fourth of July celebration this year.

McMinnville’s annual Fourth of July celebration has not been canceled. 

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has decided to take a wait-and-see approach to the July 4 activities, but are going ahead with plans for the big day. 

“We are not going to stop that from happening at this point,” said Mayor Ben Newman. “There’s nothing that I know of that would stop it from the governor’s orders. We need to make sure when we talk to organizers that they follow the Tennessee Pledge as best they can. If something comes out between now and then, we will have to address it.”

Traditional Fourth of July favorites include the Yankee Doodle Children’s Parade, the Mr. and Miss Stars and Stripes Pageant, a pancake breakfast, a 5K footrace and a fireworks display by Dr Pepper Bottling Company. 

“I’ve talked to Zach Sutton about the fun run the Rotary Club puts on,” said Newman. “Something like that is not a contact sport. The governor is allowing non-contact sports to take place. That would fall into that category. When he organizes this, he will take every precaution that he can to follow the governor’s guidelines.”

The event has many contributors including Junior Auxiliary of McMinnville, First United Methodist Church, Paula’s Dance Academy, The Pioneerettes, and the Silver and Gold Band. 

“I haven’t talked with JA to see what their thoughts are on it,” said Newman. “They contribute a lot to the downtown activities. What are the board’s recommendation on it? Should we encourage those people to continue to plan, because it does take a lot of planning and the event isn’t that far away?”

Alderman Everett Brock stated, “We don’t even know what the regulations are going to be by July. A lot of this stuff is going to have to be self-supervised.”

Newman agreed.

“They can go ahead and plan it,” he said. “If anything changes from the governor’s orders, we can deal with it at that point.” 

Dr Pepper’s fireworks display will be held Friday, July 3, at 9 p.m. at the Civic Center as a kickoff to Saturday’s events.