Franklin celebrates Independence Day in person

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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Franklin citizens and people from the surrounding area gathered in downtown Franklin on June 30 to celebrate Independence Day, embracing one of the first major organized opportunities in the city to return to normal life since the COVID-19 pandemic first began impacting the area 15 months ago.

“I think we were all thrilled that we had the opportunity — or have the opportunity — to gather as a community again, so I thought it was a wonderful community event with a lot of support from the people around the area,” Franklin Mayor Frank M. Rabil said July 1.

The Independence Day Celebration was co-hosted by the City of Franklin and Blackwater Community Events.

The celebration included the Franklin Cruise-In, featuring a gathering of classic cars on and along Main Street; the Market on Main, with goods from farmers and vendors in the area; a band and refreshments at Barrett’s Landing; and fireworks to close out the night.

“It’s a lot of work that has to go into all that coordination,” Rabil said. “We had the cruise-in, which I think they had like 110 cars at the cruise-in. The farmer’s market, each one of the stalls were full, and I think the people had good activity going on there. 

“Obviously, at Barrett’s, we had the free hot dogs and watermelon — and chips. They were giving away chips too. I think that surprised a lot of people,” he continued. “They had drinks for sale, water and soft drinks and stuff, even some Gatorades.”

The free food was courtesy of The Franklin Experience, and Rabil noted that six or seven businesses sponsored the fireworks display.

“There was a huge crowd, and I think also some of the businesses downtown benefited from it, people just walking around or becoming acquainted, if you would, with some of the things that we have in our downtown area for future shopping if they didn’t shop last night,” he said. 

He also highlighted that it was a peaceful evening.

“Police received no calls last night during it, and with all those people in town, I think that says a lot for the organization and the willingness of people to get out and have a good time in the way that people ought to get out and have a good time,” he said. 

“We were most thrilled. The city staff did a wonderful job, the volunteers did an excellent job, everybody was just on cue, so it was really a super event.”