While many July 4th activities and celebrations have been canceled across the county and the state, Kings Mountain's annual Red White & Boom is on - with modifications.
"Many events across the nation have been canceled because of health and safety concerns with large crowds and gathering size limitations, but our mayor and city council were aware that many of these festivals and events are traditions that families look forward to every year," says Kings Mountain City Manager Marilyn Sellers. "So, we had two choices with Red, White & Boom. We could cancel it all together or modify it to comply with current guidelines to make it safer."
In order to comply with state health and safety requirements, the city had to eliminate the live entertainment, activities and food vendors that drew crowds to a central location. The fireworks show also had to be relocated to a different area.
"This is such a big event, and we did not want to cancel it and let people down who look forward to Red, White & Boom every year," says City of Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler. "We have made major changes to Red, White & Boom so that we can present the fireworks show on July 4th," says Mayor Neisler.
The fireworks will now be held in the downtown Kings Mountain area, with a wide viewing radius that will extend far beyond downtown. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:45 p.m.
"While there will not be activities or bands this year," says Mayor Neisler, "we encourage celebrants to come early and visit our Revolutionary Downtown Kings Mountain."
Many downtown restaurants and businesses are planning to stay open later to welcome folks back to downtown.
"Our businesses in Kings Mountain have had a rough time during the COVID shutdown," says Main Street Coordinator Susan Matheson. "We hope you will help them bounce back by shopping, dining and patronizing these small businesses."
Prior to the fireworks show, Kings Mountain's Class of 2020 graduates will be recognized in a virtual video streamed live on the City of Kings Mountain's Special Events Facebook page. The graduation tribute video will be posted so that graduates' families can share the link to it with friends and family across the country. "We are proud of our graduates and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in a unique and festive way," says KM Special Events Director Christy Conner. If you want to see the fireworks, here's what you can expect:
• Social distancing will be required, and it will be up to you to keep enough distance between yourself and other people.
• The tribute to Kings Mountain's Class of 2020 will be a video, and you can watch it live on the City of Kings Mountain's Special Event's Facebook page beginning at approximately 9 p.m. on July 4, 2020.
• Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:45 p.m.
• There will not be one central area where Red, White & Boom will be held.
• There will not be activities, entertainment, food vendors or city services.
• You will be able to see the fireworks from multiple areas near downtown Kings Mountain.
• You can watch the fireworks in your car or sit outside in a lawn chair.
• You will ONLY be allowed to park on ONE SIDE of any street in Kings Mountain because the Kings Mountain Fire Department requires that streets be accessible for emergency vehicles.
• If you choose to sit outside to view the fireworks, you cannot sit in the MIDDLE of a city street. Streets will NOT be closed during the fireworks celebration.
• Please do not park in parking lots owned by businesses without permission, because they may be open for business at that time.
"Even though we can't gather. for our traditional celebration, we encourage you to spend time with your family, celebrating Independence Day in your own special way," says Conner. "We look forward to seeing you in your patriotic best in and around downtown on July 4th."
For more information, call the City of Kings Mountain's Special Events Department at 704-730- 2101, visit their website at www.KingsMountainEvents.com or find their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityofKMSpecialEvents.