Tips for families at Town’s Independence Day Parade

Town of Farragut’s 32nd Annual Independence Day Parade once again will feature around 95 entries — some having participated for decades on end — and helicopter fly-overs courtesy of Knoxville County Sheriff’s Office fleet, which young children seem to especially enjoy.

Several hundred families, which are expected to add up to thousands of spectators, annually line both sides of Kingston Pike from the parade’s entrance onto Kingston Pike from Lendon Welch Way at Farragut High School west to Boring Road.

This season’s fun begins around 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 4, and is expected to last about two hours.

Grand Marshal this year is Dr. Tom Kim.

Young children always anticipate candy “tosses” from various parade participants, chasing down min-wraps of Tootsie Rolls and Hershey’s Kisses among many candy brands and types.

This annual treat also comes with some advice for parents and all spectators, courtesy of Sue Stuhl, Town’s Parks & Recreation director.

“Parents need to control their children and keep them on the side of the road (sidewalk, grass, curb) – please do not let your children run out into Kingston Pike,” she advised. ”Drivers of the floats, trucks, boats etc. cannot always see a child who darts out in the road and we don’t want anyone to get hurt. Parade entries that are giving away trinkets or candy will come to the side of the road to hand out.”

Stuhl also offers other tips for spectators.

“Families should bring camp chairs or blankets if they don’t want to stand the whole time,” she stated in a press release. “These items should be put on the sidewalk or the grass areas — not on Kingston Pike. Some families have a tradition of bringing pop-up tents, tables, brunch, etc. and making this a real party.”

Given the parade’s length, “It is generally very hot sitting next to the pavement, so bring lots of water,” Stuhl stated. “Call 9-1-1 for emergencies – Rural/Metro is usually an entry in the parade and often leaves at some point to deal with an emergency.”

As for road closings due to the parade and Farragut Freedom Run, which precedes the parade, “Kingston Pike will close from West End Avenue/Concord Road to Federal Boulevard starting at 8:30 a.m., and will be closed until 15 minutes after parade is done,” Stuhl said. “Kingston Pike generally opens by noon. This means that there are some roads/neighborhoods along Kingston Pike that will not have any access to or from that road/neighborhood during this time. Emergency vehicles will always have access.

“South Campbell Station Road to Municipal Center Drive is closed from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 9:30 a.m. for the 1- and 2-Mile Run,” she added.

As for other necessities, “There are no portable toilets set up along the parade route,” Stuhl stated. “There are portable toilets for the parade participants at the line up area at the high school.”