Despite the heat and about a 10-minute downpour, thousands of people gathered in downtown Franklin Monday to celebrate the nation’s birthday with friends, neighbors, delicious food options and plenty of music.
Along the way, attendees had a chance to check out a collection of antique and vintage cars, from a 1937 Packard to a 1958 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and 1960 Corvette, provided by members of the Battlefield Antique Automobile Association.
The Bluegrass All Stars kicked off the musical lineup, followed by Cliff Notes, The JLM Band, Rocky Top Revue cloggers, Don Adams Band, Boomerang and 30Vice.
“People were singing, dancing and having a good time listening to music of different genres,” Franklin Lions Club President Sherry Anderson said.
Prior to the start of the festival, a small gathering of people met in Veterans Park at Franklin’s Five Points for a reading of the Declaration of Independence by 13 members of the Lt. Andrew Crockett Sons of the American Revolution.
After a short opening ceremony, Williamson County Commissioner Brian Beathard gave a brief welcome.
“This holiday allows us to celebrate other holidays,” he said. “Two hundred and forty-six years ago, 56 men from 13 colonies met and … declared these colonies have a right to be states.
“The Declaration is one of the most powerful documents in history. It changed the course of the world and will continue to change it.”
At 5 p.m., more than 130 kids and parents formed the Kids Parade, presented by Wilson Bank & Trust, and followed the Dixie Strutters Band down Main Street to Public Square. After two trips around the square, they settled at the stage for the awards presentation.
“The children’s parade captured the celebrations of the Fourth of July with their creativity and patriotic bikes, tricycles, wagons and marching with the Dixie Strutters,” Anderson said.
Medals and trophies provided by Wilson Bank & Trust were presented to children in eight categories.
The Grand Champion was Evalyn Dewberry on her unicorn, while Grand Champion Runner-Up was Jack and Russ Peeden with Reese Hartnett in their airplane on wheels.
After the parade, members of Old Glory Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution read sections of the Declaration of Independence before 30Vice took the stage and closed the festival. Many then ventured to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, where fireworks were launched at sundown.