JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — For the second year in a row, the annual Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks Celebration in Johnson City has been called off.
A city spokesperson said an event of such magnitude requires extensive planning and the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place earlier this year and unknowns about the pandemic led Pepsi and city officials to cancel this year’s event.
Last year’s July 4 fireworks show was also cancelled due to the pandemic.
Johnson City officials say the event can take around six months to plan. This is due to securing vendors, entertainment, and pyrotechnics for the event that typically draws thousands.
City officials said the state of the pandemic was quite different back in January.
“We were still under a lot of restrictions from the governor. We were coming out of a holiday COVID spike, we didn’t know what vaccine rollout was going to look like. So Pepsi, who puts on the fireworks show in celebration for us, had to make that decision back then. There were just too many unknowns for the future of the pandemic,” said Keisha Shoun, the city’s communications and marketing director.
Shoun said other fun events are still in the works for this summer, including the Fridays after 5 concert series and Meet the Mountains Festival in Johnson City.
News Channel 11 reached out to nearby localities on the status of other Fourth of July celebrations.
Organizers confirmed the Jonesborough Days celebration will take place on July 3rd and 4th, and fireworks will be set off on the 4th at 10 p.m.