If you plan to watch fireworks at the Putnam County Fairgrounds Saturday, be prepared to social distance.
Putnam County Parks and Recreation Director John Ross Albertson said on arrival, viewers will be guided to specific parking spots with enough space to practice social distancing. County officials ask groups to stay within the designated parking throughout the show.
“We have also provided you enough space that you can get out and seat outside of your vehicle,” Albertson said. “We ask that you do not mass congregate within the parking lot, and we are also asking that we have no outside foot traffic.”
Albertson said the North Walnut entry to the fairgrounds is the only entrance to the parking area. In order to social distance, parking for this year’s firework show will be limited to about 700 vehicles. Parking will start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. Several businesses in the viewing zone are also opening their parking lots for the expected over flow.
“If anything, we are set up to be able to socially distance as best as possible in our community, and I think that is what is going to make it work so well,” Albertson said. “Especially with how big of a show we have. That is one thing that makes it very unique. You can see it from so many locations.”
Officials recommend coming to the fairgrounds from Jackson Street or Interstate Drive and avoiding Veterans Drive.
After the show, viewers can exit the north end of the fairground with two lanes going northbound. There will not be traffic flowing between the north exit of the fairgrounds and Veterans Drive.
If you exit from the fairgrounds from the south, you must take a right toward Willow Avenue. Southbound traffic from Jackson Street will still be allowed except for traveling to Interstate Drive. Veterans Drive will be closed for about 30 minutes after the show.
Cookeville Police Officer Darren Stout said traffic will be an issue in Cookeville for the entire night.
“It is going to be congested whether you are at a partner site to watch or at the fairgrounds,” Stout said. “Just be patient. There will be a high volume of law enforcement. We are going to get you home.”
If you do not feel safe going to the firework show, the Red, White and Boom will air on WCTE at 9:00 p.m Saturday.