The novel coronavirus has changed things up a bit, but the pandemic is not keeping the community of Fredonia from celebrating American independence and local veterans.

The annual Thunder in the Valley fireworks display will take place Friday, just as it has the two previous years, offering a 45-minute show that will begin shortly after 9 p.m. A concert with gospel recording artist Eric Horner and Nichole Adams will lead into the fireworks, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Buddy Rogers Park.

“We’re trying to do our best,” said organizer Presley Lamm, pastor at First Baptist Church in Fredonia, which is sponsoring the display. “There will be a big tribute to our veterans.”

Lamm said COVID-19 concerns have led to a bit of a different look this year, with all food safely pre-packaged and nine separate concession areas set up to keep long lines from forming. Instead of homemade ice cream as usual, Lamm said Dippin’ Dots worked with organizers in order to safely provide something cold and sweet on a hot summer night.

At press time, there is a slight chance of storms forecast Friday with a high near 90, according to the National Weather Service.

“We are asking people to self-police,” Lamm continued about virus preparations. “If people are not comfortable, they can sit in their car.”

Lamm said there will be a parking area just off U.S. 641 where people may watch from their vehicle. A shuttle service will be offered for people who wish to park and ride to the park for the concert and fireworks.

”It’s an ideal place to watch if you don’t want to get out of your vehicle,” Lamm said of the parking area.

There will also be a raffle for a custom-made knife. Tickets may be purchased at the event or ahead of time at Akridge Farm Supply in Fredonia.

Other fireworks

According to Explore, there are several fireworks displays slated for the coming days in the area, including:

  • Draffenville: Thursday in the area around Majestic Restaurant on U.S. 68.
  • Benton: Friday at Malcolm Creek Resort & Marina.
  • Eddyville, Thunder over Eddy Bay. Fireworks from Eddy Creek Marina Saturday, but parking areas at the marina will be closed due to COVID-19; best viewed from the waters of Lake Barkley.
  • Dover, Tennessee: Saturday at Fat Daddy’s on Kentucky Lake; best viewed from water.
  • Cadiz: Saturday at Prizer Point Resort & Marina.
  • Murray: The Murray Bank Fireworks Extravaganza Saturday can be viewed from the area around Kroger, Wal-Mart and Lowe’s along U.S. 641 and Ky. 121.
  • Camden, Tennessee: Birdsong Resort’s Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza Saturday.

Several shows around the lakes have been canceled, including those at Kenlake Marina, Calvert City’s Ameribration Celebration, Kentucky Dam Village State Park, Lake Barkley State Park, Bee Spring Lodge and Paris Landing State Park.