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With no Festival on the Fourth, Knoxville challenges neighborhoods to get creative and show off their patriotism

Each neighborhood will be asked to have its decorations ready for viewing from July 3 to July 5 to give people time to tour the different areas of the city.

Here in Knoxville -- city leaders made the tough decision to cancel Festival on Fourth last week amid worries about having large crowds gather as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Despite the disappointment, the city still wants people to celebrate Independence Day in a big way this year.

It's asking neighborhood organizations to participate in "Knoxville's Neighborhood Trails of Red, White and Blue." 

The city wants people to decorate their houses, porches, lawns, mailboxes, driveways and family members with a patriotic theme. It's similar to how the Dogwood Trail operates. 

Each neighborhood will be asked to have their decorations ready for viewing from Friday, July 3 to Sunday, July 5 to give people time to tour the different areas of the city. 

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Judges and a caravan parade will drive through the neighborhoods on Saturday, July 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. During that time, the city wants people to dress up, make signs and sit outside their homes or apartments to help celebrate and make the most of the holiday while still practicing social distancing.

Awards will be given out by a group of local celebrities based on a number of categories, including best decorated neighborhood, the neighborhood with the best overall patriotic spirit, and best decorated object.

Organizers said this is a great way to get to know your neighbors and celebrate the Fourth of July while practicing social distancing.

"It's amazing how many people I've gotten to know in my neighborhood that I didn't know before, and to me, that is something that everyone has experienced in their neighborhoods," Judith Foltz with the Office of Special Events in Knoxville said.