Mack Riddle Independence Day parade

Participants march in the 2019 Independence Day parade in Kingsport in this file photo. The parade was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic last year but is set to return this year. It will begin at 10 a.m. on July 3 at the Renaissance Center.

KINGSPORT — The Mack Riddle American Legion 67th annual Independence Day parade is returning to the Model City this year.

After being sidelined last year due to the pandemic, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. on July 3 at the Renaissance Center.

Participants will proceed down Center Street to Fort Henry Drive, and the route will end at Memorial Park across from Dobyns-Bennett High School.

The parade will take place without any special conditions, according to Vanessa Bennett, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce’s executive director of operations and talent development.

“We are urging people to get vaccinated, though,” Bennett said. “We’re going to be able to have these things if more people are vaccinated and keep everybody safe. We’re hopeful that the parade route is so spread out ... that will help as well.”

The Kingsport Chamber is accepting applications for sponsors and entries for the parade. Interested parties can call the organization at (423) 392-8800 or email vbennett@kingsportchamber.org.

At this point, Bennett said three bands have confirmed for the parade: Dobyns-Bennett, West Ridge and Volunteer.

Additionally, West Ridge will include its dance team, ROTC and cheerleaders, Bennett said.

“We’ll be announcing our grand marshal soon,” Bennett said. “I think it’s going to be some people that everybody will be proud of.”

The Twilight Alive Concert series will kick off that evening and include a fireworks display. More information about those two events will be released soon by the chamber, Bennett said.

“It has been a tough year for all of us through the pandemic,” Bennett said. “(The parade) will be a great way our community can join together as we celebrate our freedom and honor those who serve and sacrifice for our country.”