KNOXVILLE (WATE) – “The Final Countdown” is on to the very last Boomsday on September 6. Visit Knoxville announced last month it was ending Boomsday because sponsors and partnerships were dwindling.
It’s also because they can’t ticket the nation’s largest fireworks display.
“I’ve grown up with Boomsday. I remember being a little kid and going to Boomsday. To see it leaving is a weird thing,” said Preston Morris, a lifelong Knoxville resident.
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It’s a big change for businesses downtown that have gotten used to the large crowds. At Rococo Boutique in Market Square, they’re selling souvenir T-shirts and other clothing with “Bye Bye Boomsday 1987-2015” printed on it.
“It has such a hometown feel. Even if you go away and come back, it’s always that one steady thing that’s been in Knoxville,” said Katie Vaughn, about what inspired them to make the T-shirts.
They say the T-shirts are flying off the racks. With this week expected to be a big one for sales, they got a new consignment in on Monday.
“We probably know this is going to be the biggest Boomsday of all Boomsdays,” Vaughn said.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House already has reservations booked for 400 people. The patio is prime viewing area for the show.
“Boomsday is among the three busiest days we have all year,” explained general manager Paul Hohe.
It’ll be a bite into revenue at a lot of establishments like theirs.
“Well it’s a little dampening, but I understand Boomsday is a big production for the city to put on,” Hohe added.
“I’m hoping somehow, some way, Boomsday can stick around because it’s such a staple in the Southeast. It’s one of those huge monumental events you get to celebrate in Knoxville every year,” Morris said.
The City of Knoxville and the University of Tennessee will be holding a joint news conference on Tuesday to discuss Boomsday logistics.