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Fireworks headline at Hope Park Church July 3 extravaganza

Train rides at Hope Park's annual July 3 fireworks celebration for the 4th of July!
Train rides at Hope Park's annual July 3 fireworks celebration for the 4th of July!
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

Cars, chairs and big sun umbrellas covered the grounds of Hope Park Church (formerly BCC) in Bellevue on July 3. Although the fireworks didn't start until 9 pm, people arrived at 5 pm and earlier to enjoy the food trucks, inflatable games, rock climbing, face painting, kite flying, arrow shooting, train riding, balloon-animal making, sand art creating, music playing and other activities.

Hope Park Church decorated for the 4th of July
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

A stage with live music was set up near the archery and photo cut outs which were adjacent to the booths where sand art and face painting took place. To the side were the inflatable games and rock climbing. A train circled the parking lots, passing the food trucks, and in a nearby field colorful kites were flown. A slightly disturbing drone circled the church taking videos of the activities, a reminder to some that Big Brother might also be watching.

But much of the fun was next to the cars where the mother of all tailgating parties -- or at least a very good tailgating party--was taking place. Tables were spread with watermelons, pies, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, barbecue, brownies, potato chips and more while others grilled or ate out of hampers and coolers.

As darkness fell, glow sticks came out, and a cool breeze kicked up, causing some guests to wrap up in blankets--something almost unheard of during a Nashville July. Soon the main attraction began--almost a half hour of colorful and noisy fireworks filed the sky. Like an echo, another fireworks show could be seen in the distance.

A couple of fire trucks were on hand, just in case the pyrotechnics got out of hand. The unseasonably cool weather made a top-notch event even more unforgettable. See the slideshow for some of the fun.

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