Chattanooga residents were sorely disappointed when severe weather caused the annual Coolidge Park fireworks and outdoor concert to be cancelled, but the City of Chattanooga announced yesterday afternoon at a press conference a way to turn that disappointment into triumph, by combining a postponed fireworks display with the detonation of the controversial North Shore barge.
“This is a win-win situation,” said Mayor Berke to a crowd of reporters. “We will be able to celebrate Independence Day the way it was meant to be celebrated, plus, we will absolutely, completely obliterate that unsightly barge that has been an embarrassment to the North Shore.”
“We have the explosives,” said Berke. “A half-ton of dynamite, to be exact.”
The barge, moored across from the Tennessee Aquarium since 2009, was intended by Chattanooga businessman Allen Casey to be the location of a New Orleans-style steakhouse and bar, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has threatened to revoke Casey’s barge permit unless the barge is cleaned up and brought into compliance.
“Consider it revoked,” said City Manager Kris Viggs about the permit, to wild applause.
“This will be a wonderful, glorious display of colorful fireworks and shock-and-awe destruction,” said Viggs. “It will also be an opportunity to clean house. Anything you don’t want to see—urban chickens, Common Core standards protest signs, satirical news writers—anything that you want to go away, just put it on the barge.”
“Shit will get blowed up,” said Viggs. “I guarantee it.”
The press conference ended with the P.A. system playing a medley of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Neil Diamond’s “America” while Berke twerked vigorously to the music.