Happy Fourth of July from this red, white, and blue West Virginia writer to YOU!

If you didn’t already know, my home state’s motto is: Mountaineers are always free.

There’s a serious thread of independence running through the mountains I call home. And what better day to celebrate that than the Fourth of July? And what better way than by shooting off some anvils?

Wait. What?

Yes. Anvils. Once again, the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, TN, is blasting off anvils not once, not twice, but SIX TIMES today during their annual Independence Day Celebration & Anvil Shoot.

In case you were wondering, here’s how anvil shooting works:

Place one anvil upside down on the ground and fill the concave space in the bottom with black powder. Then, place a second anvil right-side-up on top of the powder-filled first. A fuse is stuck into the powder, lit, and the resulting explosion can send the 100+ pound top anvil up to 20 feet in the air. Apparently, it sounds like a canon.

The museum will also offer demonstrations in weaving, rail splitting, spinning, blacksmithing, beekeeping, and other skills. There’s old-time music, a flag procession, and a national bell-ringing ceremony. The hot dogs and hamburgers will feel pretty modern, but hand-churned ice cream will take visitors back in time.

My dog hates fireworks. Wonder how she’d feel about the boom of an anvil shooting into the air??