anvil shootingMy 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. I wrote about anvil shooting last July, but couldn’t resist mentioning it again when I saw that the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, TN, will be holding an Independence Day Celebration & Anvil Shoot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today (photo from a previous year above).

As a refresher, 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, wood splitting, spinning, blacksmithing, and other skills. There’ll be old-time music with shape note singing and they’ll raise a liberty pole. The hot dogs and hamburgers will feel pretty modern, but hand-churned ice cream will take visitors back in time.

Who wants to ride over to Clinton with me this morning??