Museum of Appalachia to “Shoot Anvils” this 4th of July with Special Guest Robby Bowman of Forged in Fire

NORRIS, Tenn.: For decades, the Museum of Appalachia has celebrated our nation’s Independence in a peculiar fashion. Every year on the Fourth of July, the Museum uses gunpowder to send 150-pound anvils barreling into the sky, sometimes higher than the tree line. The sound of the anvil shoot can be heard for several miles.

This year’s celebration will feature the assistance of expert blacksmith Robby Bowman, a fan-favorite on The History Channel’s Forged in Fire. “I’m honored to be a part of the Independence Day Anvil Shoot Celebration,” says Bowman. “It’s very important to me to keep places like the Museum alive and to share and celebrate Appalachian heritage.”

Anvil shoots were once a common way for pioneers to celebrate special occasions such as holidays, weddings, and elections. A nearly obsolete tradition, the Museum strives to keep this unique and exciting pastime alive for 21st century audiences to appreciate.

The shooting of an anvil involves packing a pound of gunpowder between two anvils before lighting the fuse. The success of the shoot depends on a variety of factors, including the grade of gunpowder, the amount used, the weight of the anvil, and the amount of moisture in the air. If shooting conditions are ideal and all steps are followed precisely, when the gunpowder ignites the anvil will soar into the air.

“We like to think of it as an Appalachian fireworks celebration” says Museum President, Lindsey Gallaher. “Not only is anvil shooting rooted in history and tradition, but it’s a thrilling one-of-a-kind spectacle that you’re not likely to see anywhere else.”

The Independence Day Anvil Shoot Celebration will be held on Thursday, July 4, 2024. Event hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with anvil shoots occurring throughout the day.

The anvil shoots are the centerpiece of a celebration that includes a bell-ringing ceremony, flag procession, live music, and demonstrations from blacksmiths, spinners, weavers, saw millers, woodworkers, and more.
To purchase tickets, please visit The event is free for Museum members. For more information, visit, call 865-494-7680, or e-mail