Fourth Events abundant in area


First Posted: 7/3/2009

Whether one is seeking fireworks, parades, music or food, plenty of that and more can be found in this area today as residents observe the Fourth of July in a variety of ways.
Communities both large and small have planned celebrations and other events that should be greeted by good weather, with the forecast calling for partly sunny skies and only a 20-percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Early Mount Airy Events
One key activity is a Fourth of July parade in Mount Airy which has the theme Hometown USA.
The procession will get under way around 10 a.m. and move through the downtown area by about 10:15, according to Twyla Sickmiller, who is chairing a parade committee for the sponsoring Downtown Business Association.
Looking good! is the terminology an enthusiastic Sickmiller used Friday regarding the outlook for the parade lineup.
We have about 30 units (registered), plus others that will just show up, she said. Weve got a couple of church floats that are supposed to be very patriotic, Sickmiller added, along with entries sponsored by local animal-shelter and other organizations and businesses.
A mule-drawn wagon will be another attraction along with a John Wayne impersonator, and Sickmiller is hoping that at least one band will show.
Unusual vehicles also are expected to be part of the lineup, along with a local woman who impersonates flag-maker Betsy Ross.
Sickmiller is excited about another parade entry, childrens decorated bicycles. Local kids whod like to have their bikes decorated to ride in the parade should be at the Robert Smith House on North Main Street by 9 a.m.
The parade chairman says it all should shape up as a great red, white and blue display of community and national pride in keeping with the Hometown USA theme.
It offers a chance to celebrate the independence that weve got in a wonderful country, Sickmiller said of the parade. It gives us a way to go out and have fun on the Fourth of July and honor what our forefathers did many years ago.
Parade participants will be allowed to enter Veterans Memorial Park on West Lebanon Street at 7:30 a.m. to make final adjustments on their entries. Floats and riders are required to be in position by 9:30 a.m. The procession will end at City Hall.
It should be a great downtown day, added Sickmiller, who has said that many of the merchants there will be open for the holiday.
Just before the parade begins, Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will host a 9:30 a.m. program, Celebrate Our Freedom which will include patriotic music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and free lemonade. A highlight of that event, to be held in the museum courtyard, will be a Benjamin Franklin impersonator.
At 1 p.m., the 208th Army Band will perform a program of patriotic music beginning at Blackmon Amphitheatre. The concert is free.

Celebration, Fireworks
Beginning around 5 p.m., the Surry Sunrise and Mount Airy Rotary clubs will continue an annual tradition with a community celebration at Veterans Memorial Park.
It will include games, live music and other events, which are free to the public. However, the two groups will be collecting donations of canned foods and money to aid area food banks.
The celebration at the park will be climaxed with an annual fireworks display to start around dusk.
A separate event at Veterans Memorial Park is an appreciation cookout, open to all area military veterans and volunteers and contributors who have helped refurbish a large brick house at the site for use as a center for disabled vets.
To begin at 5 p.m., the cookout will feature hot dogs and hamburgers and tours of the house. Those attending are asked to bring a dessert item.

Additional Surry Events
Other communities in Surry County are planning Independence Day celebrations as well.
The Ararat Volunteer Fire Department will host an annual Fourth of July Family Fun Day beginning this morning which will include a parade, and various games, music, food and other events at the fire station on Ararat Road afterward. The parade entries will assemble at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Ararat and Siloam roads in the Blackwater community and start the procession at 9 a.m., traveling east on Ararat Road to the station.
Trophies will be presented for ugliest truck, most-patriotic float and golf cart, best float and golf cart and most-patriotic yard along the parade route. Concession stands offering various food items will be manned by members of local non-profit organizations to raise money for community projects.
In Siloam, a 30th-annual parade and celebration is scheduled this morning. Entries will line up at Hardy Brothers Trucking on Siloam Road in time to leave at 9 a.m. to reach The Square of Siloam. Afterward, at around 10 a.m., music, games and many other activities are planned.
Mountain Park also will resurrect its Fourth of July celebration with a parade starting at 9 a.m. from Charity Hill Baptist Church. It will proceed through the community and end at its elementary school, which adjoins a park that recently underwent a major facelift.
After the parade, games such as sack races are scheduled on the baseball field, and a display of classic and muscle cars also will be part of Mountain Parks activities along with food and baked goods. Music by various groups begins at 11:30 a.m. after an opening ceremony, and will include a patriotic tribute at 5 p.m. Craig Southern and Phoenix will perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m., when fireworks are scheduled.
Elkin also will host its Fourth of July Patriotic Parade as well as games and fireworks. A childrens carnival, child ID program and other activities will be held throughout the day starting at 11 a.m. The parade will assemble on Main Street at 5 p.m. and proceed to Elkin Municipal Park and Recreation Center. Fireworks will complete todays events in Elkin.
The Shoals Community Fourth of July Celebration is another event scheduled today. A parade lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. at Fairview United Methodist Church, with the procession to commence at 6 p.m. and end at Shoals Community Recreation Center, where a patriotic ceremony recognizing veterans for their service is planned. The Shoals event also will include live music, games and a fireworks display when darkness falls. Free hot dogs and drinks will be provided by the sponsoring Shoals Ruritan Club.

Virginia Activities
Hillsville will host holiday activities from 4 to 10 p.m. A parade will kick off the events, starting downtown and proceeding to Grover King VFW Post 1115, where other activities will include games, food, music and the Hillsville/Carroll County Fireworks Extravaganza tonight.
Stuart will host its annual 4th in the Park Celebration from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at DeHart Park on Johnson Street. Musical performances are planned throughout the day at the park pavilion, with an annual car show, foods including hot dogs and lemonade and childrens competitions also featured. A fireworks show will climax the event at dusk.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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