Two local communities will be renewing long-standing traditions this weekend with Independence Day celebrations.
Both Siloam and Ararat will be holding traditional July 4 Day celebrations, including parades, games, a bounce house and other activities.
The Siloam community will come together for a festive old-time celebration on Monday morning as residents continue a valued tradition of gathering for Independence Day on “The Square.”
Hosted by the Copeland Ruritan Club, the day will begin with the annual Fourth of July parade. The parade is open to everyone and all types of entries including floats, bicycles, classic cars and tractors. No registration is required, with entrants asked to be available for line-up at 9 a.m. at Hardy Brothers Trucking.
The parade will begin at 9:30, with the procession making its way to The Square. Candy may be dispersed along the route. Entry winners will be named for best float, best youth float, best car, best truck and cleanest and dirtiest tractor.
Upon arrival, expected to be at around 10 a.m., residents will be invited to enjoy an assortment of activities and entertainment for the entire family. Featured will be the music of local favorites, The Marshall Brothers Band.
Youngsters will be encouraged to try their hand at a creative variety of old-fashioned games. Older residents may take part in guessing games sponsored by the Siloam Extension Homemakers, with prizes to be awarded.
A talent show will feature local residents showing off a variety of skills and will be open to any entrants.
Concessions will feature Oscar Meyer hot dogs grilled by club members along with cold soft drinks. Continuing a long history of their involvement in the day, desserts will be offered by the Siloam Extension Homemakers.
“We’re looking forward to a fun time,” Copeland Ruritan representative Jerry Venable said. “Independence Day is a great time for people to come together and this is a great community event. We have neighbors who haven’t seen each other in awhile coming together and we see some people who have moved away but are back visiting family. There are a lot of old and new friends here.”
“Over the years,” he continued, “a lot of areas have lost that community feel. But this is a great time to have community come together and enjoy the day.”
The Ararat Volunteer Fire Department will be offering a morning of family fun in celebration of Independence Day on Monday, continuing a longstanding holiday tradition in the community.
The day will begin with a parade, with line-up scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at Old Highway 52, adjacent to Ararat Road and Longhill Road. The parade is open to all entries that can be “pushed, pulled or dragged,” with floats particularly encouraged to take part. No entry fee or advance registration is required.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m., making its way down Ararat Road to the fire station. Candy is encouraged and may be tossed to spectators along the route.
“Anyone is more than welcome to participate,” noted fire department Lieutenant Joy Masten. “We like a big parade with floats and entries that are colorful and patriotic.”
Upon arrival at the fire station, estimated to be around 10, an assortment of games, concessions and activities will be offered for the entire family.
Members of the Ararat Masonic Lodge will be on hand with barbecue for sale as a fundraiser and will also host a gun raffle.
Fire department personnel will be offering hot dogs, chips, drinks and ice cream, with proceeds to benefit the department. A raffle will also be held for an ORCA cooler.
Live music will be offered throughout the morning, with local talent Billy C. Smith taking the stage.
In the popular annual “mayor’s election,” assorted challengers will battle to unseat young incumbent Bailey Key. She is the daughter of Ararat Fire Chief Wes Key.
Activities in place for youngsters will include a fire truck bounce house.
“We’re hoping people will come out, have a good time and socialize with their neighbors,” Masten said. “We like to take this day as an opportunity to bring our community together and give them a chance to meet the firemen. We want them to know who we are and that we’re here for them.”