While there’s a long list of Independence Day activities planned in Mount Airy, there’s also plenty to do elsewhere in Surry County.
Fourth of July celebrations are also planned in the Ararat, Siloam, Shoals and Mountain Park communities.
Phil Harris, who helps organize Mountain Park’s celebration, said a slate of events begins in the morning and won’t end until well after nightfall in his community.
The day will begin with a parade at 10 a.m., said Harris. The route begins near Charity Hill Baptist Church and will end at the square in Mountain Park. It normally lasts about an hour.
The celebration will continue at the conclusion of the parade, as the park at Mountain Park Elementary School plays host to fun for all.
“We will have a lot of live music,” said Harris. “There will also be kids games, bouncy houses, pony rides and other fun activities.”
Harris said the event will even include some professional wrestling. Folks can easily be entertained for the entirety of the day as they await an evening fireworks display, which is set to begin at 9:30 p.m.
“The fireworks are usually fabulous,” added Harris.
He noted the display and the day’s events are sponsored by the Mountain Park Ruritan Club, and the fireworks display includes an “opening barrage,” a “mid-finale” and a finale.
The Siloam community will turn back the clock for a festive old-time celebration on Tuesday morning as residents continue a more than 30-year 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, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Hardy Brothers Trucking.
When the parade arrives at the square, 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 the several guessing games sponsored by the Siloam Extension Homemakers, with prizes to be awarded.
Another summer highlight will be an old-fashioned watermelon-eating contest, with anyone invited to take part.
Patriotism will be at the forefront as the Shoals Ruritan Club hosts its annual Fourth of July parade and community gathering Tuesday evening, with plenty of food, fellowship and fireworks on hand for all.
The event will kick off with a community parade, with all residents from Shoals and beyond invited to participate or to come out and watch. Line-up with instructions will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Fairview United Methodist Church. There is no fee for participation and advance registration is not required.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m., with participants waving to residents and distributing candy as the procession makes its way down Shoals Road to the Shoals Community Recreation Center.
Upon arrival at the center, parade participants will join those in attendance for a variety of activities. A patriotic ceremony will include the presentation of colors and the national anthem followed by the recognition of all veterans on hand. Special guest speaker for the ceremony will be veteran Don Isaacs of Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436.
Later, club members will continue an Independence Day community tradition by offering hot dogs and cold drinks for purchase at 50 cents each.
In another Shoals tradition, the evening will end with a large fireworks display at dusk. Lawn chairs are recommended for comfortable viewing.
The Ararat Volunteer Fire Department will be offering a morning of family fun in celebration of Independence Day on Tuesday, 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 Blackwater United Methodist Church on Siloam Road. According to organizers, the annual parade is open to all entries that can be “pushed, pulled or dragged,” with floats particularly encouraged to take part. No entry fee or preregistration is required.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m., making its way to the Ararat Fire Station. Candy is encouraged and may be tossed to spectators along the route.
Upon arrival at the fire station, estimated to be around 10 a.m., an assortment of food and activities will be offered for the entire family.
Members of the Ararat Masonic Lodge will be on hand with barbecue sandwiches 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 a forty-quart ORCA cooler along with a separate 50/50 drawing.
In the popular annual “mayor’s election,” assorted challengers will battle to replace young incumbent Bailey Key.
Activities in place for youngsters will include a “Fire Truck” bounce house.
A fire prevention information booth will also offer coloring books and activity sheets for children.
“And we’re hoping to have some live music,” Ararat Fire Captain Joy Masten said. “This is an opportunity for our community to come out, meet the firemen, tour the department and have a fun Fourth of July. It’s a good day for family and community.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.