DOBSON — The town of Dobson is set to kick off the first of what is sure to become an annual event: The town’s Independence Day Celebration.
This year’s inaugural celebration is set to get under way at 9 a.m., on Thursday, July 3, and the town’s recreation director says it is designed to not only celebrate the country’s independence, but Dobson’s sense of community as well.
And hopefully raise a little money to defray costs associated with the planned Dobson Square Park, said Recreation Director Rachel Pace.
“What we want to do is hold our first Independence Day celebration along with a park fundraiser,” she said. “And we thought that since our weekly farmer’s market will be going on that day, it would be a great opportunity to get people out and about in Dobson.”
The event will feature the usual, rides for the kids, food, music and fun, Pace said.
“We’re going to have inflatables for the kids, of course, but for the first time at a community festival we’re going to be offering a water slide as well,” Pace said.
Lunch plates of smoked chicken with all the fixin’s will be provided by the Dobson Rescue Squad, and Pace said attendees would do well to get theirs early.
“They’re pretty well-known for their smoked chicken, so we think they might go fast,” she said.
The farmer’s market will be in full swing during the celebration, Pace said, offering attendees “all the fresh produce and vegetables, fresh meats, fresh sweets and handmade crafts.”
In addition to being a chance to get out and mingle with neighbors, Pace said the event is also designed to provide the community with information about the park.
“We were going to have the ground-breaking that day, but after meeting with engineers and potential contractors, we realized we couldn’t accept bids until June 26, so we thought that would be pushing it a little bit,” she said. “So we’re going to have large-scale drawings and as much information as possible available.”
The 2.2-acre park is planned for the intersection of South Crutchfield and West Atkins streets. The park is expected to house an interactive fountain, splash pad, playground, two covered picnic shelters and walking trails.
The town has secured a grant worth $498,000 from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, which is expected to cover about half the construction costs for the park.
“All proceeds from the event will be used to help cover some of the costs associated with park construction,” Pace said.
Author and former town resident Jayme Llewellyn will be on hand signing copies of her latest book, she added.
For Pace, the celebration is designed to foster a sense of community in the town.
“This is the first event like this we’ve done,” she said. “And we wanted to do something for the Fourth of July anyway, and with the farmer’s market going on we thought it would be a good way to promote our farmers while incorporating what’s going on with the park.
“We hope it will be a fun, family day with the kids out of school,” Pace added.
The event runs from 9 a.m., until 2 p.m., on South Crutchfield Street across from the First Baptist Church.
It is free and open to the public.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.