A full-fledged Fourth of July menu typically includes such ingredients as fun, fireworks, patriotism and a dash of pageantry, which will all be served up in Mount Airy Wednesday when an annual Independence Day celebration is held.
Organizers plan to lay out a full slate of activities from morning to dark. This includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence to kick off the holiday observance, followed by a parade, pie-eating contest and other festivities spearheaded by the Downtown Business Association.
It will be climaxed Wednesday night with an annual fireworks show at Veterans Memorial Park sponsored by local Rotary clubs.
Both the downtown and park venues usually are filled with crowds eager to celebrate America’s independence, and many downtown businesses will be open during the holiday events.
The theme for the Mount Airy Fourth of July Parade and other festivities is “The Spirit of America’s Hometown.”
‘Famous general’ to appear
The tone for that will be set at 10 a.m. Wednesday, when the Declaration of Independence will be read in the courtyard of Mount Airy Museum of Regional History on North Main Street downtown.
In keeping with the revolutionary Spirit of 1776, Taylor Osborne, portraying Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene of the Continental Army, will read the Declaration.
Greene built a reputation as George Washington’s most gifted and dependable officer and is known for his successful command in the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, including at the Battle of Guilford Court House.
After this year’s reading of the Declaration of Independence, period re-enactors will fire a ceremonial musket salute.
Parade to propel patriotism
The annual July 4 parade will keep the patriotic theme rolling, with the procession scheduled to leave Veterans Memorial Park on West Lebanon Street at 11 a.m.
It then will meander toward the central business district and through downtown Mount Airy to be greeted by throngs of onlookers from the sidewalks.
The parade tends to include a number of colorful floats and other entries fielded by local military groups, churches and businesses.
Downtown Business Association representatives say that it’s not too late to participate in this year’s parade. Applications are available at the Mount Airy Visitors Center and online at www.mountairydowntown.org and will be accepted until Tuesday.
All entries are encouraged to be patriotic in nature and adhere to the “Spirit of America’s Hometown” theme.
Parade entry fees are waived for non-profit groups, but there is a $50 fee for business entries.
The Downtown Business Association has selected department heads from each of the first-responding emergency units serving the local community as honorary grand marshals for the parade.
This includes the Surry County EMS, Mount Airy Rescue Squad, Mount Airy Fire Department, Mount Airy Police Department and Surry County Sheriff’s Office.
“We really want to honor these servants who are out there putting their lives on the line daily to keep our community safe,” one organizer explained.
Complete parade coverage will begin shortly before 11 a.m. by Mount Airy AM radio station WSYD/Granite City Gold (1300), for those who cannot attend downtown events in person Wednesday. The parade also will be live-streamed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitmayberry.
After the parade, the Sixth-Annual Miss Angel’s Pie-Eating Contest is scheduled in the Mayberry Bark and Meow parking lot at the corner of North Main and West Oak streets.
The contest, which will benefit the Shepherd’s House homeless facility, is open to all ages. Prizes and bragging rights will go to the winners.
Those interested in participating are asked to call Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies at 336-786-1537 to register.
Music is to be provided during the event by B’Dazzled.
Independence Day activities in Mount Airy later will shift to Veterans Memorial Park, where entertainment is scheduled ahead of the fireworks presentation.
It is sponsored by the Surry Sunrise and Mount Airy Rotary clubs.
Food concessions will be available from the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups at the park beginning at 4 p.m.
Live music by Dlaneous is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. until dark, when the fireworks display begins.
Cash donations to aid local food banks will be accepted by the Rotary clubs at the park entrance.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.