Are you ready for July Fourth?
by Staff Reports
Thursday, July 4
11 a.m.: Todd Liberty Day Parade: The High Country's only interactive parade returns to Todd for its eighth year. This year's theme is "Fan Your Flame" and features huge puppets, handmade props and costumes that conjure images of fire. Anyone interested in participating in the parade should meet at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of N.C. 194 North and Railroad Grade Road. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and runs along Railroad Grade Road in Todd. Food and a celebration follow at the Walter and Annie Cook Memorial Park. The free event is coordinated by the nonprofit Elkland Art Center, and donations are appreciated.
11 a.m.: Boone July 4th Parade: Boone's annual parade, which this year celebrates volunteerism, travels along King Street in downtown Boone and concludes at Poplar Grove Extension. This year's grand marshals are Robert and Agnes Shipley. Robert Shipley is a 101-year-old veteran, former teacher and agricultural leader.
5 p.m.: Burning in Effigy of King George III: The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum will celebrate the nation's independence in 18th century style. The free event begins with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, with audience members participating in the reading of toasts to the 13 colonies. Visitors also will hear a eulogy for King George III while his dummy is burned in effigy. Guests will toast with apple cider 13 times, each followed by a flintlock rifle gun salute. The event occurs on the grounds of Horn in the West at Horn in the West Drive in Boone.
5 p.m.: Bethel Blast: Music, barbecue, fireworks and fellowship greet guests at the Bethel Blast, sponsored by Bethel Baptist Church. The fun begins at 5 p.m. at Bethel Park, located on Bethel Road in Sugar Grove.
7 p.m.: Boone July 4 festivities and fireworks: Family-friendly activities begin at 7 p.m. at Clawson-Burnley Park off Hunting Hills Lane in Boone, with stunning fireworks by Zambelli at 9:30 p.m.
9 p.m.: Tweetsie Railroad fireworks show: One of the High Country's most spectacular fireworks shows will occur shortly after the 9 p.m. closure of Tweetsie. Parking within the park is $5 per car, but Golden Rail season passholders get in free. The Wild West amusement park will offer an optional dinner and fireworks viewing in the Hacienda with buffet chicken and barbecue and trimmings. Vehicles typically line U.S. 321 to sneak a peek, so drive carefully and expect congestion afterward.
Friday, July 5
3 p.m. to 7 p.m.: The 440th Army Reserve Band Concert: The N.C. National Guard's 440th Army Band, based out of Raleigh, will offer a free concert in Blowing Rock's Memorial Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the sounds.
Saturday, July 6
All day: The town of Blowing Rock will celebrate Independence Day all day Saturday in Memorial Park, starting at 9 a.m. with an adult horseshoe tournament with cash prizes. From 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., kids can participate in a water balloon toss, watermelon-eating contest, face painting and more. A climbing tower and bounce obstacle course will be set up from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A clogging performance will occur at 10 a.m., followed by a patriotic sing-along at 11 a.m. with The Vagabonds. The Buck Haggard Band will perform at noon, followed by the Cockman Family bluegrass gospel at 3 p.m. after the parade.
2 p.m.: Blowing Rock Parade: The annual parade will stretch through Main Street starting at 2 p.m.
7:30 p.m.: Outdoor Fireworks Concert featuring The Band Perry, a country music group. The Band Perry will perform as part of An Appalachian Summer Festival. Siblings Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry burst on the scene with a self-titled debut album in 2010 and have since filled the airwaves with hits that include "If I Die Young," "You Lie," "All Your Life," "Better Dig Two" and "DONE." The Chris Lane Band will open the event. The concert will be held at ASU's Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone and will conclude with fireworks. Tailgating is permitted in several adjoining lots starting at 4 p.m., and gates open at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $37 or $32 for Blue Ridge Electric members. Kids 6 and younger are $5. Visit appsummer.org for more information.
9:30 p.m: Blowing Rock fireworks: A breathtaking fireworks show will be held at the Blowing Rock Country Club. Guests can spread out blankets and chairs on the course to watch the show.
Sunday, July 7
1 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Park dance: Blowing Rock's Memorial Park will once again fill with live music to celebrate the holiday. Diana & Sarvis Ridge will be followed by Sweet T.
-- Compiled by Kellen Short, (firstname.lastname@example.org)