Independence Day celebrations abound in and near Richmond County today as towns and villages deck the streets in red, white and blue.
At 10 a.m. the gates to the Ellerbe Lions Club Park will open to kick off this year’s Fourth of July Jamboree.
Ted Futrell, secretary for the Ellerbe Lions Club, said proceeds from the celebration are given to local charitable organizations.
“Some of the charities may be in Ellerbe and others across the county,” Futrell said. “We donate to a lot of groups.”
This year the fundraiser is sponsored by the Ellerbe Lions Club in association with Ellerbe Telephone Co., Iron Horse Auction Co. and Pee Dee Electric.
Futrell said that Ellerbe is fortunate to have the support of fully trained state licensed pyrotechnic operators for its spectacular fireworks show — especially since they happen to be Ellerbe firefighters.
“It was good that the Ellerbe Fire Department went and got all this training,” he said. “John Sears Jr. and Jimmy Vuncannon went. And Greg McAuley went. Because they have that training and are willing to put on the show, we don’t have to pay anyone to do it.”
The fireworks show is the most popular event of the jamboree, rounding out a day’s worth of fun family-oriented events and lots of food.
Throughout the day, people can enjoy watermelon races, bounce houses and a variety of children’s games as well as hot dogs, hamburgers and barbecue.
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., gospel music performances by Stan and Linda Jacobs, Vickie Daniel and others are planned. At 4 p.m. the opening ceremonies begin with a welcome from Joey Bostick and words from Ellerbe Mayor Lee Berry, followed by the invocation, presentations of colors, Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel singing the national anthem and recognition of Lion of the Year.
The band Country Pumpkins will perform onstage from 5-7 p.m. followed by Lonesome Few who will play until dark.
Once night falls, the Ellerbe Fire Department will light up the skies with a colorful fireworks display.
Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 8 and under. No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park. Coolers brought into the park may be inspected by law enforcement officers. Lawn chairs are recommended.
A classic car cruise-in scheduled on the same day as Hamlet’s Fourth of July celebration will add an Americana feel to the patriotic event.
The Main Street Cruise-in is planned from 5-8 p.m. on Main Street and will include classic cars, motorcucles and trucks. Door prizes will be given away and a 50/50 drawing will benefit the Richmond County Relay for Life.
Hamlet’s annual Family Fun Day is planned from 5-9 p.m. at the Hamlet Depot Museums and Main Street Park. Festivities will include a tricycle race, balloon toss, watermelon-eating contest and waterslide. Live entertainment is planned from 6-9 p.m.
Hamlet Business Development and local merchants are sponsoring the Fourth of July celebration, which precedes a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
Musical entertainment and the annual fireworks display begin at 7 p.m. in Pate Stadium at Scotland High School, 1000 W. Church St., Laurinburg.
Dave Wells will perform before and during the fireworks, and the Scotland High School Band Boosters will be on hand selling refreshments.
A Fourth of July parade and farmers market in downtown Pinehurst begins at 9 a.m. at Tufts Memorial Park. The kickoff event is a patriotic pet competition, with prizes going to the best-dressed, most spots and most talented. Pets will lead the parade, followed by the traditional parade at 10 a.m.
After the parade, organizers have planned music and face-painting. Sandhills Farmers Market vendors will sell fresh produce and baked goods until noon.
Pinehurst Parks and Recreation will host its annual Fourth of July celebration at Pinehurst Harness Track beginning at 6 p.m. and featuring pony rides, hayrides, face-painting, bounce houses and food and beverages sold by local caterers.The fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m.
Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673.