HAMLET — Charles Yates didn’t mind spending his day off trimming trees and shearing shrubs.
The city of Hamlet landscaper joined a team of volunteers in a community cleanup Saturday morning to prepare Main Street Park for next week’s Independence Day festival. Yates sliced down a dead tree, rooted out weeds and trimmed the park’s leafy canopy as others pitched in.
“We’ve got some amazing people in the community,” said Miranda Chavis, Hamlet Depot and Museums manager. “If you ask for help, they’re like, ‘What can I do? How can I help?’ It’s a wonderful feeling, and this is a wonderful place to live and work.”
Chavis helped organize the annual Main Street Park cleanup, which she said has been held for several years the weekend before Hamlet’s Family Fun Day on the Fourth of July.
“It gives us an opportunity to make sure there are no wasps’ nests or ant hills and just make sure that everything’s clean and everything’s good to go,” she said.
Seven volunteers met at the Main Street Park around 8 a.m., a few enjoying a breakfast from Biscuitville before getting to work. They raked leaves, gathered downed tree limbs and dumped the debris in the bed of a city of Hamlet work truck.
“We flled the whole truck,” Chavis said. “It was very productive.”
Mayor Bill Bayless and wife Linda Bayless joined the volunteers’ ranks to get Main Street Park in tip-top shape, Chavis said. Scheduled from 8-11 a.m., volunteers were wrapping up shortly after 10.
Hamlet is gearing up for the city’s Fourth of July fun day, which is planned from 5-9 p.m. Friday at the Hamlet Depot and across the road at Main Street Park. The event will feature live music, a watermelon-eating contest, tricycle races, a balloon toss and a waterslide for the kids.
A fireworks show is planned for 9 p.m. in the park. Hamlet merchants and Hamlet Business Development sponsor the city’s Family Fun Day.