The Maiden July 4th Parade is named for the Late Edith Pirkle (left). Sandy Jones (right) is the Grand Marshal for the Crouse July 4th Parade.
End of the parade at Westport 2018.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
There are many Independence Day parades in our area. Lincolnton's annual July 4th Parade happens the evening of the Fourth (8:30) but several area towns and communities will have theirs earlier in the day.
The Westport Community Parade will roll down Fairfield Forest Road beginning at Fairfield United Methodist Church (near the Shanklin Library) at 10 AM and march/ride to St. Peter by-the-Lake Episcopal Church. The event honors veterans by having them ride at the front part of the parade, followed by fire trucks, floats, kids on bikes, the North Lincoln Band of Knights, walking groups and adults and kids in patriotic costumes. Local businesses donate gift certificates for the prizes. Prizes will be awarded for best decorated tricycle (rider up to age 6); best decorated bicycle (age 7-13); best golf cart, ATV, or wagon; best costume (boy and girl up to age 13); best decorated automobile; best decorated pet; and best float.
After the parade ends at the Episcopal Church of St. Peter by-the-Lake, the veterans are honored, an awards ceremony is held and all can enjoy a hot dog lunch. For over 25 years, Kay Davis with Lake Norman Realty has been supplying American flags that decorate the roads in Westport and they're already in place, put there by volunteers as a reminder of the meaning of the holiday. Denver neighbors who don't happen to live on Fairfield Forest Road are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and watch the parade as well as cheer on the walkers and riders. While the flags on the roadside date back a quarter century, the parade has only been an annual event since 2008.
Maiden will have its 14th annual Edith Pirkle July 4th Parade at 10:30 Thursday morning. The parade is named for the late Ms. Pirkle, who got it started in 2005. She passed away in 2016 but got to serve as grand marshal in 2015. The Independence Day parade marches the opposite direction from Maiden's Christmas Parade--it starts at the Library on West Main Street and marches to the Cornerstone Church parking lot on E. Main St.
The Crouse Fourth of July parade was started by the Willie and Debbie Heafner family as a way to entertain their small children 27 years ago. The first parade was a small group of adults and children riding their tricycles and in red wagons, adults giving a push or pull as needed. As the children grew, the parade grew.
Churches, organizations or individuals are invited to bring golf carts, tractors with or without trailers, floats, lawn mowers, four-wheelers, classic cars, trucks, bicycles, floats, and goats, horses with wagons or buggies or just with riders.
The entries will begin lining up around 3 PM at Crouse United Methodist Church. The parade will then proceed down old NC150--Crouse's main street and back again. In previous years, the parade also marched back on Crouse School Road, but that's being kept open this year for emergency vehicles.
Sandy Jones will, as always, be the grand marshal for the parade.
Cherryville celebrates the evening of July 3rd with a festival at the mini-park on Main Street. The Entertainers will perform and the evening will conclude with fireworks. DJ Johnny B kicks off the music at 6 and the band takes the stage at 7.
As the day progresses on Thursday, the likelihood of thunderstorms also increases. For Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service gives Cherryville's event an 80% likelihood of avoiding rain--but not so the events later in the day on Thursday. The chance of rain increases after 11 AM, so Westport & Maiden should be OK, but the chance of rain on the parades later in the afternoon and other events in the evening will increase markedly. There's a 50-50 chance of rain in the early evening--and that goes up to 60% later. Friday will also have a 50% chance of rain. Since most events are 'rain or shine,' here's the rest:
Casar's July 4th Celebration will be from 4 - 9:30 PM at Casar Park, 137 Deviney St. Fireworks, a bounce house, inflatable water slide, a turtle race, eating contests, a talent show, live music, a treasure hunt, DJ Mole McNeilly and the Cruisin' Casar Car Show! Fun for the whole family. Cruisin Casar Car Show will all be a part of the evening's fun.
Belmont will have its Red, White & Belmont celebration beginning at 4 PM on the Fourth. A patriotic wheels parade, a pie eating contest, a patriotic pups parade and music by the Java Band from 7-9:45 will be followed by fireworks.
Gastonia's Fourth of July Celebration will be from 5 -9:30 PM Thursday at the Rotary Centennial Pavilion, 111 N. South St., Gastonia. The celebration features a DJ from 5 - 6 and live music from the band Night Years from 6 - 9. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, local vendors, inflatables, a mechanical ride, and a fireworks show accompanied by patriotic music around 9:30.
The town of Dallas will celebrate the Fourth with a concert on the Historic Dallas Courthouse lawn and fireworks at Cloninger Park. The concert featuring Image & Hotwired begins at 6 PM and lasts until 9; then the fireworks! A classic car show is also a part of the event on the square.
The City of Kings Mountain will celebrate Independence Day starting at 6 PM at Deal Park Walking Track, 211 N. Cleveland Avenue. A live band, food vendors, and a scene from “Liberty Mountain – The Revolutionary Drama about the Battle of Kings Mountain,” written by Bob Inman will be a part of the evening events, followed by a fireworks show.
Lincolnton will celebrate with a parade and fireworks. The parade is scheduled at 8:30 Thursday evening, but the activities begin with a Kid's Play Zone for activities and games on North Academy Street between First United Methodist and Freedom churches at 6:30. The fireworks show will be held at Lincolnton High School stadium at approximately 9:30. Parade entries will be lined up on the basis of arrival time. Entries should enter Water Street from the Courtsquare and proceed to their proper location. The lineup begins at 7 PM and will march west on Main Street from Cedar Street to the Courtsquare, then north on Aspen St. to the Lincolnton High School parking lot.
Stanley's celebration will be on Friday July 5th. They'll have a big fireworks show that evening at Harper Park on Blacksnake Road. The event will open at 5 PM with food, drinks, games, etc. and the fireworks will happen about 9 PM. Stanley will also have a fireworks show the night of Friday July 12th as they host the Dixie Youth State Baseball Tournament.
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