The gospel sing for the annual Soldiers Reunion is set for Monday night, Aug. 12, starting at 7 p.m. on the east side of Courthouse Square on the lawn of the 1924 courthouse (now the county Museum of History). Folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating to hear two outstanding gospel groups. Joseph Habedank, a Grammy nominated, Dove Award winning singer/songwriter and The Whisnants, a 14 Number One Top 40’s recording group will entertain through the night.
The Embers, one of the top beach music bands in the South and one of the most requested acts for Soldiers Reunion, will return to headline Beach Music Night on Tuesday, Aug. 13, to help celebrate and honor local war veterans. The free show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of College Avenue and East A Street on the southeast corner of The Square. Emcee for the show will be popular Newton radio station personality Mike Sherrill. The dancers and the crowd who will just want to listen to the music are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating.
The late afternoon baby parade takes place Wednesday, Aug. 14, on the east side of The Square, when youngsters are judged based on their patriotic costumes and decorated conveyances. Winners are selected in various age categories. A pet show follows the youngsters’ event.
The week peaks on Thursday, known as Reunion Day. Events begin at around 9 a.m. as artists, craftsmen, local businesses and food vendors set up around The Square. A 10 a.m. memorial service honoring veterans and members of patriotic organizations in the county who have died during the past year, held on the west side of The Square, is followed by a jazz concert running from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The American Legion post hosts a midday fish fry for veterans at its headquarters on Southwest Boulevard.
At 4 p.m. the official Reunion ceremony begins on the west side of The Square, when a guest speaker delivers a keynote address and the beauty pageant winners are introduced.
The anticipated Soldiers Reunion Parade immediately follows the ceremony, with a grand marshal leading the parade on a one-mile route through downtown Newton. The parade attracts 8,000 to 10,000 viewers due to the numerous entries and floats, all of which must have a patriotic theme.
Municipalities and schools are among the groups from across the county to be represented in the parade.
”This year is the 130th celebration and we are looking to make it one of the most memorable,” Dellinger said.
If your business is interested in helping sponsor any of the activities through the week or if you are a vendor who would like to have a space up town on parade day, just contact Eric or Wayne Dellinger at 828-466-2695.
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