Fourth of July festivities at Royal Lane will mark Independence Day throughout the day Friday, with music, games, a tennis tournament, swimming competitions and a tribute to veterans all leading up to the night’s fireworks display to close out the day-long event with a bang.
The July 4th Celebration & Fireworks Show organized by the City of Clinton Recreation and Parks Department will take place at Royal Lane Park.
This year’s event will extend the entire day Friday, with a paid public swim at the pool from 12:30 to 7 p.m., including games and swimming competitions, a greasy watermelon contest, boat races, inner tube relays and much more.
“We’re going to try to get more pool games this year and do that throughout the day, not just at one time,” Clinton recreation coordinator Brenda Potter said. “That will be a little more fun.”
The swim at Royal Lane Pool will cost $2 for those ages 1-16 and $3 for those 17 and up.
A horseshoe tournament is slated for 3 p.m. at picnic area No. 1 and an open single/double tennis championship tournament will be ongoing on both Thursday, July 3, and Friday, July 4, at tennis courts 1-4.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, Woodmen of the World will make a flag presentation, followed by the Veteran Recognition Ceremony, during which a wreath will be placed at the Wall of Honor and Remembrance that pays tribute to local veterans and those with local ties.
“We greatly appreciate the Woodmen of the World. That donation of one flag represents all of the flags they donate to fly over our ball fields for that year,” Potter noted. The accompanying veterans recognition event is something that many look forward to the entire year and is a ceremony that has grown every year. This year, Potter said, the children at Tim’s Gift made cards that will be handed out to the veterans as they are honored.
“It’s just so sweet of them to do that,” Potter remarked.
At 5:30 p.m. DJ Joey Warren will start playing music leading up to the night’s main spectacle — a full 30 minutes of fireworks will light up the sky starting at 9:30 p.m.
The Clinton Police Department, Sampson County Rescue personnel and the Clinton Fire Department will all be on site for Friday’s festivities. Potter credited those agencies and the many volunteers who give their time to make the annual event a success.
“All departments pull together to get this done. We really, truly appreciate that,” she said. “A lot of people pitch in to make this big event happen and we’re thankful for that. We hope everyone will come out and have a great time.”
For more information on the July 4th event at Royal Lane Park, or how to register for the tennis tournament, call the Clinton Recreation Department at 910-299-4906. In case of rain, the music will be moved to the Bellamy Center on Friday and the fireworks display will take place Saturday night, July 5.
Newton Grove is keeping up with its own patriotic tradition, hosting a fireworks display, along with activites in the park, on Sunday, July 6. The event will start at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at the Weeks Park and will run into the evening. At 5 p.m. there will be a pageant for a Little Miss and Tiny Miss Fourth of July. Tiny Miss is ages 4-6 and Little Miss is ages 7-9.
Later, around 9 p.m., fireworks will be launched for everyone’s enjoyment.
“We will have vendors there,” said assistant town clerk Betty Bass. “We will also have T-shirts for sale.”
There will also be live music from the Amanda Daughtry band as well as activities for the kids like inflatables. Balloon Man Smitty will also be there.
There are no activities scheduled for Garland. The N.C. STEP committee was working on a project for the community, but it was cancelled due to timing conflicts.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.