Pinehurst, Aberdeen and Carthage Celebrate July Fourth
Bedecked in old-fashioned bunting, the village of Pinehurst kicks off a full day of activities for families, beginning with its annual pet parade. Animals of all shapes and sizes will be judged behind the Given Memorial Library beginning at 9 a.m. on July 4th.
"It's one of the most popular events of the day," said Jean Aschliman, pet events coordinator and a member of the sponsoring Coldwell Banker team. "We invite the entire community to dress their pets for the 4th and enter in the fun."
Prizes will be given for winners in six categories: most popular, prettiest girl, handsomest boy, best dressed, cutest couple and most patriotic. No preregistration is necessary, and each entrant will strut and stroll through the historic village after judging.
The celebration continues with Miss Moore County Cassie Davis, who will sing the National Anthem at center stage in the village. She will be followed by a rousing rendition of "God Bless America" by young local talent, Lauren Bonville.
At 10 a.m., the Pinehurst Business Guild will kick off the official Independence Day parade that will circle the village, beginning at Village Green West in front of the Holly Inn. The route will follow through the village center, pass The Pine Crest Inn and parade back to the Given Memorial Library.
"We've brought the best of the Sandhills to the parade," said organizer Helen Neill of Pinehurst. "Local golf cart floats, Scouts and plenty of entertainment are the perfect kickoff for this community event."
Moore County's favorite Uncle Sam, Clete Cleetwood, will lead the route of more than 50 groups through the village, with the help of the Pope Air Force Base Color Guard and the Marine Corps Leagues Area Detachment, VFW and American Legion representatives.
As spectators wave flags and enjoy peaches and fresh watermelon offered by Coldwell Banker, a series of red, white and blue-spangled antique autos will pass by, including two antique fire trucks.
Parade entertainment will delight crowds with performances by bluegrass band The Fine Blue Line, the famed Kazoos Band, clown Gloria Swain, the Shriner Sand-T mini cars, Sophisticated Ladies, Sweet Adelines, Quicksilver Cloggers, Irish Dancers and the Golf Capital Chorus.
Master of Ceremonies Michael Florence will give away door prizes for various area restaurants throughout the morning. Children are invited to decorate bikes and enter the end of the procession in true hometown fashion.
Many of the village shops will be open during the day, allowing guests to stroll and enjoy the Business Guild's "Dog Days of Summer" art displays throughout the area.
The Moore County Concert Band directed by David Seiberling will present its annual Fourth of July concert at 5 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of The Carolina Hotel. The concert's theme will be "America in Song." Admission is free.
By night, the village Fair Barn will open its gates beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a community ice cream social and family picnic. Children's games will make for a fun evening kickoff, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.. Kids of all ages will enjoy hot air balloon and pony rides, family hayrides, and community displays.
Families are invited to bring a picnic lunch as the Fair Barn outdoor stage features music by the Visions Band and the Andrews Sisters beginning at 6:30 p.m. The entertainment will herald the night sky and fireworks that begin at 9 p.m.
"We're so thrilled that the village has brought back the fireworks display," said Meredith Silhol of the Village Fair Barn. "It ties our entire community together to celebrate our nation's birthday."
The county seat will also celebrate with its Fourth of July parade through the center of Carthage in the morning at 11 a.m.
The Rotary Club of Carthage, sponsor of the events, has also announced that additional activities will be held at Nancy Kiser Park on Rockingham Street from noon to 2 p.m.
Live music is scheduled for the Kiser Park Amphitheater. There will be activities for children. Food and drink will be available for purchase from local Rotarians.
A car show will be held. Registration fee for the car show will be $10, and will entitle entrants to one free meal, courtesy of the Rotary Club. Potential car show participants may pre-register by contacting Rotarian Peter Little at 947-1659. Day of event registration will also be permitted.
Not to be outdone, the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department will also host its 42nd annual July 4th Celebration at Aberdeen Lake Park, with activities and games beginning around 5:30 p.m.
Music from The Entertainers starts at 6 p.m. This versatile band performs a variety of music, from Top 40 to '70s retro, '80s dance to beach and Motown, Jazz and Big Band. The Entertainers, a regional band led by Earl Dawkins, is in the Beach Music Hall of Fame.
Admission is free. Children can purchase a wrist band for $2, which will allow them to participate in games and a variety of activities, win prizes, and have their faces painted.
Games for children and teenagers include an inflatable castle, a bungee run, monster basketball, duck pond and patriotic bean bag toss. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces and American flags will be sold by two local organizations.
"Citizens of all ages are encouraged to dress in their patriotic colors and participate in the costume contest," said a spokesman for the department. "Prizes will be awarded in the most patriotic, best costume and most original costume categories."
Several food vendors will be selling funnel cakes, barbecue, lemonade, hot dogs, pizza, sodas, snow cones, and cotton candy.
"Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and bring the family and friends," the spokesman said. "We do ask that no pets, alcoholic beverages, personal fireworks or coolers be brought to the lake."
The day will conclude with one of the largest fireworks displays in the region.
For additional information, call the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department at 944-5902.
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