Local Fourth of July Celebrations
The Fourth of July falls right in the middle of the week this year. However, even with only one day off work for many people, lots of fun may still be found close to home.
An old fashioned Independence Day parade around downtown kicks off the celebration in Hayesville, followed by fireworks lighting up the sky over the Clay County ballfields. Beginning at 6 pm, July 4, the parade will leave the school parking lot towards the Square, turn right onto Herbert Street, then continue through downtown on Sanderson Street. After passing the post office, it will continue on to the ballfields for the evening festivities.
Bicyclists, cars, walkers, floats and even tractors may participate, as long as they display the American flag. Parade participants at press time included the American Legion, VFW, Mayor Harry Baughn, Autumn Ridge Home Watch, Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Tammy Hurst, Lions Club, fire department and sheriff’s office, along with candidates Steve Hindsman and Keith Christiansen.
The Clay County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the parade and fireworks. Chamber Director, Pam Roman, said parade lineup begins at 5pm and entry is free, but participants are asked to contact the Chamber ahead of time so parade staging may be planned. “Everyone is welcome,” she said. “Everyone should bring chairs down there and wait for the parade. Visit Tiger’s for ice cream.” As a reminder, the Hayesville Square prohibits any pets not on a leash and everyone must pick up after their pets.
Roman said the fireworks will start at dark and will be a big show, once again. “I believe a couple of new special ones, too,” she added. After the parade, celebrants may want to take their chairs or blankets and wander down to the rec park and ballfields. While waiting for fireworks, there will be food and fun things to do. “Bouncy tents, snow cones, cotton candy, burgers, hot dogs,” Roman said. There may also be a balloon artist and face painting.
At press time, the Chamber was still collecting donations for fireworks. “Anything over goes into the 2019 fund,” Roman said. “Next year, we are planning a full day on the square with lots of vendors. We need to make this a big party next year with lots of entertainment and more.” The Chamber keeps a separate account just for the ongoing fireworks collection. Stop by the Clay County Chamber office now on Sanderson Street in Hayesville between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. Call 828-389-3704 or visit www.claychambernc.com<http://www.claychambernc.com/>.
The Tri County Speedway in Brasstown will hold it Independence Day Championships on Monday, July 2. The event will feature a huge Fireworks extravaganza and the Southeastern Sportsman Limited Late Models racing for a $1,500 paycheck. Call 828-837-3815 or visit tricountyracetrack.com<http://tricountyracetrack.com>.
Clay County’s next door neighbor, Murphy, North Carolina, will have all day events to celebrate the Fourth. An old-fashioned Independence Day parade will leave L & N Depot at 2 p.m. and wind through town, ending at Koneheta Park, but the games begin at 10 a.m. in Koneheta Park. Food vendors, arts and crafts, a kids’ fishing derby and an adults horseshoe tournament are just some of the fun. A noon peanut drop can only be topped by a hot air balloon festival starting at 5:30 p.m.Weather permitting, the town of Murphy will offer hot air balloon rides leaving from Koneheta Park for just $5. Go to visitcherokeecountync.com<http://visitcherokeecountync.com>.
Right across the Georgia line, fireworks and other patriotic events will celebrate the holiday. At the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, a fireworks show will light the sky starting at 9:45 PM. Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is at 1311 Music Hall Road off of Hwy 76 W in Hiawassee, Georgia. Visithttp://www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com or call 706-896-4191.
For something a little different, head to Hiawassee early in the day for the annual 4th of July Boat Parade on Lake Chatuge. Starting at 10:30 a.m, the boat parade begins at The Ridges Resort. All boats must fly an American flag and have no wake. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative, and most red, white and blue; however, boats must have a number issued by the Grand Marshal to be included in judging. The boat parade may be viewed from the Old Towns County Recreation Center, Anderson Bridge and the Georgia Mountain Fair Campgrounds. The parade will go by the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, then loop around and come back. Visit http://www.golakechatuge.com<http://www.golakechatuge.com/>
Brasstown Valley Resort will have its 11th Annual Star-Spangled Fourth of July celebration and cookout. From 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m, family friendly activities include a bounce house castle, face painting, horseshoes, a pie-eating contest and more. Reservations are being taken for the annual cookout where attendees will see the resort’s Independence Day fireworks display up close. For menu and pricing, visit www.brasstownvalley.com<http://www.brasstownvalley.com/> or call 706-379-4606.
Blairsville, Georgia Fourth of July events include Independence Day fireworks over Meeks Park starting around 9:30 p.m. http://www.visitblairsvillega.com
First Methodist Church of Blairsville invites everyone to bring chairs and watch from there for the “Best view for fireworks.” Entry is free and the celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. until the end of the fireworks show. BBQ, drinks and ice cream will be sold. http://www.firstmethodistblairsville.com
Afternoon storms have come calling most days, but there should be enough sunshine to enjoy some Independence Day activities. Whether you choose to venture into town or drive to another county, please use caution on the roads, as well as with fireworks bought to use at home. Many injuries occur each year from improper use of firecrackers, sparklers and other fireworks. Also, most animals are frightened by fireworks so please secure them so they do not run away.