For the final year, the members of the Traphill Volunteer Fire Department will welcome the community to celebrate the country’s independence, with this year’s event set to take place Saturday.
Chief Matthew Kennedy explained that safety due to the large crowd in attendance at the annual Independence Day Celebration has become a concern, with last year’s event boasting 3,000 to 4,000 people.
“We just don’t have parking space for it anymore,” Kennedy said, adding that the traffic following last year’s fireworks display caused the most concern for safety. “I hate we don’t have the space that a lot of the organizations around here have, but it became a bad safety situation, especially last year after the fireworks.”
In 2009, the celebration began as just a two or three hour event, and then in 2010, the organizers decided to add fireworks, which Kennedy sets off, as he is a professionally presents fireworks displays on a part-time basis.
First Assistant Chief Brian McDaniel said the event is held “just to give back to the community and show community appreciation.”
Parking is available in a field beside the fire station at 8899 Traphill Road.
Beginning at 4 p.m., there will be free games for kids of all ages, and food, including hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and chips, ice cream and drinks, as well as snacks like candy bars and popcorn, will be available for purchase as well. There will be door prizes, a 50/50 drawing and Yeti cooler drawing at 8:30 p.m.
To make sure this year is special, as the last year of celebration at Traphill VFD, Kennedy said they’ve got several more bands playing this year, and the fireworks show will be the largest they’ve ever had, lasting about 15 to 20 minutes at the end of the evening.
Performers on the main stage will include Tim and Tanner Baker from 5 to 6 p.m.; Brittany Kennedy, Roger Sidden, Franky Miller from 6 to 6:45 p.m.; Trick archery by Byron Tabor from 7 to 7:45 p.m.; and Backporch Bluegrass from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
Kennedy said, “I just want to thank everybody for their support and participation and attending all the fundraiser we do to be able to raise the money to put the event on. We don’t use any taxpayer money.”
He said the firefighters have been discussing holding another community event next year, but no final decisions will be made until after this year’s July 4th celebration.
The Traphill VFD, which has about 40 members on the roster and provides medical services as well, will have firefighters on hand to help direct parking for Saturday’s event.
For more information, contact Kennedy at 336-306-3537 or McDaniel at 336-927-0762, or visit the Facebook page for the event.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.