The Yadkin Valley communities will begin their celebrations of independence Saturday in Elkin and conclude them Wednesday in Mountain Park as annual gatherings are held.
The Elkin Jaycees will host the community during the annual FreedomFest at Elkin Municipal Park Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.
The free-admission event will feature the music of Big Daddy Mojo, which takes the stage at 5 p.m. In addition, there will be bounce houses for children with unlimited bouncing for $5.
Concessions will be available for purchase, such as kettle corn, shaved ice, funnel cakes, cotton candy, churros, Cuban food, burgers, steak and cheese sandwiches, Wolf Down food truck items and more.
There are new vendors who will be on hand this year as well, according to Natalie Eidson, Jaycees treasurer. Those vendors include puppets, jewelry, tie dye clothing and handmade crafts.
The Jaycees will be selling soda, water and glow merchandise and toys as well.
Fireworks are scheduled to begin shortly after sunset, which is usually just after 9 p.m., Eidson said. The fireworks display is set off just across the hill from the park, so she said the best place to view them from is the grass area near the playground and in front of the band shell.
“Since we are a group of young professionals in the community, family is very important to our members,” Eidson said. “We love being able to provide the community with an event this is fun for the whole family.
“We would like to invite the entire community to come out to FreedomFest to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy a great event,” she said.
On Wednesday, the Mountain Park Ruritan Club will hold its 45th annual 4th of July celebration, a 12-hour event for the community that kicks off with a parade at 10 a.m.
At the conclusion of the parade, an opening ceremony will be held at the band stand on the campus of Mountain Park Elementary School, followed by music throughout the day and a tribute to service men and women at 3:30 p.m. and a recognition of alumni of Mountain Park School. At 6 p.m., Coco Loco Party Band will take the stage and will be followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Games and activities will take place throughout the day, including food, games on the ball field at 1:40 p.m., bounce houses, pony and train rides, cornhole tournament with $2,000 in prizes, human foosball, cow patty bingo, face painting, a kiddie tractor pull, arcade activities in the school gym, a mechanical bull and goat roping.
A $1,000 raffle giveaway will be held, with tickets available for purchase until just before the fireworks when the drawing is held.
“It’s a chance for people in the community to fellowship together and to see people you haven’t seen for years because people come from all over,” said Ruritan Arlene Snow. “It’s like a family reunion. And in this day and age in which we live, it’s the closest thing you’ll find to ‘the way things used to be when it was a simpler time,’ where your kids can run and play and have fun and still be safe.
“And there’s so much good food and fun things to do and watch,” she said.
Any service men and women in attendance can sign up to be recognized at the Ruritan club’s booth.
The money raised during the annual Independence Day celebration helps with upkeep of the park on the school property. Supporters have helped rebuild the tennis and basketball courts, Snow said.
Performers Wednesday on the band stand include Rachel Hinson, who also will sing the national anthem while Kristy Nixon signs the anthem; Charity Hill Choir; Luke Mears; Summit Trace; Dave Leatherman Band and the Smokies; C.J. Ballard; and Mountain Park Old Time Band.
Most of the children’s activities are free, with a few activities having a small charge. Bounce houses are $5 for unlimited bouncing.
Also, the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Mountain Park fire station from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to upkeep of the park grounds, the Ruritan club provides a $1,000 scholarship to Surry Community College and supports the Back Pack Program at Mountain Park Elementary School.
“We’re a small group but very proud of the way we’re able to give back to our community,” Snow said.
For more information, call 336-813-5376 or 336-874-7112.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.