Independence Day Celebrations

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What better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than a town called Independence?
The town will host its annual Fourth of July celebration with a full day of activities Wednesday.
Crafts, food and drink vendors will open 9 a.m. today, Monday, at the McKnight Lot, located at the intersection of U.S. 58/21 and the Historic 1908 Courthouse.
The parade, usually about an hour long, begins at 10 a.m.
Activities include pony rides and a mechanical bull. A watermelon eating contest at the McKnight lot for ages 5 and up begins at 2 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded.
Upland Express will perform beginning 7 p.m. at Grayson County High School practice field with fireworks to follow at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a blanket, a lawn chair and snacks.
Activities are sponsored by Grayson National Bank, Walters Drug, Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, Grayson County and the Town of Independence.

1908 Courthouse
A variety of events will highlight Fourth of July activities at the Historic 1908 Courthouse 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4.
Festivities begin with the raising of the flag by Grayson County VFW Post 7726 on the courthouse lawn at 9 a.m.
Vendors will set up around the courthouse from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving up both breakfast, lunch and snacks and a unique collection of handmade crafts, jewelry and novelties.

Buck Mountain Band
The award-winning Buck Mountain Band will bring its lively mix of old-time fiddle tunes, waltzes and songs to the 1908 Courthouse from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Resident artists at the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Buck Mountain Band has released two CDs, “Moon Behind the Hills” and “Chicken in the Snowbank,” and is preparing to record a third. Its members include Bob Taylor, fiddle; Amy Boucher, banjo; Harrol Blevins, guitar and vocals; Sue Taylor, guitar and ukulele; and Debbie Larson, bass.
The Buck Mountain Band formed in 1999 at the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention and ever since has been entertaining at dances, parties, and events, and at the Blue Ridge Music Center every summer since 2006. It is named for Grayson County’s Buck Mountain, and echoes an earlier band of the same name from Grayson, whose members included Wade Ward and Charlie Higgins.
“The Buck Mountain Band will set your toes to tapping,” said Ken Winans of the 1908 Courthouse Foundation. “We hope young and old alike will come out and enjoy this free show, celebrating independence at the Historic 1908 Courthouse.”
Enjoy some of the area’s best music while browsing booths and eating delicious homemade treats. The courthouse foundation also is sponsoring a canoe raffle.
Tickets are $1 and you do not have to be present to win. Proceeds benefit the Courthouse Foundation.

Upland Express Concert
Upland Express will perform during Fourth of July festivities in Independence beginning 7 p.m. at the Grayson County High School practice field.
The concert is free. Bring blankets and chairs.
Upland Express, a self-described country, rock, rhythm and bluegrass experience, began in 1974 as a bluegrass band. Throughout the years, the group has won numerous awards, experienced several personnel changes and periods of dormancy, but through it all, there remains the tradition of quality music generated by its members.
The present incarnation of Upland boasts an eclectic song list, rendering the group a unique reputation as a variety band and reflects well the diverse musical talent and influence of its four members.


The Galax Volunteer Fire Department’s annual carnival will also be held in Felts Park through July 4.
The carnival will feature about 20 rides from Michael’s Amusements.
 Regular gate admission prices are $2 for adults and $1 for children.
The carnival will offer special pricing today, Monday. Carnival attendees can buy one wrist band and get the second wrist band free.
July 3, carnival wrists bands and regular tickets will be available.
On July 4, the annual parade will be held in downtown Galax at 4 p.m. That day, the carnival will offer a $10 gate admission with unlimited rides.
Each paid adult gate ticket will be entered into a $300 nightly drawing at 11 p.m.


“Proud to be American” is the theme for the Fourth of July parade and related activities this year in Hillsville.
Parade awards will be given in the categories of most patriotic, most original and best in show and will include a $100 cash prize and certificate.
The July 4 parade is at 4 p.m. Lineup begins at 3 p.m. on Edgewood Drive. Floats must be in line by 3:15 for judging.
Food, music, children’s games and fireworks at dusk will follow the parade at the VFW Post on West Stuart Drive.
New and classic country music by Tim Elliott and Catfish Cherry is at 6 p.m.
For information or to register for the parade, contact (276) 728-2128 or hillsville@townofhillsville.com.


Fries Recreation Center, Fries Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Fries are hosting a  Fourth of July Celebration in the Fries Ball Park.
Vendors are needed to set up in the outfield for the flea market area. For more information, call Rhonda Elkins at the Fries Recreation Center, (276) 744-2531. No food vendors are needed since the recreation center will sell food.
Gates open at 9 a.m. at the park.  Parade begins at 12:30 p.m.
Activities include: kids’ bouncy balls, fire truck spraying for kids, kids’ water slide, dunking booth (dunk the mayor), rock climb (additional charge,) greasy pole and greasy pig. Also planned is a corn hole tournament ($5 per person to enter, winning team keeps 50 percent.) Games start at 2 p.m.
The Horse Shoe Tournament ($5 per person to enter, winning team keeps 50 percent) begins at 3 p.m.
Other activities include gospel singing, sack race, three-legged race, speed pitch checked by radar, egg toss and more.
The Old-Timers Game begins at 7 p.m. Anyone age 45 and older should contact Becky Moore.
Fire Works, compliments of the Fries Recreation Center, Fries Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Fries begin at 9:40.
Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for ages 6 to 17. Children ages five and younger are admitted free of charge. All proceeds go to benefit the Fries Recreation Center.


The Flat Ridge Community Center will celebrate the Fourth of July at 4 p.m. on June 30.
Performing will be Flat Ridge Opry, Larry's Country Diner Show; special guest Raymond Oaks and more.
Gymnastic Counts from Greenback, Tenn., will perform.
The public is invited to participate in an antique tractor display and classic care and truck cruise-in.
Hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches and desserts will be sold.
Fireworks at dark, presented by the Hash family. Bring lawn chair.


Ivanhoe’s Fourth of July Parade is at 4 p.m. in downtown Ivanhoe. For information contact Gina at (276) 699-1166.