Traditions were alive and well last week as Cheraw celebrated America’s Independence Day with a parade, games, music, entertainment, food and fireworks. The events were held downtown Tuesday, July 3, so that Cheraw’s town employees could spend the 4th of July with their family and friends.
According to Lisa O’Neal, assistant director for the Cheraw Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, “The Independence Celebration turned out to be a huge success once again, with a tremendous crowd.”
The morning began with a Children’s Parade, featuring young patriots on their bikes, trikes, wagons and even strollers; decorated with their finest red, white and blue additions. Kody Bozard won first place as Most Patriotic. Second place in that same category went to Jasa Tucker, and in third place was Emma Tucker.
The award for Best Bike/Trike was given to Chloe Joyner. Maleaha Hodge took second place in that category and Ana Caulder was third.
The Best Wagon award was presented to First United Methodist Church Daycare. Dawson Harper won second place in that same category and Katie Grace Lewis won third place.
A portion of Second Street was blocked from traffic to accommodate the various activities for the celebration. A giant obstacle course for the children was placed in the center of the street, along with a bouncing house, bungee trampolines, mechanical swings and spinning teacup rides.
The East Coast Rhythm and Blues Band of Raleigh, N.C., also set up on Second Street and provided musical entertainment for the evening. Various restaurants, vendors and local citizen groups offered food and beverages.
“The band was very energetic and kept the audience entertained,” said O’Neal. “The dancers from KFA were a huge success and also a crowd pleaser with their high energy dances and variety of dance styles. The fireworks were the highlight of the night with folks watching from all over downtown.”
Fireworks were launched precisely at 10 p.m from an area near the Farmer’s Market on Front Street. Lots of people watched from their lawn chairs; still set up on Second Street. Some folks gathered on the hood of their cars along nearly every street. In just 20 minutes, the splendor of lights, the loud, energizing booms, and $4,000 worth of fireworks were up in smoke. However, organizers of the event hope the memories of this American tradition will continue to live in the hearts and minds of those who enjoyed Cheraw’s celebration of another year of freedom in this country.
The day’s festivities also included fund-raising efforts for a local American soldier, Sgt. Devin Davis of Chesterfield, who was recently injured in Afghanistan. The River’s Edge Restaurant on Second Street sold enough cherry limeade and sweet iced tea Tuesday evening to contribute $300 to local efforts aimed at providing traveling expenses for Davis’ family to visit during his recovery.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.