Freedom will ring, explode and light up the Columbia County night sky Friday.
Four Independence Day events and three fireworks displays are set to take place July 4 at Patriots Park, Little River Marina, Trade Winds Marina and Goodale Park.
Organizers at Patriots Park, 5445 Columbia Road, will kick things off about 4 p.m., with the fireworks set to explode between 9 and 10 p.m. Admission is free and parking will be at the Columbia County Fairgrounds with handicapped parking inside Patriots Park.
This year's Patriots Park Fourth of July Celebration features 13 amusement rides, Noahs' Ark Petting Zoo and Pony Rides, old-fashioned family games, the famous pig-tossing contest, a silent auction, arts and crafts, an Elvis impersonator, a children's wagon parade and contest, a performance by Shiloh, an Independence Day ceremony, lots of food and more.
"Our opening ceremony will be just wonderful," said Beth Roberson, special-events coordinator for Columbia County. "I hope everyone will make an effort to come out here and see it. There will be so much to do while waiting for our spectacular fireworks."
Most of the events for the celebration will be at the Patriots baseball complex. Some of the arts and crafts vendors and the silent auction will be in the gymnasium. Seating for the fireworks display will be at the Patriots soccer fields.
For more information, call Patriots Park at 868-3458.
Liberty on the Lake
Liberty on the Lake Freedom Fireworks Spectacular will take place Friday at Little River Marina, 4271 Old Lincolnton Road.
The event will culminate with a 30-minute fireworks show over the lake starting at 9:30 p.m.
The festivities begin much earlier, though. From 2 to 5 p.m., Family Fun Day takes place. Prizes will be given out in three age categories for a watermelon seed-spitting contest, horseshoes, sack race, three-legged race and the raw-egg toss.
A praise and worship concert will take place from 5 p.m. until the start of the fireworks. Live bands such as the In Focus worship band, Like Father Like Son and Shattered will perform.
"It's just an awesome day, all day long," said Pamela Bugg, owner of Little River Marina. "You can play with your family and there won't be any alcohol."
Two radio stations are also involved in the event. WYFA (107.1), a Christian station, and WGOR (93.9), an oldies station, will broadcast from the marina.
The cost is $6 per car, $10 for a van and $15 for a church van. Coolers are not allowed, because area youth groups will be selling food and beverages. No alcohol is permitted at the event.
For more information, call Little River Marina at 541-1358.
Trade Winds Marina's Fourth Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and will be capped by a fireworks show over the lake between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
Trade Winds, at 5577 Marina Parkway near Pollard's Corner, recently cleared a 100-by-70 foot section of land to hold all of the fireworks. Their previous launch site now is underwater.
The marina also will feature a WGOR radio remote, a musical performance by Bruce Balk, concessions and a surprise.
Trade Winds General Manager Harold Thompson expects this year's Independence Day spectacular to be the biggest yet and he encourages boaters to line up around the marina for the show.
"We expect you almost to be able to walk from one shoreline to another shoreline without getting your feet wet there'll be so many boats out there," Thompson said.
There is a $5 parking fee at Trade Winds, but there will be free parking at Lake Springs, whose park hours will be extended for the evening.
For more information, call 541-1380.
Goodale Park will be the site of the Grovetown Annual Fourth of July Barbecue that begins at noon and lasts until the food runs out.
The barbecue is free for people eating at the park and will be $4.50 per plate for people not planning on staying. Tents and tables will be set up for diners with fans to help keep visitors comfortable. The 15th annual barbecue will include hash and rice, baked beans, hot dogs and more.
"When (Mayor Dennis Trudeau) first went into office he donated his salary and that's what we used to do the barbecue 15 years ago," said Vicky Capetilo, chairwoman for the barbecue and Grovetown's utilities clerk. "He just wanted a day of fellowship with all the neighbors, for everybody to get together and greet each other."
There won't be any fireworks at the event, but there will be several musical performances, including a concert by Terri Gibbs Daughtry.
For more information, call Grovetown City Hall at 863-4576.
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