There may not have been fireworks, but there was plenty of camaraderie.
Hundreds turned out to sample free barbecue, hear live music and celebrate Americanindependence at the 16th Annual Grovetown Fourth of July Barbecue.
Attendees saw the event as a way to check in with old friends, kind of like an extended family reunion.
"It's a great event because it gives us all a chance to check in with people we haven't seen in a while," said Grovetown resident James Kuss, who has attended the barbecue for the past three years. "In day-to-day life you sometimes just can't make time to keep track of your neighbors and friends. This gives us a way to congregate and see how everyone is doing."
The barbecue started when Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau first took office and the city was fractured, said Trudeau's wife, Mary Ann.
"Grovetown was split in two and this helped bring everyone together," she said.
Taking part in the event included many officials including state Sen. Joey Brush, Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, Commissioner Mark Devoti and Harlem Mayor Scott Dean.
"Grovetown supports us in so many of our events like the Oliver Hardy Festival that I want to be able to do the same for them," Dean said. "(My family and I have) been here for the past three years and we always have a great time."
Live performers included Terri Gibbs-Daughtery and C.D. Morris and the Bluegrass Boys of Harlem.
"They've played here every year that this has been held," said Shirley Morris, C.D.'s wife. "It's become a tradition with us."
That Fourth of July tradition included family games such as horseshoes and basketball, and the playground at Goodale Park, where the event was held.
"Everything is going very well," Trudeau said as he helped volunteers prepare to-go boxes of barbecue. "It keeps getting bigger and bigger, and it seems like everyone keeps having more and more fun."
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