The anticipation and the lake level were high this year for the Raysville fireworks show.
People lined the swollen shores of Thurmond Lake and took boats out early Saturday afternoon in preparation for the fireworks that started after dark near Raysville Marina. People also gathered to listen to the Faded Blues Band that began playing at 7 p.m.
Thomson resident Robert Hughes comes to the Raysville show to "enjoy the holiday spirit of Independence Day."
The celebration not only attracts McDuffie County residents. This year's show pulled in people from neighboring areas.
Gibson resident James Fullwood usually attends July Fourth activities in Augusta or Dublin, but he was impressed with the reviews of the Raysville show.
"Everybody talked about how wonderful it was," Fullwood said. "So we wanted to come up here and see what it was like over the water."
Ashley Peebles, Kristy Ballard and Stevie Eidson pile on the back of a dunebuggy during the Independence Day
festivities at Raysville Marina.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
For many who return to the show year after year, it has become an Independence Day tradition.
"It's just a ritual that we do every year," said Lincolnton resident Allen Edmunds, who watched the show for the fourth straight year. "My grandparents own land that backs up to the lake, so we usually watch it from the back of their land."
Dearing native Derek Whitaker has attended the Raysville show six years in a row because of its convenient location.
"It's close to home, and it's good," Whitaker said.
Many people come out strictly to have a good time or to spend the holiday with friends and family at the lake. Many also think of the show as a celebration of America.
"I think it's patriotic," said Gibson resident Sandra Stringfield. "The fireworks make you think of Fourth of July things like freedom."
"There just seems to be something magic about it," Hughes said.
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