Fixing up for the 4th

 July 4 festivities set for 6 p.m. ’til dark

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — A core group of volunteers swarmed Hamlet’s Main Street Park Saturday morning to spruce things in advance of the Independence Day celebration set for Friday, July 4.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ernie Billingsley volunteers on his day off to help spruce up Main Street Park in Hamlet in advance of the Independence Day celebration.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ernie Billingsley volunteers on his day off to help spruce up Main Street Park in Hamlet in advance of the Independence Day celebration.

The names were familiar to those familiar with Hamlet — Linda Bayless and husband, Mayor Bill Bayless, Miranda Chavis, Ernie Billingsley, of the Hamlet Department of Public Works, city employee Charles Yates, along with Lisa Van Kersen and Lawrence Chavis, Miranda Chavis’ parents.

The group acknowledged it’s usually the same people who volunteer to clean up the park — trim the hedges, pull weeds and prickly vines, rake, mow and more.

“I have learned if you feed them, they will come,” quipped coordinator Miranda Chavis.

The work is required because “we want the kids to have fun and be safe,” Chavis said. “The Public Works department does an amazing job taking care of the park. Sometimes it’s good to go there and get the little things.”

But the majority of the workforce skipped the pre-work biscuits and beverage and went right to work.

“We usually have a pretty good time,” said Billingsley on his day off. “I enjoy it.”

Chavis said she expected the work could be completed in less than two hours. In return, the group will see a crowd of approximately 2,000 next Friday celebrate Independence Day on Main Street in Hamlet, an evening that’s capped with a spectacular fireworks display.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Charles Yates.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Charles Yates.

The schedule of events for July 4 includes:

* 6 p.m. – Main-Street Cruise-In and first clues available for the Great Hamlet Hunt

* 6:30 p.m. – Tricycle Races, races for both adults and children

* 7 p.m. – Watermelon-eating Contest and second set of clues for the Great Hamlet Hunt

* 7:30 p.m. – Main Street Cruise-In door prizes announced

* 8 p.m. – Balloon toss.

* Dark – Fireworks.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Linda Bayless prunes some bushes at Main Street Park to beautify the space for the anticipated crowd of about 2,000 people next Friday.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Linda Bayless prunes some bushes at Main Street Park to beautify the space for the anticipated crowd of about 2,000 people next Friday.

All the while, said Chavis, The Carolina Soul Band will be performing live under the pavilion — in the slight chance of rain, the music will go on.

This year, the adult tricycle races will be open to the general public. There is no cost to enter. In previous years, Chavis said the contest was limited to invited dignitaries. The races are an event favorite, Chavis said.

“I love seeing the adult tricycle races,” she said. “They’ll wear these fun costumes” with goggles and kneepads. “It’s very lighthearted” competition.

Other parts of the evening’s festivities include a waterside for children, face-painting, balloons, Hamlet Depot & Museums tours, corn hole at The Sports Connection and plenty of food, including hamburgers, funnel cakes, lemonade, ice cream and more.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Miranda Chavis tackles some vines growing out of control. "How do they grow so fast," she asks.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Miranda Chavis tackles some vines growing out of control. “How do they grow so fast,” she asks.

 

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors

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