Independence Day events throughout Coweta County
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
Cowetans will celebrate America’s birthday on Wednesday, and Independence Day events are in the works in Moreland, Grantville and Newnan.
Volunteers will begin cooking barbecue at Lewis Grizzard Memorial Pavilion behind the Moreland Mill on today (Tuesday) in preparation for the annual barbecue that is the centerpiece of Moreland’s celebration. The first events on July 4 will be Moreland’s bicycle parade – with prizes given for the best patriotically decorated bikes or trikes – at 8:30 a.m.
At 9 a.m., opening ceremonies will be held for the annual Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival. Boy Scouts will raise the flag on the Moreland town square near the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the pledge to the flag and a greeting from Mayor Josh Evans will also be part of the ceremonies.
The Puckett Station Festival – which takes its name from an earlier monicker for Moreland – runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with booths and tables in the Moreland Mill and outdoors behind Moreland United Methodist Church.
A range of arts and crafts will be sold, as well as produce and plants.
The Golden Quilters from Moreland United Methodist Church will be selling raffle tickets for a hand-stitched, king-size quilt at their spot next to the church sign. Tickets are $1 each.
An indoor yard sale will also be held in the church’s air-conditioned fellowship hall 8 a.m.-noon. A 4 Square Tournament is planned for Puckett Station, and visitors will have the opportunity to look around the God’s Little Acre community garden project at the south end of town.
Puckett Station will offer a variety of food – kettle corn, baked goods and lemonade, among others.
The community barbecue has been the centerpiece of Moreland’s celebration for more than 60 years. Serving of the succulent pork and tasty Brunswick stew will officially start at 11 a.m., though people often start getting in line earlier. Plates will again be $8 each.
The barbecue is sponsored by three local churches – First Baptist Church of Moreland, Moreland United Methodist Church and White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Jimmy Haynes, treasurer for the barbecue committee, said 2,000 pounds of meat will be prepared.
On Wednesday afternoon in Grantville, local playwright and actor David Wilson will present a patriotic drama at 4 p.m. “I will be doing another one-man show as George Washington,” Wilson said.
The program will be staged at the John C. Meadows Log Cabin adjacent to the ball park in Grantville. “Admission will be free, and I am planning on having both chairs and refreshments there,” Wilson said.
Newnan’s annual Fourth of July parade begins at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Plaza at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue. The procession will lead to Drake Stadium at Newnan High School on LaGrange Street where the Rotary Club’s annual community celebration and fireworks will be held.
This year’s parade theme is “Hats Off to America.” Four World War II veterans – Roy Pitts, Ed Bean, Aubrey Burnette and Eugene Cook – will be grand marshals.
“No one deserves to be recognized more than those that are currently serving and have served in the past,” said JoAnn Gentry, Newnan Main Street manager. “This year we are recognizing four of our county’s veterans who have served their country.”
Newnan Rotary Club sponsors the annual celebration at Drak Stadium. Music and other entertainment are planned.
“We’ll have concessions,” said Mark Mitchell, president of Newnan Rotary. The fireworks display will be held at dusk – about 9 p.m.
The Peachtree City Fire/ Rescue Department and the Peachtree City Police Department will be holding their annual Fourth of July Expo near Peachtree City’s Drake Field on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.
The Fire/Rescue Department has activities planned:
• A water battle tournament where two teams try to push a barrel past the other team using a stream of water from a fire hose. Again this year, organizers hope to encourage Expo visitors to join in the fun.
• There will be a Little Squirt event where youngsters will get a chance to act like a firefighter and spray water from one of the fire hoses at a child-safe pressure.
• There will be a demonstration of the techniques used to extricate a victim from a car crash. Visitors will get to see many of the hydraulic tools in action.
• The PCFD Safety Bus will be at the Expo. This specially-converted bus gives firefighters an opportunity to teach children about home and kitchen safety.
• The newest piece of fire department equipment, Squad-8, will be on display. This truck can carry four firefighters and their gear to a call, providing a great deal of manpower for intensive emergencies. It is also equipped with a new CAFS pump. This latest fire suppression technique uses special foam to provide efficient fire knock-down.
Peachtree City’s police department has many things in store as well:
• Department personnel will set up and run a bicycle skills course. Youngsters are invited to bring their bike and helmet to participate. Participants will get to discuss bicycle safety with a certified Police Mountain Bike Instructor and be given a chance to practice controlled steering, stopping, and turning around obstacles.
• Officers will have two K-9 teams at the Expo. The public is invited to meet the highly trained teams, who will demonstrate the dogs’ skill at locating drugs and searching for lost objects.
One important change this year at the Peachtree City event is that parking, due to the change in the time frame, will not be permitted at City Hall during the Expo. There will be parking available at First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City.