Coweta towns gear up for July 4 celebrationsBy W. WINSTON SKINNER
Independence Day is less than a month away, and volunteers are making plans for big celebrations of America’s birthday in Newnan, Moreland, Senoia and Grantville.
Haralson will actually celebrate the holiday a day early. On July 3, there will be a parade at 6 p.m. Area residents will then gather at a lot near the corner of Shaddix Road and Line Creek Road to mingle and await a free fireworks extravaganza at dusk.
On July 4, events will start early in Moreland, where there will be a bicycle parade and patriotic dog contest before the official opening of the Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival at 9 a.m. Booth spaces – in the Moreland Mill and outdoors on the lawn at Moreland United Methodist Church – are still available for $45.
Deborah Smith is coordinating Puckett Station for the event’s sponsor, the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance. Vendors may contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-850-1868. “We are offering a $10 rebate for our returning vendors who refer an artisan who submits a new application to Puckett Station and list you as their referral with a paid application,” Smith said.
A returning vendor can get the rebate for up to three referrals.
This year’s Puckett Station will include events in downtown and at the God’s Little Acre garden site on Railroad Street at the south end of town. There will be live music in the park, a DJ on the church lawn, a 4 Square Tournament and a variety of food, antiques and collectibles.
Smith said she is working to get a variety of vendors and to keep duplications to a minimum. There will be a couple of vendors with baked goods, and someone is bringing lemonade.
“I think we’ve got our kettle corn,” Smith said. Fresh produce will be available, and an Avon representative will be present.
“I’m looking for clothing vendors — handmade clothing,” Smith said.
Smith also said she is looking for someone to provide a hayride – pulled by a tractor – that would take people from downtown to God’s Little Acre. She said Puckett Station would waive the $45 fee for the hayride operator.
“We have several new vendors coming,” Smith said. The deadline for vendor applications is June 22.
A community barbecue has been the centerpiece of Moreland’s celebration for more than 60 years. Barbecued pork and Brunswick stew will be prepared at the Lewis Grizzard Memorial Pavilion behind the Moreland Mill starting July 3.
On July 4, serving 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 “more people than usual showed up” for the initial planning meeting for this year’s event.
Haynes said 2,000 pounds of meat will be prepared – including both the chopped pork and the stew.
In Grantville, local playwright and actor David Wilson will present a patriot drama at 4 p.m. “I will be doing another one man show as George Washington on July 4,” Wilson said.
The program will be staged at the John C. Meadows Log Cabin adjacent to the ballpark 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 generally begins at 6 p.m. and leads to Drake Stadium at Newnan High School on LaGrange Street for the annual community celebration and fireworks. Main Street Newnan is currently accepting applications for the parade.
This year’s parade theme is “Hats Off to America.”
“We encourage everyone to wear your biggest, brightest American hat,” said Main Street coordinator JoAnn Gentry.
Parade applications are available at the Main Street website for download, and all walking groups, floats, trucks, cars and other marching units are welcome. All parade entries and their support vehicles must be decorated to either depict the parade theme or, at a minimum, be decorated in red, white and blue in order to keep with the patriotic spirit of the parade.
The parade begins at Veterans Memorial Plaza at Temple Avenue and Jackson Street and continues along Jackson through the Court Square and out LaGrange Street to conclude at Newnan High School. There the celebration continues with the annual Newnan Rotary Club celebration and fireworks show.
The deadline for submitting parade applications is June 28. For information visit www.mainstreetnewnan.com or contact Gentry at 770-253-8283.
Mark Mitchell, Newnan Rotary president, said plans are under way for the annual event at Drake Stadium, which begins as the parade ends. “We’re excited the construction of the stadium’s completed,” he said.
“Everything’s on track,” Mitchell said.
A program of music and other entertainment is provided by Rotary at the stadium each July 4. “We’ll have concessions,” Mitchell said. A fireworks display will be held at dusk — about 9 p.m.
Several area churches also have patriotic events scheduled around July 4.
First Baptist Church of Newnan and Flat Creek Baptist Church near Fayetteville are joining forces to present Freedom Celebration 2012 – on June 24 at Flat Creek and June 25 at First Baptist. Both presentations will start at 7 p.m.
Patriotic music and a veteran speaker are planned.
East Newnan Baptist Church’s Music Ministry will again present the Singing Flag on June 30. Music and refreshments at 8:15 p.m. will precede the 8:45 program.
“This presentation will have our flag choir singing, while thousands of lights present a light show, as well as a video, that goes along with our songs,” said church member June Harris. Attendees should bring lawn chairs for the outdoor event at East Newnan Baptist.