Independence Day

Moreland and Haralson planning events

Organizers in Newnan are planning a morning parade and evening fireworks to celebrate America’s 238th birthday on July 4, and Coweta’s smaller towns are also gearing up for the holiday.

Moreland has been a center for activity on July 4 for years. A barbecue has been sponsored by local churches for more than 60 years, and the Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival has brought artisans, bakers, crafters and other vendors to town for more than a quarter century.

Haralson also celebrates the holiday, but always on a day other than July 4. This year’s festivities will be the day after – Saturday, July 5.

Both celebrations will have some differences from past years. For decades, the three churches cooperating to hold the barbecue in Moreland have been First Baptist Church of Moreland, Moreland United Methodist Church and White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

The Presbyterian church holds its own barbecue each year and opted out of the July 4 event this year. Bethlehem Baptist Church stepped up to take the available place.

Plates will be $8 each. Serving officially starts at 11 a.m. at the Lewis Grizzard Memorial Barbecue Pavilion behind the Moreland Mill, but regulars know to be in line by 10:30.

The barbecue often is a sellout, but if there is food left, quarts of Brunswick stew and pounds of barbecued pork will be $10 each.

The Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival will be July 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Puckett Station was the town’s name before it was renamed in honor of a railroad doctor who was named Moreland.

Opening ceremonies with singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the pledge to the flag will be held at 9 a.m. Vendors will be in the Moreland Mill and on the lawn of Moreland United Methodist Church.

Because of the late start in organizing the festival, the price for vendors will be lower this year than it has been for several years. The usual price is $45, but this year, vendors will only have to pay $35.

“We are late getting people in,” said Deborah Smith, who is organizing this year’s festival. Smith said electricity is available for vendors who need it for an additional $10.

She said she has already gotten a positive response from some longtime vendors about the lower costs. “It helps me so much,” one woman told her.

“We are really seeking vendors now,” Smith said. Anyone wanting to have a table or booth at Puckett Station should email Smith at imagesart1@live.com or call her at 678-850-1868.

A letter has been sent to longtime vendors outlining details of this year’s Puckett Station event. Puckett Station is sponsored by the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance.

Puckett Station will offer an opportunity for residents and visitors to get a look at the newly restored two-story section of the Moreland Mill. MCAA is planning to have a small museum exhibit there by July 4 – with more to come in the ensuing months.

From 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., MCAA will sponsor “Moreland’s Family Tree” in the museum area. Local historian and writer Winston Skinner will help people fill out family charts and post some of them on the wall.

“The old families here are nearly all connected – sometimes in ways people don’t realize,” Skinner said. “We at MCAA want this to be a fun activity and one that brings the community together.”

Skinner is also assistant news editor at The Newnan Times-Herald.

Haralson Mayor Ted Bateman said the parade on July 5 will start at 6 p.m. Fireworks will be held off Shaddix Road about 9-9:15 p.m.

The parade will start at Haralson Head Start, next to the city hall. Many of the activities will be centered on the park next to the city hall. A grill and smoker there will be dedicated in memory of Haralson merchant Bruce Williams, Bateman said.

There will be some activities for children, and barbecue will be sold at the park. Haralson businessman Tinker Smith is organizing the parade and events in Haralson this year.



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