Drake Stadium event Saturday
Haralson celebrates with parade, fireworks
by W. Winston Skinner
The rain went away and the clouds parted long enough for Haralson to hold its day-after-Independence Day bash as scheduled. Rainy weather postponed fireworks displays in Newnan and other area cities in the nation’s birthday, although the barbecue and arts festival in Moreland were a success despite the drizzly weather.
A total of 8.25 inches of rain was measured in Newnan, including the 4.5 inches last Wednesday through the weekend.
The community fireworks show sponsored by the Newnan Rotary Club has been rescheduled for Saturday.
The Rotary pre-fireworks entertainment will start at 6 p.m. at Drake Stadium at Newnan High School. There will be live music from Musicology – Doug Kees, Riley Hoskins, Bob Boyce, Patrick Thompson and Tory Boyd – and others. The fireworks will start at dusk.
Parade participants gathered at Haralson Head Start about 6 p.m. Friday to be prepared for the parade. Haralson is a small town, and the parade is heavy on rural, family themes. A couple of floats were populated with members of the large Thompson family, and one was pulled by a large, green John Deere tractor.
Gauge Thompson was one of several people driving a golf cart in the procession that made its way through the historic downtown, out onto Georgia Highway 85 and back to Head Start, which is located in a New Deal-era schoolhouse. Mayor Ted Bateman rode along on his bicycle.
People on several floats threw candy to bystanders. Grand marshal Annette Bowman and her husband, Tom, waved from an antique pickup. Annette Bowman designed a walking trail at the town’s park adjacent to the city hall.
“That’s why we dedicated the walking trail to her,” Bateman said.
After the parade, free ice cream cones were offered at a downtown store. Then people began to move toward a field on Line Creek Road next to Bateman’s home.
At the site, there was live music from Toby Nix and Chad Tarkenton. A leathercraft vendor was on hand, and there was a bounce house for youngsters. Members of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church offered free watermelon and Bibles.
The Town of Haralson sponsors a free fireworks spectacular each year – always holding it the day before or the day after July 4. Eric Spencer has organized the celebration for several years.
During the evening, Spencer presented plaques to representatives of the Coweta County Fire Department. The plaques noted this year’s Haralson celebration was in memory of Billy “Paw Paw” Ward, a longtime CCFD firefighter who died last year.
Spencer was clearly pleased the Haralson event was a success and that the weather cooperated to create the perfect setting for a celebration of America. “The fireworks were awesome,” he said.