Parade, fireworks part of Fourth festivities


Newnan’s “Happy Birthday, America” parade begins at 6 p.m. Thursday. This year’s parade honors “Hometown Heroes.” 

From barbecue in Moreland to the big parade and community fireworks in Newnan on Thursday to Haralson’s post-Independence Day fireworks Friday, there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate America this week.

The Fourth of July celebration in Newnan includes an evening parade and the annual fireworks display at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium on Thursday.

Newnan Rotary Club will present the 28th annual “Celebrate Freedom” Fourth of July community fireworks extravaganza Thursday evening. The fireworks display is sponsored by Newnan Rotary Club, in conjunction with the city of Newnan, Coweta County, Coweta County Schools and Newnan/ Coweta businesses as a gift to the whole community.

The city’s “Happy Birthday America” parade begins at 6 p.m. from the area of Veterans Memorial Plaza on Jackson Street, moving through the Court Square and on along LaGrange Street to Newnan High School where the evening’s festivities will get under way. This year’s parade is honoring “Hometown Heroes,” from public safety and military personnel to the “future heroes” including area Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and youth groups.

Drake Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event is free. Families can enjoy music by Doug Kees and Friends and Newnan Chapel United Methodist Men’s Chorus. A presentation of colors will be performed by the Honor Guard. Emcees for the night will be State Representative Lynn Smith and University of West Georgia- Newnan Campus Director Cathy Wright.

There will be activities perfect for children from bounce houses to slides, and the concessions area will be open to provide dinner. Food will include hot dogs, chips, popcorn and ice-cold drinks. 

“The night will sure to delight people of all ages. The event is free to the public,” said Newnan Public Information Officer Gina Snider.

“This is one of the biggest events in Newnan and Coweta County and it is the biggest event hosted by the Rotary Club,” said Newnan Rotary President Gerald Kemp.

Parking around the high school campus is limited, and attendees are encouraged to arrive early or park in downtown Newnan for the parade and walk to the high school stadium for ease of parking and traffic flow.

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Moreland’s Fourth of July celebration includes a barbecue that has been taking place for more than 60 years and sponsored by three churches – First Baptist Church of Moreland, Moreland United Methodist Church and White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance will holding the annual Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival, which has been held for more than 25 years in conjunction with the barbecue. The Puckett Station arts and crafts fair will be held July 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with booths spread from the Moreland Mill to the lawn behind Moreland United Methodist Church.

A patriotic bike parade and a dog walk will again be sponsored by the Moreland Community Historical Society, with the bike parade at 8:30 a.m. in front of Moreland United Methodist Church, with the dog walk to follow. Entries in both will be judged, and prizes will be given to winners. The 65th annual barbecue will sell plates for $8 at the Lewis Grizzard Barbecue Pavilion behind the Moreland Mill. Desserts are also sold. after their barbecue meal. The official start time for barbecue is 11 a.m. 

In Grantville, playwright and actor David Wilson will present a patriotic drama on Thursday.

“I will once again don my George Washington costume on July 4th at the John C. Meadows log cabin,” Wilson said. Meadows was a Grantville pioneer who is one of Wilson’s ancestors, and Meadows’ cabin was rescued from demolition years ago and moved to the city park near the baseball fields.

Admission will be free for “George Washington: A Patriot Speaks.” Limited seating will be provided, and refreshments will be available.

The production will be in memory of Sandra Ness of Grantville. Wilson said Ness was “the lady who made my George Wasshington costume (and) who passed away this past weekend.” Ness also made other colonial uniforms for the Grantville production of Wilson’s play, “America, the Great,” in 2006 and 2007.

Grantville Mayor Jim Sells will introduce Wilson to the audience.

Haralson’s Independence weekend celebration will be held on Friday, July 5. 

A parade is at 6:30 p.m. Parade participants will line up at the Haralson Head Start Center.

This year the town is honoring late Coweta County firefighter Billy “Paw Paw” Ward. After the parade, people will gather at a lot on Line Creek Road near its intersection with Shaddix Road. The Town of Haralson will sponsor a fireworks show at dark.

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