Local News

July 2, 2014

Fireworks, games and food

Independence Day celebrations held all weekend

For folks interested in a full slate of activities, food and entertainment — and maybe a fireworks display or two — on this Fourth of July holiday, options abound.

Several events are scheduled this weekend in Murray and Whitfield counties to celebrate America’s independence.  

In Dalton, the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual Fourth of July Celebration at Heritage Point Park. The Friday event is scheduled to feature a number of special contests and games — some yearly favorites, and some new.

The celebration will kick off at noon, according to DPRD Director Steve Card.

“We are encouraging people to come out and be a part of activities beginning at 12 p.m. There is limited parking within the park itself. So, we do encourage people to come as early as they can,” Card said. “We’ll have several activities and vendors for children, families and everyone, in general. All of the games and activities we’re offering will be free. And, of course, at dark, we plan to have one of the largest fireworks display in Northwest Georgia, with a great finale.”

While music, food and games will be available throughout the night, scheduled activities begin at 2 p.m.

For the first time, the Independence Day event features a disc golf tournament (2 p.m.) and bean bag toss tournament (4 p.m.).

Eating contests — Krystal hamburgers and Little Debbie snack cakes — will be held at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.

And the annual Little Miss Rec Pageant returns this year, kicking off at 5 p.m.

“We are excited to host the pageant once again,” Card said. “Of course, we want to encourage the young ladies to wear something patriotic, to honor the Fourth of July.”

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the park will host, for a second time, professional wrestling.

The show rained out last year, but was met with tremendous support in 2012, said Card, who said he is excited to welcome it back.

Just after dark, at about 9:15 p.m., a fireworks display will conclude the celebration.

“We want to encourage everyone to come out to a day’s worth of events, and enjoy the Fourth of July with Dalton at Heritage Point Park,” he said. “We feel that, with the new events we’re offering, and maybe the largest fireworks show in Northwest Georgia, there is not a better time or place to enjoy the Fourth than Friday night in Dalton.”

For more details, visit www.mydprd.com and click the American flag or call the recreation center at (706) 278-5404.

Also Friday night, the city of Eton will host its annual Fourth of July party.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Eton Park will offer visitors a full evening of music, food and games. Admission is free.

“We’ll have every type of food you can think of, chair messages, inflatables and all sorts of vendors and activities,” Eton City Clerk Kim Hall said. “It will be a good time for everyone.”

According to Hall, live music — Mick Daddona at 5 p.m. and the Plow Boys at 6 p.m. — will be played throughout the evening.

Fireworks are scheduled to begin just after dark, she said.

Signs will be posted roadside to guide drivers to the park, and to available parking locations.

Fun times this weekend aren’t just reserved for Friday, though.

In Chatsworth, the Murray County Parks and Recreations Department will host its annual July 4th Celebration Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. A slew of games and activities, and plenty of food, will be available for park guests, said Murray County Parks Administrative Assistant LaRhonda Harrison.

“We’ll have a mechanical bull, a bungee jump, swings, a train, a waterslide and more. We’ll have plenty of food — everything from funnel cakes and ice cream to barbecue and fried chicken,” she said. “Vendors will be setting up to sell sunglasses, hats, drinks and various other items. Everyone can come out, enjoy the food and fun, relax and have a good time.”

Live music will be provided throughout the evening by local band Eight Days After, Harrison said.

Fireworks are expected to begin shortly after dark at about 9:30 p.m.

Drivers this year will not be able to park at the Murray County High School baseball field, according to the recreation department. Police will block off that parking lot to allow for a safe distance between park guests and fireworks.

This weekend will also mark the final three days of the 2014 Chatsworth Wagon Train.

Sponsor and organizer of the event, The Murray County Saddle Club, will hold its annual parade for the Wagon Train at 6 p.m. Friday on Third Avenue in Chatsworth.

For a complete list of Wagon Train daily activities, visit the Murray County Saddle Club website at murraycountysaddleclub.com.

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