By Elaine Owen, Editor ~~
Blue Ridge will celebrate Independence Day with a parade Saturday, a special ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, barbecue and music at Lake Blue Ridge Marina and fireworks over the lake.
Festivities begin Saturday, June 30, with a special Benefit Pancake Breakfast at Faith Presbyterian Church on Mountain Street to raise money to help Habitat for Humanity Fannin & Gilmer Counties build a house in McCaysville later this year. After the pancake breakfast, folks are invited to pull up a chair and watch the Old Timers Parade wend its way through Blue Ridge, starting approximately 10 a.m.
Those participating in the parade will want to get to St. Anthony’s Church around 9 a.m. to line up and be ready for the big event. Chicken Lady Anne Seay is parade organizer and has all the logistical answers. She will point you in the right direction and make everything seem easy (as she has done all the behind-the-scenes work with the help of her CERT friends and the Blue Ridge Business Association Thursday and Friday). Her number is 706-455-1464. Jere McConnell is Grand Marshall and special guest is Blue Ridge’s own Representative and Speaker of the Georgia House David Ralston.
At press time, the number of parade entries was not available but we know the Amazing Seed & Feed Marching Abominables, the Appalachian St. Andrews Pipes & Drums, the Budweiser Horse and antique cars will be there. Also, look for the High School band, social groups, 4-H, Scouts and, this close to an election, POLITICAL PARTIES!
At noon, head to the Veterans Memorial Park (on Old Hwy. 76 in front of Fannin County Middle School) where the Fannin County Veterans organizations have planned a special Independence Day service. Keynote speaker is Marine Jeff O’Neill. The North Georgia Honor Guard will be there to Post the Colors, render the Rifle Salute and Taps. Rev. Ron Wikander will give the invocation.
Sometime after 10 a.m., make your way over to the Walmart parking lot where wonderful vehicles from North Georgia Ford will be lined up and wait ing for you to test drive them! The wonder in this is that for each test drive, Ford Motor company gives the Veterans $20. That means, if 300 people take a test drive in these marvelous vehicles, the Veterans organizations will have $6,000 to help Veterans get to doctor appointments, maintain the Conference Center and take care of other obligations.
Fireworks begin around dusk at a new location near the day. Before that, there will be music by The Country Outlaws Band and barbecue beginning at 6 p.m.
Remember that Old Hwy. 76 across Blue Ridge Dam will be closed at 7 p.m. in preparation for the fireworks and reopen after the fireworks end.
The fireworks are sponsored by the Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association. Find more information on their website at lbrca.org.
For more information about the fireworks, visit the association’s website at lbrca.org.
OTHER FUN THINGS to do in BLUE RIDGE
Celebrate the birth of our great nation on Friday, June 29th for the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway’s Firecracker Special train. Depart Blue Ridge at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy the great Copper Basin Fireworks display just after dark and then return to Blue Ridge by 11:00 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and sit outside the train to view the fireworks! Activities in downtown McCaysville/Copperhill when you arrive. Lots of vendors for food and things to do for the kids until the fireworks start.
Find more information at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at 706-632-8724.
See story on real meaning of 4th of July on page 2B.