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Arts & Entertainment

The Town of Franklin will hold its annual Fourth of July Parade and Celebration beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, in Historic Downtown Franklin.

“This is the fourth year we’ve held this family-friendly celebration,” said Linda Schlott, executive director of the Franklin Main Street Program. “Activities planned include our annual parade, pet costume contest, and free watermelon.”

Franklin’s July Fourth Parade is different in the fact that anyone and everyone can participate. “We will assemble for the parade in the lower level parking at Franklin Town Hall beginning at 9:30,” said Schlott. “Everyone is welcome to decorate a bike, wagon or even their pet to join in our patriotic celebration.”

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The Bascom’s 14th Annual 2012 Mountains in Bloom Garden Festival will be held July 13- 15. On July 13 and 14, eight gardens in the Ravenel area will be featured on the garden tour. Garden hosts are Nina and Bill Bugg; Virginia and Mike Campbell; Marion and George Mayer, Diane and Ray McPhail; Libby and Gene Pearce; Connie and Bill Rea, Wyn and Bill Shoptaw; and Peggy Woodruff. Garden tour participants will be served a gourmet box lunch served on the Terrace at The Bascom between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the garden tours are $80 per person. Group discounts are available.

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Voices of Lee, an a cappella ensemble from Lee University, will perform at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, July 1, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each.

Voices of Lee has performed worldwide and been featured on “Good Morning America,” performed at Christmas at the White House, and competed on NBC’s “Sing-Off” competition where they easily advanced to the final round. Their unique variety of lush vocal harmonies has captivated audiences ever since their debut in September 1994. Voices of Lee is directed by Danny Murray who has coached collegiate- aged musicians for more than 25 years. He has extensive experience in the music industry, serving from church music director to promotions director for Bill Gaither.

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Under the direction of Tom Tyre, the combined Franklin and Dillsboro Ubuntu Choirs performed “Choral Music from Around the World” Sunday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, followed by a reception.

The event was sponsored by Carol and Michael Vincent and presented by the Arts Council and supported by funding from the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

The Arts Council’s next concert will be “Freedom Rocks the Square” Friday, June 29, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Franklin Town Square Gazebo.

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