The Franklin Chamber of Commerce is finalizing plans for the largest annual Independence Day celebration in Western North Carolina. The 4th of July Fireworks in the Park will be held at the Macon County Veterans Memorial Recreation Park just south of Franklin off U.S. 441 on Thursday, July 4. Activities will begin in the park at 3 p.m. and conclude at dark with the largest fireworks display in the area.
“We always work hard to make this a very special day for those who attend,” said Cindy Cavender, special events coordinator for the Chamber. “Our plans are complete and the crowds can expect a spectacular day of fun and excitement for the entire family. While the day will not begin until 3 p.m. there will still be lots to do including live entertainment, bungee jump, a horseshoe tournament, a cornhole tournament, the famous Plunger Toss and new this year, the blind golf cart obstacle course. A special added attraction this year will be a free kid’s inflatable area sponsored by Biltmore Baptist Church. In addition to the inflatables, Biltmore Baptist Church is the sponsor of this year’s fireworks display.”
Campus Pastor Patrick Trawick invites you to visit BBC’s booth in the kids area and register for door prizes to be given away from the stage before the fireworks display.
New this year is a new event, “Blind Golf Cart Race” sponsored by Franklin Golf Course. This is a timed golf cart obstacle course featuring a two person team. The first person is blindfolded while the second person directs them through the obstacle course. The team with the fastest time, minus “knocked over cone penalties,” will win a $250 cash prize. Fee to compete is only $5 per team.
The cornhole tournament, sponsored by ServPro, will begin at 3 p.m. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Chamber’s Tent in front of the baseball field and end at 2:30. Cornhole registration is $25 per team with a total cash purse of $350. Registration forms are also available at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce located at 425 Porter Street.
The Plunger Toss, sponsored by Ferguson Enterprises, has become one of the most entertaining and anticipated contests at the 4th of July festivities. Kids and adults alike try tossing small plungers into the toilet bowl. Land a plunger and move on to the next round. Winners are declared in two age groups, adults are 13 years and over and the children’s group is 12 years and under.” A $50 prize will be given to the winner of each age group. The plunger toss will take place at 7 p.m. on the baseball field.
Don’t forget the Bulls Eye Ball Drop, sponsored by Smoky Mountain Chevrolet, will take place around 9:15 p.m. Balls are $5 each or three for $10 with the closest ball to the center of the bull’s eye winning $500. Balls can be purchased at the Chamber tent in front of the baseball field.
The entertainment line up for the day starting at 3 p.m., features local favorites with the Southern Appalachian Boys playing from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The headline act for the night will be My Highway Band playing from 7 till 9 p.m. The Presentation of Colors will take place at 9:15 p.m. followed by a salute to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The National Anthem, sung by Abigail Roper, will lead into the largest fireworks display in Western North Carolina beginning around 9:30 p.m.
What’s the 4th without great food? This year will be no exception. Plenty of tasty treats will be available like hamburgers, barbecue, hot dogs, funnel cakes, kettle korn, fresh donuts, ice cream and snowcones.
A bus shuttle will run continuously from Franklin High School’s Parking Lot to the Recreation Park beginning at 5 p.m. Four buses will run after the fireworks to help get folks back to their cars as quickly as possible. Since no parking is allowed along Wide Horizon Drive, everyone is encouraged to use the shuttle this year.
Don’t forget Franklin’s Fourth of July festivities will begin with the Parade on Main Street at 10 a.m. downtown. Everyone is welcome to participate. The parade lineup will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the lower town hall parking lot. The Most Patriotic Pet Winner will be announced in the gazebo at 10:30 a.m. Free watermelon, free kids games and more will be available at 11 a.m. While downtown, shop with Main Street Merchants.