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County readies for festive July 4

Flag Pond Fireworks
The Flag Pond Ruritan fireworks display will be Friday, July 3.
In addition to fireworks, there will be number of other festivities beginning at 4 p.m., including parade at 6 p.m., lawnmower races and music. Anyone can participate in the parade.
Hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream will be available.
Fireworks will start at 9:45 p.m.

“Welcome Home Veterans” parade
Unicoi County is calling all veterans back home for a July 4 parade. This year will mark the 2nd Annual “Welcome Home Veterans” parade in downtown Erwin.
Organizers say they want to welcome home all Unicoi County veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and salute all veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm in a special July 4 parade.
The parade will be led by World War II veterans with Erwin Nine member George Hatcher as the grand marshal. Following will be veterans from the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and Desert Storm. A special salute to veterans returning home to Unicoi County from Iraq and Afghanistan will also take place.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Food Lion parking lot and proceed down Erwin’s new Main Avenue, turn onto Love Street, then onto Elm Avenue before coming to an end at the Unicoi County Veterans Memorial Park where Terry Haynes will be cooking hot dogs provided by the town of Erwin.
All veterans are urged to contact the parade organizers, the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, at 743-3000 or Jim Buchanan at 341-4417, so they may salute the veterans’ service to the country.
Transportation will be provided for those unable to walk the parade route. Commercial floats are welcome, but must have a July 4th or veterans theme. Churches are also invited to enter a display or float.
If you have a convertible that you would like a veteran to ride in, contact the Chamber.
More than 450 veterans from all over the Tri-Cities marched in the parade last year.

Unicoi Freedom Fest
An annual tradition continues this weekend in Unicoi to celebrate the nation’s independence.
In a press release issued from Town of Unicoi, the town will host its annual Freedom Fest on Saturday, July 4, beginning at 5 p.m. on the Unicoi Elementary School campus.
Three bands take center stage with Daisi Rain at 5 p.m., Annie Robinette at 6:30 p.m. and ending with Samantha Gray and the Soul Providers at 8 p.m.
Concessions with be available at the event, including the Unicoi Ruritan selling food to benefit the organization.
Community members are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to celebrate the Fourth of July. Fireworks end the night with the display beginning at 10 p.m.
“It is a great celebration,” said Town of Unicoi Community Development Director Jennifer Gryder. “The community can come together to celebrate our independence with food, fun and fireworks.”
The event is also seeking volunteers on behalf of the Ruritans to help cook and serve food. Contact Gryder at 735-0317, for more information.