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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Hartsville is getting ready for its annual July 4 festival, with the traditional parade, fireworks show and music in the park.

“We’ll have vendors, the Chamber will have a food booth selling fried bologna sandwiches and hot dogs,” said Chamber of Commerce Director Natalie Knudsen, who is helping to organize the festivities. “We’ll have Italian ice and sno-cones too!”

Chris Gregory / File / Hartsville Vidette

The Fourth of July parade will begin on Wednesday at 4 p.m., starting down McMurry Blvd. and turning onto Broadway.

RELATED LINK: 2018 Parade Lineup

“A big thank you to everyone participating in this year’s Independence Parade,” said Amber Russell, who organizes the July 4 parade. “It’s always great to see a day full of patriotism for our great nation! It’s always an honor to direct the parade and I hope you enjoy it.”

Russell also offered some parade tips:

  • Please make sure all children are loaded on vehicles prior to departure;
  • Please do not allow anyone to leave vehicles/floats once the parade has started;
  • Drivers be mindful and watch for children down parade route;
  • Candy is permitted to be thrown;
  • Lights are permitted;
  • Sirens may be used;
  • Please rise as the color guard displaying our flag passes at beginning of parade.

After the parade, the fun will shift to Hartsville City Park for music, food, games and much more.

The music will be highlighted by appearances by the Bluegrass Militia and SuperSport. Also scheduled to perform is local singer Cassandra Bates.

“The Band Boosters have done music in the park for years as a thank-you to the community,” said Steve Paxton, who directs the Band Boosters. “This is a way we can pay back.”

The Community Band, made up of Trousdale County High School band members and band alumni, will close out the music at 8:30 p.m. with a repertoire of patriotic music.

The Band Boosters will also hold an auction between musical performances. Paxton said the Band Boosters were still seeking donated items and there are also spots still available for booths in the park. For more information, reach him at 615-374-2712.

“We’ll be glad to have anyone who wants to participate,” Paxton said.

There will be a watermelon eating contest at 6:15 p.m., a cake walk at 6:30 p.m. and a dunk tank at 7:15 p.m. in the park. A live auction will be held for the opportunity to dunk mayoral candidates Carroll Carman and Stephen Chambers, as well as Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

A time for the dunk auction had not been set as of press time, but Knudsen said she expected it to be later in the evening. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Chamber’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner, to be held in November.

“We want people to come and bid,” Knudsen said. “Bid as much as you want to dunk whoever you want!”

Additionally, the swimming pool will remain open to the public until 9 p.m., allowing folks an opportunity to get a respite from the summer heat.

The day will be capped the by annual fireworks display, which will begin around 9 p.m.

“It’s a small-town Fourth of July. That’s what we’re going for.” Knudsen said.

“If you’re in town, we encourage you to come out,” Paxton added. “It’s available to all our community so they can come and interact, rub shoulders and celebrate the Fourth of July.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.