The sky will light up, bands will march and ... effigies will
be burned? It's all part of a unique Fourth of July Celebration that can only happen here in the
Along with parades, festivities are planned across the mountain, including an effigy burning at Horn in the West. And, of course, expect the boom of fireworks.
"We have the same package ordered as we had last year," town of Boone deputy clerk Kim Brown said.
Boone's fireworks show happens at newly minted Clawson/Burnley Park across from the National Guard Armory on Hunting Hills Lane, and it's just one of the events to plan your day around.
Boone: Saturday, 9:30 p.m., Clawson/Burnley Park off Hunting Hills Lane. Fireworks are presented this year by Zambelli.
Blowing Rock: The town hosts its fireworks display at the Blowing Rock Country club at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tweetsie Railroad: Tweetsie's 200 large-caliber pyrotechnic mortar shell show starts at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Vehicles parked at Tweetsie will be charged $5.
Jefferson: Ashe County Park in Jefferson hosts fireworks at dark Sunday.
Boone: This year's Boone Fourth of July Parade happens on King Street Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The theme is "Celebrating 75 Years of the Blue Ridge Parkway," and the parade route runs the length of King Street between the Dan'l Boone Inn and Murphy's Restaurant and Pub.
Blowing Rock: Main Street Parade happens at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Banner Elk: The Banner Elk Independence Day Parade happens at 11a.m. Saturday and begins on Main Street near the chamber of commerce.
Elk Park: The Elk Park parade happens at 11 a.m. Saturday, and participants are asked to be in line by 10:30 a.m.
Todd: The Liberty Parade, presented by the Elkland Art Center, happens Saturday. Paraders gather at the crossroads of N.C. 194 and Railroad Grade Road at 10 a.m. and walk through history Todd at 11 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - Clawson/Burnley Park celebrates its grand opening Saturday, July 3, complete with free hotdogs catered by Backyard Burgers.
7 p.m. - DJ Carl plays.
Saturday at 1 p.m., free entertainment and free watermelon help kick the day off on the Jones House lawn.
Horn in the West
In a place chalked full of tradition, July 4 reigns supreme as a unique and historic celebration hits Horn in the West and Hickory Ridge Homestead: The burning of the effigy of King George.
The tradition began with the nation's centennial in 1876 and continues at the Homestead as the community is invited to gather for the hanging of the effigy, a stuffed representation of King George himself.
Thirteen selected audience members will be given slips of paper to read at designated times, toasting to the Declaration of Independence, the President, Congress and past and present military. The Declaration of Independence will be read. And, as the celebration draws to a close, King George will be sentenced to be hanged and burned. Just as in that initial centennial, the effigy will then be set on fire as the crowd sings amidst the sound of gunfire.
To Horn in the West organizers, like actor Darrell King, it's about revelry.
"This is both a remembrance for the people who really put their lives on the line by signing the Declaration of Independence, as well as a celebration for what has been accomplished now as we carry on in their footsteps and continue building on what they started," he said.
The celebration, which brought out about 150 people last year and is free to the public, starts at the Homestead at 5:30 p.m. A showing of the outdoor drama, Horn in the West, follows. For more information or to order tickets, call (828) 264-2120 or visit http://www.horninthewest.com.
Blowing Rock kicks off the weekend with a Park Dance with Diana and Sarvis Ridge from 2 to 4 p.m., and Sweet T from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Blowing Rock then hosts a Fourth of July Festival starting Saturday with an adult horse shoe tournament at 9 a.m. downtown.
From 9:30 to 11 a.m., expect park games, including a water balloon toss, watermelon eating contest and face-painting.
From 10 to 11 a.m., country magic cloggers hit downtown Blowing Rock.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., festival-goers can experience the climbing tower and bounce obstacle course.
From 11 a.m. to noon, warm up your vocal chords for the Patriotic Sing Along with Vagabonds.
The Buck Haggard Band hits Blowing Rock from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
After the parade, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., The Cockman Family Bluegrass Gospel group hits the stage.
Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock will honor America's Independence Sunday, July 4, with festivities, including evening entertainment and more than 200 large-caliber mortars. The Wild West theme park will remain open until 9 p.m. Sunday, and additional live shows will be scheduled throughout the day. Parking for July 4 is $5 per vehicle. Visit http://www.tweetsie.com for more information.
Elkland Arts Center hosts music in Cook Park (Henhouse Thieves) after the parade and will serve vegetarian food. The Todd Community Preservation will host a gospel folk group, The Sheets Family, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Crow Parsons Pavilion as part of the Todd Summer Series.
Banner Elk hosts a plastic duck race at Banner Elk Park at 12:30 p.m., following the parade Saturday. Expect sack and three-legged races for kids and adults. The town book sale, with thousands of books starting at 50 cents, also takes place. Pizza, barbecue and hotdogs will be available.
July 4 at The Lodges at Eagles Nest in Banner Elk starts Friday as the mountain transforms into Synergy on the Mountain, an "interactive, panoramic feast for the senses," complete with a cirque show, band, kids' zone and fireworks. For more information, visit http://www.synergytheexperience.com.
Hearthstone Tavern and Grille, located at Grandfather Center in Banner Elk, hosts its own Fourth of July Festival Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. with a pig pickin' and live music.
Mountain Top Promotions hosts an Independence Day Weekend Fine Arts and Craft Show July 3 and 4 at the Banner Elk Elementary School field from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The 47th annual Roasting of the Hog happens Saturday. Pork barbecue and smoked turkey will be served at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (828) 387-9283.
A Fourth of July picnic happens at Buckeye Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
The 24th annual Christmas in July Festival, a free admission event with mountain music, food, crafts and activities happens from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (336) 846-9196.