Tuesday, July 1
Hickory Ridge High School
6 p.m. Miss July 4th Pageant
Thursday, July 3
4 p.m. Park Opens
5 p.m. Music by Freezer Door
6- 9:30 p.m. Amusements
8-10 p.m. Music by Alabama Blues Brothers
9:30 p.m. Amusements Close
10 p.m. Fireworks
10:30-11 p.m. Music by Alabama Blues Brothers
11 p.m. Park Closes
Friday, July 4
9 a.m. Parade begins
10:30 a.m. Park opens
11-11:45 a.m. Music by Dave Herring & the Eastbound String Machine
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Amusements
12 p.m. Prayer, national anthem, pledge
12:15p.m. Mayor’s pro-am invitational cow-milking contest
12:30-5 p.m. Battle of the Bands
5-9:30 p.m. Amusements
5:30-7:30 p.m. Music by Déjà vu
8-10 p.m. Music by Superglide
9:30 p.m. Amusements close
10 p.m. Fireworks
10:30-11 p.m. Music by Superglide
11 p.m. Park closes
By Jonathan E. Coleman
As workers placed American flags on utility poles along N.C. 49 in Harrisburg Monday, Benita Conrad was busy planning events to showcase the flags — and the town — at Harrisburg’s Fourth of July celebration next week.
The annual event draws an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 spectators during over the course of three days, including two nights of fireworks.
The Harrisburg celebration begins with a Miss July 4th pageant, with contestants competing in various age groups for top honors. Winners receive a $50 savings bond, a trophy, sash and crown. They are also invited to ride in the Harrisburg Fourth of July parade and make an on-stage appearance at the festival that afternoon.
This year’s competition will take place at Hickory Ridge High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 1. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children age 10 to 18; children under 10 get in free.
“They can come out and watch little girls and older young ladies become princesses — play dress up,” said Melissa Shoupe, the pageant director. (The community) can come out and support the town and let each girl know that they are special.”
On Thursday, July 3, the celebration will continue with vendors, music, amusements and fireworks at Harrisburg Park, beginning at 4 p.m.
“We have added a lot more amusements because the lines were so long last year,” Conrad said. “We have a lot more vendors this year, and we’ve added another food section because there were a lot of lines there, too.”
Thursday’s entertainment includes music by Freezer Door and the Alabama Blues Brothers. There will also be a fireworks display around 10 p.m.
The following day, Harrisburg will kickoff a full day of events with a parade down N.C. 49. Between 150 and 175 floats — including military groups, civic organizations and businesses are expected to take part. The parade begins at 9 a.m.
Following the parade, visitors will be welcomed back to the park by the music of Dave Herring and the Eastbound String Machine.
About noon, the event will take a more serious tone with a tribute to veterans and troops currently serving overseas.
“The war has gone on for so long that I think people forget,” Conrad said. “We want to show support for all the people serving over there and all those who have served in the past. They’re the reason we’re as free as we are, because they’re willing to fight for us and for our freedoms.”
Afternoon events will be marked with a Battle of the Bands competition, amusements and vendors. Music will be provided by SuperGlide and Déjà vu.
For the second straight night, fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m.
Contact Jonathan E. Coleman at 704-789-9105.