Independence Day celebrations kick off Saturday
by Marie Nesmith
Jun 28, 2013 | 3283 views | 0 0 comments | 111 111 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ashley Baker of Cartersville and her daughters, Avery and Taylor, wave American flags at their position on the Church Street bridge at the beginning of the 2012 Fourth of July parade.  Jessica Loeding/The Daily Tribune News, File
Ashley Baker of Cartersville and her daughters, Avery and Taylor, wave American flags at their position on the Church Street bridge at the beginning of the 2012 Fourth of July parade. Jessica Loeding/The Daily Tribune News, File
From concerts to a parade to firework displays, Independence Day offers a bevy of entertainment opportunities for area celebrants.

“With the Fourth [of July] kind of falling in mid-week on the Thursday that really almost gives us the two weekends to celebrate it. So it kind of stretches things out a little bit for us,” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “So it just gives more people opportunity and more time to get out and do more things related to the holiday. So we’re pleased about that and the events that are happening.”

On Saturday, the “Celebration of Independence” concert will kick off Cartersville’s Fourth of July festivities. Presented at Friendship Plaza, beside the downtown train depot, the show will open with a performance by Old Mill Road Band at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Bartow Winds Community Concert Band at 7 p.m.

While the performance’s admission will be free, donations will be accepted to support the Etowah Valley Humane Society. Formed in 2009 by Michael Elzey, the Bartow Winds now consists of more than 60 members, ranging from high school students to adults.

“This annual patriotic concert will feature several traditional patriotic tunes as well as a few that are not considered patriotic but are fun pieces to play, and they’re really noticeable and enjoyable,” said Elzey, the Bartow Winds’ conductor. “Some of the traditional ones we’ll do [are] … the [American] national anthem [and] … ‘God Bless America,’ ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ and then we’ll also honor our service men and women by doing the themes for each branch of the nation’s military.

“In my opinion, that’s our biggest turnout,” he said, referring to the band’s various concerts during the year. “That’s the one that everybody enjoys the most because everybody loves to come out and hear patriotic music. We just really enjoy doing that for the crowd and raising money for the charities we [support].”

Describing the Bartow Winds patriotic concert as the ideal way to start the upcoming Fourth of July festivities, Wheeler remarked on the variety of July 4 offerings. Following the “Celebration of Independence,” the Allatoona Yacht Club fireworks, the Stars, Stripes and Cartersville celebration, Fireworks Hike and a patriotic concert will provide area residents ample opportunities to ring in the nation’s birthday.

Expected to draw thousands of attendees, the Stars, Stripes and Cartersville’s daylong festivities — a parade and activities at Dellinger Park — on Thursday, July 4, will benefit the Cartersville Morning Optimist Club’s outreach efforts.

The Fourth of July parade — presented by WBHF radio and the Optimist Club and sponsored by Georgia Bank & Trust — will begin and end at Tabernacle Baptist Church’s parking lot. After lining up at 7:30 a.m., the entrants will depart at 9 a.m., proceeding down Douglas Street, Church Street, Bartow Street, Main Street, Stonewall Street and back to Church Street and Douglas Street. The grand marshal for this year’s procession will be Markina Brown, a meteorologist for the CBS Atlanta News.

Starting at 10 a.m., the Dellinger Park offering will feature live entertainment, children’s activities, pony and camel rides, a petting zoo and a car show presented by the Shriners. A fireworks display will conclude the celebration at nightfall, courtesy of the Optimist Club and the city of Cartersville. While the event will not feature any admission fees, there will be a $2 parking charge.

In addition to the “Celebration of Independence” concert and Stars, Stripes and Cartersville, the CVB also is promoting the following July 4-related events:

• Open to boaters, The Allatoona Yacht Club will present a fireworks display called Fireworks over Allatoona Wednesday about 9:30 p.m. The fireworks can be viewed by boat near the group’s clubhouse on Lake Allatoona and at various coves.

“Our fireworks display helps celebrate the many blessings of our country,” Allatoona Yacht Club Commodore Rick Nelson stated in a news release. “It is a great family-oriented annual event, which draws thousands of people who view the show from boats large and small. It is a joy to share an evening with the boating public.”

For more information about The Allatoona Yacht Club, visit

• The Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department will present a Fireworks Hike Thursday at the Pine Mountain Trail. After meeting at 8:15 p.m., the guided hike will depart from the West Trailhead at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-387-5625.

• Alias, Smith & Owens and special guests will perform patriotic songs at The Legion Theatre July 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at or at the door.

For more information about Fourth of July festivities, visit