This Independence Day, the options for local celebrating are plentiful with events starting the weekend before July 4 and into the week after.
The July 4th festivities will launch Saturday, June 29, with the 7th Annual Hackneyville Fireworks Bash. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. at the Hackneyville Baseball Field, and the event supports the Hackneyville Volunteer Fire Department. Entertainment this year will include Clay Barker, Kevin Moon and Ashton Shepherd.
Clay Barker is an Alexander City native who launched his contemporary Christian band in 2012. Barker attended Auburn University and now can be found playing his rowdy country music in local venues around Alabama.
Also local to the area, Kevin Moon hails from Ashland and puts on a great traditional country music show. Not only has he graced the Grand Ole Opry stage, but also Moon has toured with Shenandoah and Lorrie Morgan and has recorded with John Anderson, Aaron Tippin and more.
Ashton Shepherd is a chart-topping artist who secured nominations as top new female vocalist at the Country Music Awards. Originally from Coffeeville, Shepherd has been singing and writing songs her entire life.
On the eve of Independence Day, Marshall Street Church of God will host its annual Celebrate Freedom fireworks show at Benjamin Russell High School. This family-friendly, free event will end with a fireworks display, and no alcohol, coolers or smoking is allowed.
The show starts at 6 p.m., and Sidewalk Prophets will headline this year. The band originated with two friends who met at Anderson University where they won a local campus-recording contest that put them on the music radar. The contemporary Christian band out of Nashville has three major studio albums, five No. 1 hits and eight Top-5 songs.
Start off the morning of July 4 with Dadeville’s Blue Creek Parade. Decked out golf carts and UTVs will parade from Olana Drive to Niffer’s on the Lake. Those interested in participating should arrive at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. from the north end of Ponder Creek Road. For additional information, contact Mickey Forbus at 334-329-0905.
The Russell Marine 43rd Annual 4th of July Boat Parade will take place at the same time. Spectators line the shores of Lake Martin as patriotic boats and crew leave Kowaliga Marina and circle past the lighthouse at Children’s Harbor. Registered boats will vie for top honors of Largest Flag, Tallest Flag, Most Patriotic and Most Creative. So grab the crew, don some red, white and blue and deck out the boat. Or simply bring a chair and enjoy the show. Visit russellmarine.net for times and entrant information.
Close out the weeklong celebration with the largest fireworks show in the Southeast hosted by Russell Lands On Lake Martin. Pick a spot on the soft grass at the Lake Martin Amphitheater to listen to some tunes and watch the sky light up with color. This marks the 18th year of this not-to-be-missed fireworks display.
Gates open at 5 p.m., and The Bank Walkers will take the stage at 6:45 p.m., followed by headliner Tyn Tymes.
The hula-hoop and twist contests will offer prizes for the top contestants. Around 8 p.m., the 10-member band Tyn Tymes will entertain concertgoers. The fireworks will begin at 9 p.m.; and then, the band returns to close out the night. Tickets are $10 and can be found online at theamponlakemartin.com.
Whether you partake in a parade of carts, boats or people or relax and take it all in as an onlooker, there's a host of fun activities this July 4.