Newton County will be home to an abundance of July 4th celebrations this year. Oxford, Social Circle and many other communities around town will be playing host to festivals and fireworks in honor of our nations birthday.
Porterdale will offer visitors the only fireworks display in Newton County. The town’s celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. with the fireworks beginning after dark.
When the Newton County Board of Commissioners decided not to split the cost of a fireworks display with the city of Covington, Porterdale City Council members decided to step up to the plate to offer the residents of Newton County a patriotic event in their own backyards.
Councilman Robert Foxworth said not one cent of taxpayer money was used for the event. Downtown Manager Sandy Fowler told the council she would need at least $4,000 to purchase fireworks, book a band and rent portable toilets.
She and the council went to work collecting donations from individuals and businesses and came up with more than the needed $4,000. As of Monday afternoon, the fundraising deadline, Fowler said she had received $9,050, which she said would all go toward purchasing even more fireworks than originally expected.
Foxworth, Fowler and Councilman Mike Harper had a friendly competition to see who could raise the most money for the event. Foxworth won, but wasn’t bragging.
"This is not about me or Mike or Sandy," Foxworth said. "It’s for the residents and the kids."
For children, Covington Rental has donated a couple of moonwalks for smaller visitors to enjoy free of charge.
Musical performances from The Brother Pudge Band, Stoney Gap, The String Doctors and a free karaoke competition beginning at 5 p.m. are other highlights of the evening.
Food vendors include Pizza Plus, Burney’s Barbecue and Debbie’s Deli. Smiley’s Restaurant will have a kiddie booth set up with corn dogs and sno-cones and the Porterdale Fire Department will hold their annual hot dog fundraiser.
"This event is really a testimony to what a little village can do," Fowler said.
She added that parking will be limited but there will be designated areas.
"Anywhere in Porterdale is going to be a good seat," she said.Social Circle
The City of Social Circle will also be hosting a Fourth of July celebration. This is the first year the city has ever hosted such event and the activities are set to begin at 10 a.m. The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. with a car show lasting until 3 p.m. There will also be a pet show from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Gunter Hall and horse and wagon rides throughout the day.
The parade will begin lining up at 3:30 p.m. at Social Circle Elementary School and will begin a 5 p.m. It will travel through the downtown area and end at the high school football field. Following the parade at 6 p.m. there will be a gospel concert on the football field. There will also be a concert at 7 p.m. in City Park that will feature guitar soloist Dillon Sergeant.
The fireworks show will begin at dark at the high school football field.
The City of Oxford and the Oxford Lion’s Club will host its annual Fourth of July parade and celebration on Saturday. Line up and registration for the parade will begin at 9 a.m. in front of Allen Memorial Methodist Church. The parade will start at 10 a.m. leaving from Haygood Avenue in front of the Oxford College tennis courts. Cash prizes will be handed out this year for the best car or truck ($50); best other motorized vehicle ($50); best bicycle ($50); most unusual entry ($50) and best float ($100) – all winners will also receive a ribbon.
Parade officials do ask, however, that participants do not throw candy from their float or vehicle and remember that horses are welcomed except stallions.
Following the parade, awards will be given out and the recognition of Oxford’s Citizen of the Year will be presented by Mayor Jerry Roseberry at Old Church. The celebration will also include live music and free watermelon and popcorn for all to enjoy.
The Newton County Community Band, under the direction of T.K. Adams, will perform a patriotic selection beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday on the Covington square. The event is hosted by the Arts Association in Newton County and Main Street Covington.