Fourth of July festivities abound throughout county
By Kathryn Schiliro
When it comes to this country's Independence Day, Morgan County surely doesn't shirk its celebratory duties.
Beginning with the Sunflower Farm Festival – in its 11th year in Rutledge – on June 30 and going through the Fourth of July itself, there's an abundance of things to do throughout Morgan's municipalities to celebrate Independence Day.
Sunflower Farm Festival
A two-day event from June 30 to July 1, the Sunflower Farm Festival, now in its 11th year, always happens around the Fourth of July and has become part of the Independence Day traditions this time of year.
The festival, located at 1430 Durden Road in Rutledge, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and includes live music by Shelby McLeod, Rocky Creek Band, Packway Handle Band, High Stung String Band and the Apostles of Bluegress; an artists' and crafters' market and demonstrations; "Enchanted Forest" for the kids as well as pony and hay rides and a petting zoo; traditional Fourth of July-type food; "cut-your-own" sunflower bouquets; an antique tractor show; an "1891 Sharecroppers' Market;" and tours of the 1811 McGowan-McRee house and gardens, according to the festival's website.
The event is sponsored by the Sunflower Farm, of course, and the local Rotary Club as well as their partners, Camp Twin Lakes and the American Cancer Society. On June 30, participants will be given the opportunity to purchase a sunflower for $1 to be added to a chain lining the fence of the 15-acre sunflower field to benefit Aimee Copeland, a Snellville native who's currently battling a deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. In addition, singer-songwriter Corey Durkin, who penned the song "Southern Belle" about Copeland, will be on hand to perform during the day.
On July 1, the "Cruise for a Cure" golf cart parade, hosted by the Morgan County Relay for Life, will begin at 2 p.m., with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society.
The festival has, in the past, been plugged in Atlanta Magazine, Lake Oconee Living, Southern Living and Athens Magazine as well as Georgia Public Broadcasting, and last year attracted more than 9,400 attendees.
Festival weekend passes are $8; admission for kids 4-12 years is $5; couples' admission is $15; a family four-pack of tickets is $25; and kids under 4-years-old and U.S. Military members and veterans are admitted for free. For more information, visit sunflowerfarmfestival.com.
Centennial Baptist Church's Starlight Spectacular
On Sunday evening, July 1, Rutledge's Centennial Baptist Church will host their annual Starlight Spectacular Fireworks. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the church, located at 5321 Brownwood Road in Rutledge.
The Starlight Spectacular is free to all who wish to attend, and the event includes food and drinks, inflatables for the kids and a concert by This Hope, as well as fireworks at dark.
For more information, visit www.centennialbaptist.org or call 706-557-2120.
Recreation Dept.’s Fourth of July Celebration
The Morgan County Recreation Department will host the county's annual Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, July 3 beginning at 6 p.m. at Heritage Park in Madison.
The event includes a watermelon-eating contest, "bounce houses" for the kids, and at 6:45 p.m., Morgan County's own Against the Downpour will perform. Dock 103.9 will be broadcasting live from the event. Fireworks will begin around 9:30 p.m.
Madison-Morgan Cultural Center's Independence Day Concert
Another of Madison's traditions, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center will host its annual Independence Day concert and picnic on the lawn on Tuesday, July 3.
This event, sponsored by Jones, Ewing, Dobbs & Tamplin, is free for all who wish to attend. Patriotic music by the Classic City Band, out of Athens, will begin at 7 p.m., but picnic-ers should get to the Cultural Center early to secure a good spot on the Center's front lawn for the show. Those who wish to picnic can bring their own table or rent one from the Center for $20 each.
In addition to the music and good food, the county's own Zeke Lambert will dress up at Uncle Sam!
For more information, call the Cultural Center at 706-342-4743 or visit www.mmcc-arts.org.
Bostwick Fourth of July Barbecue
The Bostwick community will hold its annual Independence Day "whole hog" barbecue, a local tradition for 50-plus years, on Wednesday, July 4 from noon to 2 p.m. at Riden's Grove in Bostwick.
The all-you-can-eat plates are available at a cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 years. The co-sponsors of this event, the Bostwick Volunteer Fire Department and Wellington Masonic Lodge #467, will receive the proceeds, which will go to the organizations' charities.
Buckhead Fourth of July Barbecue and Fireworks
The Town of Buckhead, namely its volunteer fire department, will host its annual Fourth of July events on Wednesday, July 4.
The meal, which includes barbecue chicken, chips, coleslaw, bread, tea and a dessert, will be served from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at a cost of $7 per plate.
There will be games for those who wish to participate and raffle tickets available for $1, with all proceeds to benefit the Buckhead Volunteer Fire Department.
Fireworks, sponsored by the volunteer fire department as well as the Town of Buckhead, will begin at dark.
Printed in the June 28, 2012 edition