EDENTON — A fast-paced fireworks show will be the highlight of the Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club’s Fabulous Fourth of July celebration at Colonial Park on the downtown waterfront.
Events will begin at 4 p.m. with the fireworks getting underway around 9 p.m. Changes due to weather can be found by logging onto www.dailyadvance.com throughout the day.
“This is the Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club’s 35th year of continuing to provide what Dr. Lei and Cyndy DeVine along with a handful of friends started so many years ago,” Optimist President Mike Skinner said. “Our members have patiently woven together a great day of fun, food, and festivities that will delight all ages.”
Club member Mike Williams said the fireworks show is put on by trained professionals to ensure the safety of those attending. He added that they are hoping for good weather.
Williams added that the purpose of picking up the pace of the show — scheduled for 16 minutes this July 4 instead of 25 minutes like last year’s — is to keep the excitement going in the crowd.
“You start losing your impact if the pacing of the show is off,” Williams said. “You want to keep something in the air the whole time.”
Entertainment will once again be provided by the hugely popular Steve Hardy and his Beach Party salute to veterans and other popular tunes.
One of the biggest crowd-pleasers during the celebration each year is the mechanical bull rides offered by Randy Gibbs of Raleigh. The safety of each rider is carefully considered and all ages can ride, according to Optimist Club member Joseph Goodwin.
“We’ve had kids, some as young as two years old, on up to adults like Faye Noneman, who was in her seventies when she rode the bull,” Goodwin said. “I think that two year old might be the youngest child ever to ride the bull here. That was really something to see!”
Equally fun for youngsters will be the pony rides offered by Circle S Stables of Hertford, Goodwin said.
“They will be offering pony rides all afternoon long,” Goodwin said.
But that’s not all.
Kirk and Jill DeVine will oversee a wide range of activities and games for children. Among them will be watermelon eating and seed spitting contests as well as a Penny Hunt for $350 in coins at 7 p.m.
The Luther C. Parks Express — better known simply as the Optimist Club train — will be on hand to give kids rides around the park during the festivities. And there will be lots of vendors on hand providing food, candy, ice cream, hobbies and crafts.
Club member Mike McArthur said that the Fabulous Fourth of July sponsored by the Optimists is totally funded by private donations from over 400 local residents, businesses, friends and families.
Anyone wishing to support the event financially is encouraged to mail checks in any amount made payable to the Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club to 160 Cowpen Neck Road, Edenton, NC 27932. Donations are tax-exempt to the extent allowed by law.