Saturday, May 30, 2009
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CONYERS - The Georgia International Horse Park will be a hub of Independence Day activities again for the Fabulous Fourth Festival presented by 104.7 The Fish.The day will kick off at 5 p.m. with performances by local bands, including Jessie Bock & Livin' Easy and The Mike Rogers Band. At 7 p.m. Brig. Gen. Maria L. Britt will present a program honoring women in the U.S. military.Festival-goers can also enjoy a number of arts, crafts and novelty vendors along with plenty of food. Numerous children's activities will be offered such as a moonwalk, radar speed pitch, rides on the miniature outdoor railroad provided by the North Georgia Live Steamers and free patriotic crafts.Other events include the 2Unique Corvettes of Atlanta Car Show and Nostalgic Japanese Street Fighters Car Show. Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle will be on hand as part of the entertainment group, Memories of Mayberry. The Ultimate Air Dog Show promises to be eye-catching as well.Finally the festival will conclude with a large fireworks display at dusk.Plenty of other Fourth of July events are planned in surrounding communities, as well. The city of Porterdale and the Better Hometown Program will host Fireworks in the Village beginning at 5 p.m. July 4 in Porterdale's downtown district.The event will include a fireworks show at dark, entertainment at the historic train depot by The Stringdoctors, Stoney Gap Band and The Brother Pudge Band as well as a karaoke competition. Local food vendors will also be on hand and village shops will be open.Initially, the Independence Day festivities were canceled due to budget cuts, but council members Mike Harper and Robert Foxworth challenged each other to solicit private donations. Better Hometown Director Sandy Fowler and Kim Harper, owner of Tattersalls Book Merchants, also helped raise money. So far, close to $6,000 has been raised, according to Fowler."Porterdale couldn't miss this perfect opportunity to bring people in to see the progress being made in Porterdale," said Councilwoman Arline Chapman.Fowler said the fireworks will be visible from anywhere downtown. Motorists should park in designated parking areas.Earlier in the day, the city of Oxford and Oxford Lions Club will host the annual Fourth of July Parade and Celebration.The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the tennis courts at Oxford College on Haygood Avenue and proceed through downtown Oxford."We have everything from lawnmowers to bicycles to people walking," said City Councilman Jim Windham.Ribbon and cash awards will be given to the best car or truck; best other motorized vehicle; best bicycle; most unusual entry; and best float.A celebration at Old Church will follow the parade, and will include live music and free watermelon and popcorn.An award to the Oxford Citizen of the Year will be presented by Mayor Jerry Roseberry.The city of Social Circle is also opening its downtown to Newton County residents with its first Fourth of July celebration.The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will include a fireworks display, a parade, car show and gospel concert. Finally, the Newton County Community Band will perform patriotic music on the Square in downtown Covington at 5 p.m.News Editor Aimee Jones contributed to this article.Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.