6/27/2017 4:15:00 AM Independence Day comes to Hope early this Friday
The Little Miss Sparkler and Little Mr. Firecracker contest is open to all Hope children, ages 3-10. To compete, decorate a can and place it around town or ask friends and family to donate money. Each penny is a single vote and a dollar equals 100 votes. The funds will benefit the Yellow Trail Museum. Donations must be turned in to the museum by Thursday.
Fireworks will fill the skies over Hope Friday night in celebration of Independence Day 2017. But the festivities start well before the sun sets.
Hope's annual Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration, sponsored by the Yellow Trail Museum, kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday on the Hope Town Square.
Since its debut nearly a decade ago, the event continues to grow, says Barb Johnson, with the Yellow Trail Museum.
"The people of the community spend the evening on the square and have a good time," Johnson says. "It is just a relaxing evening in the square."
Friday evening the Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department will offer a fish fry in the Town Square as it has in past years. The Baptist Church and Kappa Kappa Sigma Sorority will also have food items available, from hot dogs and chips to fruit crisps and ice cream respectively. The Yellow Trail Museum will also be offering ice cream floats, too.
In addition to offering its delicious fruit crisps, the sorority is set to help supervise the annual community apple pie baking contest, Johnson says.
"Anyone from the community, adults or kids, can enter an apple pie," Johnson says. "We will have judges for three prizes in each category."
Prizes will include $25 for first place, $15 for second place, and $10 for third place. Contestants agree to give up their pie upon entry so it may be served by the sorority with its fruit crisps, Johnson says.
"We start the event early in the evening with a bike/ tricycle/stroller parade of kids who wear red, white and blue as they peddle themselves around the Hope Town Square," Johnson says.
But this year's parade of young cyclists will be led by a special couple.
Children ages 3 to 10 years old will collect penny votes for the title of Little Miss Sparkler and Mr. Firecracker. And the winning couple will lead the parade at 5:30 p.m., Johnson says.
A variety of old-fashioned games, including tug-of-war, watermelon seed spitting, and a water balloon toss will be offered in the Town Square. Children can participate in a variety of crafts throughout the evening as well as pony rides in the vacant lot beside Swiss Maid, Johnson says.
The Celebration event welcomes the return of the Banister Family Band, who performs at 7:30 p.m.
Roger Banister says the local flavor of the event offers attendees a kicked-back, relaxed evening. As a patchwork of blankets and lawn chairs cover the square and meander up around the gazebo music will fill the air as the sun sets and fireworks begin at dusk.
Aside from seeing his parents and their friends in the crowd every year, Banister says the event's ambiance are his favorite parts about performing each year.
In a word, Banister describes the event as patriotic.
"Along with the fireworks they play patriotic music, which goes on everywhere, but it has more resonance in a small town when people gather together like this," he says. "The event seems to keep getting a little bigger every year."