The Friends of Hillsville and the Town of Hillsville Fourth of July Celebration and Parade aims to again serve up a big slice of patriotism and family fun for the holiday.
According to Event Co-Chairmen Barry Jessup and Greg Talley, the theme for this year’s celebration and parade is “Stars Forever.” Shelby Inscore-Puckett will serve as grand marshal for the parade. Puckett, served in schools including Hillsville High School, St. Paul Elementary and Carroll County High School, where she retired as an assistant principal though she admits she really loved being a school guidance counselor. She remains active in local dramatic productions of the 1912 Courthouse tragedy and was a founding member of the Carroll County Historical Society.
Puckett is also known for helping organize many community events involving local history and genealogy and has helped authors with historical research and genealogy. She was among those helping organize Carroll County’s Sesquicentennial in 1992 which involved a month of activities recognizing local history. Puckett is a native of Patrick County.
She remains an active member of the Historical Society and an enthusiastic supporter of people being involved in history and passing it on to future generations, and is involved with efforts to restore the historic Sidna Allen house.
Jessup said the parade lineup is set to start at 3 p.m. on July 4 at the Carroll County Courthouse Complex with judging beginning at 3:15 p.m. The parade is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. The two said there would be two first place awards, one for “Most Patriotic” and “Best Overall.” The first place winners will receive $150 each.
The festivities will once again include a free hot dog meal, sponsored by the Town and the Friends of Hillsville. The meal will be served by The Young Guns of Veterans of Foreign Wars Grover King Post 1115 at the VFW building after the parade. Local citizens have donated many of the meal items including baked beans, desserts and chips. High Country Services will provide free water. Doug Goad and Friends is scheduled to sing the National Anthem right before the meal is served. Free watermelon will be served at the picnic shelter at 7 p.m. and kids games (including a bounce house) are free.
Two bands will be on hand to provide music from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with “Larry Davis and Friends” performing inside and “Confuzion” taking the stage outside. According to Jessup, the group “Backyard Groove” will be rockin’ the stage from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with fireworks slated to begin at 9:30 p.m. This marks the third year for the Groove at the celebration. Talley said July 4 crowds have loved the band’s varied repertoire, which includes rhythm and blues and shag music bolstered by horns.
This year’s celebration is Jessup’s first where he serves as a chairman. Talley picks up the chairmanship from his wife, Jessica, who helped organized last year’s event.
“A lot of time and planning went into this by the Friends of Hillsville,” said Jessup. “It was a group effort. You wouldn’t believe the people who turn out (for the hot dog meal). It is a big thing to a lot of people. We want to recognize the VFW for giving us a place for this. We really enjoyed planning this. Everything fell into place. It takes dedicated people. This doesn’t happen overnight.”
Interested people may call 276-728-6500 for more information on the celebration and parade.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.