Fourth of July celebrations, fireworks scheduled

The skies of Chilton County are likely to be bright in the upcoming week, as several Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks shows have been scheduled in observance of Independence Day.

Thorsby will kick off the celebrations with a program and fireworks show at Richard Wood Park, while Billingsley, Clanton and Lake Mitchell also have celebrations on their agenda.

Thorsby’s celebration will be held Wednesday, July 1, and will include an ice cream contest, church-based program and fireworks show.

The contest, sponsored by Collins Chapel Baptist Church, will begin promptly at 6 p.m., with the program following at 7 p.m. and the fireworks beginning at roughly 8:30 p.m.

Those interested in participating in the ice cream competition should contact Thorsby Town Hall or simply bring their ice cream to Richard Wood Park by 6 p.m. to be judged.

The program is set to include prayers by the Rev. Marc Hodges, the Rev. Wayne Hughs, Gary Jones and Bobby Martin, as well as singing performances by Charlie Johnson, Justin Caton, Terry Jackson and numerous youth groups.

Samuel Gasson will play Taps, and there will be a presentation in honor of Melba Davis, who coordinated the event for many years.

Mayor Jean Nelson said the fireworks show is set to began around dark, which usually falls around 8:30 p.m.

On Friday, both the town of Billingsley and the Lake Mitchell community will be holding activities for the community.

A patriotic celebration will be held at Billingsley Baptist Church at 7 p.m. There will be a concert, led by music evangelist Bob Smith, and chaplain LTC-R Bill Morgan from the Alabama National Guard will be the guest speaker.

Food, fellowship, fireworks and a slip-and-slide will be offered, and those in attendance should bring a chair or blanket.

One of two celebrations on Lake Mitchell will be held Friday night.

The 27th annual Lake Mitchell Independence Day fireworks show will begin promptly at 9 p.m. on July 3.

The fireworks will be shot from the bank of Cargile Creek, but spectators can view the show from a boat on Cargile Creek or from the shore, according to event organizer Jim McCormick of the Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners (HOBO) Association.

“The show is accessible from the shoreline and on boat in Cargile Creek or on the main channel,” McCormick said. “A lot of people come to Grace’s Marina to watch the show if they don’t know any home owners or they’re not in a boat.”

Boats may be launched from Higgins Ferry Boat Launch, located at 11161 County Road 28, 10 miles east of Clanton.

“Most people spend the day on the lake, and then gather on Cargile Creek in time for the show,” McCormick said. “The fireworks last about 18 minutes, and they are synchronized to patriotic music. We’ve had hundreds of boats out there every year.”

On Saturday, July 4, the Lake Mitchell community will also host a pontoon boat and power boat parade, beginning at 2 p.m.

Also celebrating on Saturday is the city of Clanton.

The city’s annual fireworks show, held at Clanton City Park, will begin at 9 p.m. on July 4.

Spectators are welcome to bring chairs or view the fireworks from their vehicle.

The community is invited to attend all events.

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