Food, music and plenty of fireworks are expected at Havelock’s Fourth of July Freedom Festival Friday at Havelock City Park and Walter B. Jones Park.
The event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Friday and concludes with a fireworks display from Class A Services of Stella at 9 p.m.
One of the highlights will be a two-hour performance by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Cherry Point beginning at 7 p.m.
“Normally, they only play for one hour, but we’ve got them for two,” said A.D. Brady, who organizes the event for the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department. “They’re some great performers and professionals. They play some good listening music. I’m glad they’re going to be doing a two-hour show this year.”
He said residents should bring their bag chairs and blankets to enjoy the show.
“It reminds of the 1960s when you would go to concerts and you would just take a blanket and just stretch out on the field and listen to the music,” Brady said. “I remember going to concerts like that.”
Beyond the band and the fireworks, the event features plenty of activities for the kids and adults, such as a three-legged race, a Hula Hoop contest, egg race and a martial arts demonstration. Winners in the various contests can win a prize.
“I love to see the kids out there and see their faces light up,” Brady said. “They can win a prize and they get to take that home with them. It’s nice to see the community come out and just enjoy themselves and forget about their troubles for just a couple of hours at least.”
Brady said that a particular favorite among those attending the Freedom Festival is the pie-eating contest, which is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“Everybody loves that pie in your face,” he said.
A variety of vendors will be on hand providing information and products, and a number of nonprofit organizations will be out selling water and soda as well as all kinds of food such as pizza, nachos, ice cream, chicken wings, hot dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy and popcorn.
“If you go hungry, I suggest you go see your doctor because there’s something wrong with you,” Brady joked. “There will be plenty of food, from your sugar to your protein.”
There is no admission charge to attend the festival. Alcohol and pets are prohibited. Certified assistance dogs are allowed. Brady said sparklers are permitted but he suggests those with more involved fireworks leave them at home.
Parking will be available around the park, but drivers are urged to use caution as heavy traffic along with plenty of pedestrians are expected in the area.
“With the band, we’ll probably have 400 or 500 more people attending,” Brady said.
Rain date for the event is expected to be on Saturday.
Anyone with any questions about the Havelock Fourth of July Freedom Festival can call Havelock City Hall at 444-6400.