Celebrate the Fourth in Suffolk

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, June 29, 2017

Those hoping to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of the United States of America have plenty of options in Suffolk this Tuesday.

The weather for Tuesday looks fine so far, and event organizers are hoping that continues to be the case.

All-day events are planned for the village of Eclipse, including food sales, a parade, bounce houses, a raft race, music and fireworks.

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“I don’t know how many years this has been going on,” said Marv Carlin, a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church, which is located on Steeple Drive. “I know it’s been happening for a really long time.”

The events have come to be a cooperative celebration among the church, the Crittenden, Eclipse and Hobson Ruritan Club and the community, Carlin said.

“It’s that combination between church and community and the Ruritan club kind of all coming together to create something the entire community can enjoy together,” Carlin said. “It’s just an entire day of patriotism and good times and fellowship and things to do for the whole family and kids.”

Food sales throughout the day will benefit youth missions of the church. The team will go into impoverished areas of West Virginia next month to minister, Carlin said.

“It’s probably the biggest fundraiser for our youth missions,” Carlin said.

A bake sale and barbecue sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with snow cones and drinks from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other food sales and face painting from 6 to 9 p.m.

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., preceded by an opening ceremony at 10:15 a.m. From noon to 3 p.m., free games and bounce houses will be available on the playground.

The Ruritan club’s raft race on the Chuckatuck Creek will take place at 3 p.m., bringing with it all the fun that ensues when homemade rafts are put in the water.

The Ebenezer Praise Band will provide music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the Ruritan club’s fireworks will shoot off at 9 p.m.

Downtown, the fun gets started in the evening.

“It’s extremely family-friendly, and we have great opportunities for everybody out there to have a great time,” said Emily Upton with Suffolk Parks and Recreation. “It’s great if you just want to come to see the fireworks show or to spend the whole afternoon and evening with us.”

Constant’s Wharf Park, 110 E. Constance Road, opens at 5:30 p.m. A children’s area for children 12 and under will have a $5 entry fee that allows children in for the entire event. The area will feature bounce houses, inflatable obstacle courses, games and crafts.

Cornhole will be available for all ages, and merchandise vendors and a variety of food vendors — including American fare, Jamaican dishes, kettle corn and funnel cakes — will be on site.

Hotcakes will provide the music beginning at 6 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9 p.m.

“It will be a bigger than normal fireworks show, because we’re adding in the fireworks we didn’t get to use last year,” Upton said, referencing last year’s rainstorm.

No on-site parking will be available, but handicap-accessible shuttles will run from three parking locations.

“We want to make sure everyone can come out and enjoy,” Upton said.

Parking is available at First Baptist Church parking lot, 237 N. Main St.; City Hall, 440 Market St.; and Mills E. Godwin Courts Complex, 150 N. Main St. The shuttle will run from 5:15 to 8:20 p.m. and resume after the fireworks.