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Erwin and Unicoi set for annual July 4 celebrations

Sue Guinn Legg • Jun 28, 2018 at 9:35 PM

Independence Day celebrations in Unicoi County will kick off with a morning parade through downtown Erwin saluting the region’s military veterans and wrap up with a bang at the annual Freedom Fest music and fireworks show in Unicoi.

Erwin’s annual Welcome Home Veterans parade is staged annually in honor of veterans and active military personnel from across the region, from World War II to the Middle East conflicts.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. and proceeds along Main Avenue through downtown to Veterans Memorial Park at South Elm Avenue and Academy Street.

Special transportation will be available for any veteran or U.S. military service member who would like to ride in the parade route, including seats on one of three parade floats professionally decorated in their honor or in a number of convertibles that will be available to do the honors.

Veterans who prefer may walk in the parade route along with community members who are also encouraged to join the parade with their pets, bicycles, scooters and wagons all decked out in patriotic fashion.

The parade will conclude at the Veterans Memorial with a community hot dog roast also held in the veterans’ honor. Hot dogs and other treats will be provided by the town.

Shuttle service will be available to any veteran in need of ride back from the memorial to their starting point.

Unicoi’s annual July 4 Freedom Fest will get underway at 5 p.m. on the playing fields at Unicoi Elementary School at 404 Massachusetts Ave.

The celebration will begin with a brief opening ceremony featuring a presentation of the nation’s colors, the national anthem led by Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch and an invocation by Pastor Eddie Blazer of Unicoi Church of God.

Brim Leal & SonarFlare will kick off the night’s lineup of live music at 5:15 and will be followed by Broad Street Station at 6:45.

Carson Peters & Iron Mountain will be this year’s Freedom Fest headliners and will take the stage at 8:15.

The festival’s professional fireworks show will start at dark and continue for approximately 30 minutes.

Concessions will be available for purchase from the Unicoi Ruritan Club with proceeds going to to community projects.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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