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Independence Day
Fourth of July fun

Towns prepare to celebrate annual holiday

Towns prepare to celebrate annual holiday

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Towns across Burke County are getting ready to celebrate this year’s Independence Day with fireworks, concerts, parades and more:

Town of Valdese

Valdese will host its Independence Day Celebration at 7 p.m. Friday in conjunction with its summer concert series, according to Morrissa Angi, director of community affairs and tourism for the town.

“The Valdese Independence Day Celebration has grown into our biggest event of the season,” Angi said. “Our community can always look forward to the Friday before the Fourth as Valdese’s special night to celebrate.”

Main Street in Valdese will close to traffic from Praley Street to Carolina Street at 5 p.m. Friday as rows of classic and antique cars get ready to show off at the cruise-in. Those interested in participating in the cruise-in can learn how to sign up by visiting

Valdese Mayor Charles Watts will greet visitors with a special welcome message, which will be followed by a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Miranda Cole. The cast of the historic outdoor drama, “From this Day Forward,” will present a brief reenactment in honor of the upcoming production. Then local band Too Much Sylvia will perform a variety of fun beach and dance music from the corner of Rodoret and Main streets.

Too Much Sylvia is no stranger to the Valdese stage. Steve Long, primary lead vocalist and guitarist, won the prestigious Male Vocalist of the Year from the Carolina Beach Music Association in 2020. Eddy Howie plays bass guitar and sings everything from “Jersey Boys” to Journey. Drummer Don Leonard works the solid groove with Eddy to keep the audience moving. Rick Lee is the keyboardist that occasionally steps out front to get the crowd involved and sing a few R&B songs.

“Playing a wide variety of crowd-pleasing music, in addition to original hits, such as the famous ‘Red Sunglasses,’ 2MS will keep the energy and party going all night,” Angi said. “The concert will continue after the fireworks presentation until 11 p.m.”

The fireworks show will begin shortly after dusk, approximately 9:30 p.m., from the football field behind the Old Rock School. Regarded as one of the most impressive fireworks displays in the area, the town of Valdese sponsors this celebration with a brilliant light display that bursts at a lower altitude, which allows for a variety of swirls and explosions. Areas will be blocked to ensure public safety.

The town will provide a “kid zone” during the event Friday featuring amusement rides in the town parking lot next to the former Wells Fargo building. Tickets will be available to purchase onsite.

Many tasty treats will be available for purchase. In addition to locally owned restaurants within walking distance of the event, attendees will have the opportunity of dining at two food trucks. The Valdese Recreation Department will offer a variety of concessions and cold drinks, with proceeds benefitting the Wayne Owens Gym Renovation Project.

Beer sales will be available, courtesy of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Waldensian Style Wines will sell a wide variety of its historic wines, including the famous Brenda’s Peach Bellini.

“We look forward to this event every year,” Angi said. “The event has truly become a neighborhood block party for the whole region to enjoy! Show your patriotism by wearing your best red, white and blue.”

For more information on the event, go to

Town of Glen Alpine

Glen Alpine will present its Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m. Monday, according to town clerk Melissa Lalonde. Per tradition, everyone in the community is invited to march in the parade for free with floats, patriotic costumes or even pet chickens.

Those interested in participating should come to Lail Road at Pollard Avenue in Glen Alpine to line up starting at 9:15 a.m. The parade route will begin on Lail Road, proceed to Linville Street and end at the town hall, where the town will treat everyone to free watermelon as they enjoy the sounds of a live band. Local women are invited to dress in their patriotic best to participate in the Miss Turkey Tail contest.

The parade dates back to 1958, when the late Ruth Clontz granted her daughter Sarah Anne’s request to hold a parade, according to a previous News Herald article. Sarah Anne and her friends starting walking up the street by the Clontz home each Independence Day. Over the years, they extended their route all the way to Glen Alpine United Methodist Church, where Ruth would serve them beverages. Eventually, Ruth, who was a member of the Glen Alpine Women’s Club, got the club involved and set up the current parade route, celebrating the end of the parade with a program and drawing for door prizes.

City of Morganton

Morganton will present a fireworks show at 9:45 p.m. Monday at Freedom Park, according to Kasey Goodfellow, community events coordinator for the city. The park will be closed Monday in preparation for the show.

The city also will offer a patriotic-themed dog fashion show called “Dogs on the Catwalk, Pooches on Parade” from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the amphitheater on the grounds of the historic Burke County courthouse, according to a previous News Herald article. Dog owners are invited to dress up their dogs and themselves in patriotic splendor to enter the show for free. Prizes will be awarded.

In addition, Mull’s Grove Baptist Church at 5106 Burkemont Road in Morganton invites the community to an outdoor Independence Day celebration at 6 p.m. Sunday that will feature refreshments and a bonfire. The church also will present a parade at 4 p.m. Monday from Mountain Glen Circle to the church parking lot. Those who would like to participate should be ready to line up at 3:30 p.m. The parade will be followed by food, games, fellowship and fireworks. For more information, contact the church at 828-437-3379 or

“The Star-Spangled Banner”


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