For the last 70 years, the high point of summer for many North Danville residents has been the annual July 4th Celebration. Food, fireworks, and fun are the hallmarks of this annual celebration, and this year’s theme looks back on all the fun times with “Memories.”
Few are fortunate enough to have attended every July 4th in North Danville, but the “Heath twins” (Joan Heath Legendre & Judy Heath Parker) haven’t missed one yet. Riding up the road from their family’s general store in a baby carriage they may not remember their first well, but memories of this special event immediately come to mind every time the weather turns warm and the North Danville hills glow green and gold. The parade with family vehicles, tractors and wagons festooned with chicken wire, evergreen boughs and multi-hued Kleenex flowers is an especially fond memory.
Lee Langmaid Beattie remembers dressing up as a cowgirl and riding her horse all the way from Goss Hollow to show off in the parade.
The parade kicks off the day, starting at 10 a.m. from the North Danville Brainerd Memorial Library, travelling down Bruce Badger Memorial Highway to the bridge at Jamieson Road and returning.
Kids participating in the parade will return to free ice cream at the ice cream booth. A dunk tank, pie-eating contest, and games like the tractor roulette and quilt raffle will keep kids of all ages entertained. Drop by the library to check out their book sale, view an exhibit from the Danville Historical Society, and admire the handmade quilts displayed in the craft room
Several folks have shared their family photos from the past 70 years for special displays of North Danville’s history, people, and places. Reminisce on days gone by, or capture new memories and be part of history with free family portraits from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hamburgers, hot dogs and fries are all for sale at the food stand. Or you can go to the North Danville Baptist Church dinner at noon, featuring baked beans, ham, salad and a special strawberry shortcake (with local berries and real whipped cream).
If you’re feeling energetic, the Dicky Vance Run up Old Church Road starts around noon. Registration begins at 11 a.m. by the flagpole and participants get a ribbon or t-shirt for completing the ¼-mile, ½-mile, 1-mile, 2-mile, or 5.5-kilometer routes.
In the evening, the food stand will be back from 6-9 p.m and music by “Just Cuz” will keep you groovin’ from 7-9 p.m. The quilt raffle drawing will be at 8 p.m. and the light show will illuminate the village from the hills overlooking the library and church starting around 9 p.m. There will also be an historical video shown in the church in the evening.
It’ll be an exciting 4th full of Memories!