“The Fourth of July needs to end in a ‘Wham! Bang!’ fireworks show,” said Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown South Boston and coordinator of the fireworks display, and it will with fireworks shot from the Southern Virginia Higher Ed Center.
But, before the night sky lights up at 9:30 p.m., that morning, a 10 a.m. parade will kick off the day’s Fourth of July activities in Scottsburg, and Scottsburg residents are making sure spectators get what they’re coming for.
“We’ve had people tell us they want to have a nice parade for everyone,” said Sarah Allred with Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department.
Bobby Burton, chief of the Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department, added, “The community wanted the parade to come back and we’re all about the community.”
At least 24 individuals have signed up to ride all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or motorcycles, approximately 15 horseback riders, a few car clubs with an unknown amount of vehicles, at least 11 other vehicles, and in addition to the local fire department who plan to participate, Bacon District, Chase City, South Hill and Victoria have made it to Allred’s list of parade participants.
“I’m surprised at the amount of people this year,” she admitted.
But, she recognizes that people have been “cooped up” and are ready to get out for the day.
She also said individuals were disappointed that they couldn’t come and perform during the day’s activities this year.
In the past, the fire department’s Fourth celebration lasted all day and featured vendors, live music, kiddie rides, a firemen’s competition, hot dogs and hamburgers, and a fireworks display at night — the “whole works,” Burton said. He added the Independence Day parade and celebration has been a tradition in the Scottsburg community since the 1960s, when it was started by former fire department chief Johnny Hatcher.
Since they can’t have activities throughout the day, Allred suggested individuals ride floats through the parade and perform on the float.
She said some seemed to like the idea, so “we’re thinking we might have that.”
The parade, she said, will be “kind of tailgate style,” and she said families should stick together. Spectators are asked to remain 6 feet apart and to wear masks.
The route even has been extended past Green Level Road, where the parade normally stops at, to give “more sidewalk and more space for people to see it.”
After the parade, folks can stop by the fire department for a drive-thru barbecue plate to go.
Plates will be $10 and will include barbecue, beans, slaw, rolls and a drink.
The department also is selling raffle tickets for $2 apiece, with ticketholders having a chance to win cash prizes. The grand prize is $500, second prize is $300, and third prize is $200.
“We’re planning on getting back to it next year,” Burton said. “It would have been our biggest fundraiser for the year. In years past, it raised $10,000 to $15,000.”
The fire department chief said the department plans to use the proceeds from the Fourth of July fundraiser to purchase equipment for its fire trucks and firefighters. The department’s next scheduled fundraiser is a truck and tractor pull in August.
If anyone else would like to sign up for the parade, contact Allred at 434-579-6393. Line-up will be at Scottsburg Elementary School at 9:30 a.m.
Return to South Boston that night for a fireworks show.
“What’s the Fourth of July without a fireworks show,” said Vest.
The town of South Boston had to scale back its Independence Day plans that originally included a parade, live music and food because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People can still get out and enjoy watching fireworks and social distance,” Vest commented.
Although the fireworks are the only attraction in South Boston’s Independence Day celebration this year, they will be a show worth watching. The 15-minute fireworks show will light up the night sky starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The fireworks will be shot off in the parking lot of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.
“We upped the fireworks package last year to display fireworks, which go higher in the sky for a professional-grade quality community display, and it was an amazing show,” Vest shared. Folks coming out to watch the fireworks this year can expect the same high quality show.
Those watching the fireworks show can do so from their cars, front porches or seated in lawn chairs in Constitution Square. Individuals who choose to watch the fireworks from Constitution Square are asked to maintain a 6-foot social distance from the nearest group of people and wear a mask.
The fireworks also will be streamed live on Destination Downtown South Boston’s Facebook page.