Opinion: Gastonia the place to be to celebrate the 4th of July

What does the Fourth of July Holiday mean to you? Many of us will be celebrating the long holiday weekend with friends and family enjoying fellowship and festive foods. Childhood memories of cookouts with hamburgers and hotdogs, potato salad and watermelon come flooding back. A firework show prefaced by a local band that played patriotic music before it got dark. I remember our family station wagon with the four of us kids hanging off the tailgate listening to the sounds of this special day.

For many folks, though, the sounds of fireworks may not bring back those fond memories as we have veterans and refugees who have a different recollection of these sounds. If you have fireworks that you will be using this holiday, please be mindful for your neighbors!

I know most dogs have true anxiety after the explosions of fireworks, too. Local municipalities will or have already hosted their holiday events. Belmont celebrated on Saturday, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center has a weekend filled with activities.

But if you are waiting for the actual Fourth of July, the city of Gastonia is the place to be! Their downtown extravaganza will be centered in and around the Rotary Pavilion, beginning at 5 p.m. the city has planned quite an extensive event, sponsored by CaroMont Health.

There will be music: Live band, The Bantam Roosters, will play from 6-9:30 p.m.; pre-recorded music will play from 5-6 p.m. and patriotic music (also recorded) will play as the fireworks are launched.

Come hungry! A variety of food truck, including Anna’s Cuisine, Dagwood’s Deli, Mic’s Mini Market, Tony T’zzz Grill, Kona Ice and Mia’s Snow Dessert Bar will be on hand’ there will also be beer available from Cavendish Brewery and Durty Bull Brewery.

Sounds like fun! Store front shops may also be available for perusing. And, what’s a downtown gathering with vendor and opportunities to learn about who’s who in the community?

Vendors will include Bayada Adult Nursing and Pediatrics, North Carolina National Guard, Gastonia Masonic Lodge #369, Blue Feather Wellness Notebooks, Journals & More, Ledbetter Recovery Service, Nita’s Silent Hand, Inc., Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauces, Chef Slay, LLC, Porky’s, Kelly’s K9 Kitchen, Carlee Alexandria Travel and Lifestyle, Rowdy Energy, Dan’s Redo, CP Summers Studio, KR Designs, PersonalVinyl, JF Originals, Peddlers Farmhouse Designs, Bugbeebird Creations, Jennagirl Boutique, KR Designs, AK’s Treasures, BC Blings for You, Distinctive Dee-Signs by Dee, Cabin in the Woods Candle Co., Little Snaps, Carolina Sun at Dawn, Esquire Hotel and Kingdom Amusements. Looks like they have found something for everyone to be interested in!

Please remember to use the trash receptacles that will be available on the streets. No one wants to come back into the Rotary Pavilion area on Tuesday to clean up the leftovers! And as always, please remember to recycle cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles … we have places available throughout the county and Gastonia to keep us clean and green.

As we celebrate this holiday of our independence from England, keep those people in your prayers that are fighting for their freedoms from those who want to dominate and silence the rights that we are so blessed to have.

Stay cool and enjoy this wonderful weekend and country.

Nan Kirlin
Nan Kirlin

Nan Kirlin is recycling coordinator for Gaston County.

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Gastonia the place to be to celebrate the 4th of July