Fourth of July celebrations on tap

Published 10:42 pm Saturday, June 28, 2008

Two Fourth of July celebrations are scheduled for the upcoming holiday complete with fireworks, food and parades.

Hide-A-Way Lake Subdivision and the McNeill Volunteer Fire Department will have huge Fourth of July celebrations complete with fireworks. Hide-A-Way Lake’s celebration will be for residents and members only while McNeill Fire Department’s celebration will be open to the public.

The premise of the events is to give children an alternative to shooting off their own fire works and suffering injuries, said McNeill Fire Chief Melvin Glidewell.

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The entire county is invited to attend McNeill Volunteer Fire Department’s 32nd annual celebration where a full 45 minutes of fireworks is scheduled, Glidewell said.

The day long event will begin at 9 a.m. July 4, and feature a number of events. Events will include an emergency service parade that all emergency personnel are invited to participate in. Invited personnel include AAA Ambulance service, county and city fire departments, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Department and Picayune and Poplarville’s police departments.

“Anyone with red lights and whistles can get in the parade,” Glidewell said.

The parade will follow the same historic route it has in the past three decades, Glidewell said.

Children ages 1 to 12 will be able to participate in the bike parade. Decorated bikes will line up at the McNeill walking track and attempt to win various prizes, which will be donated to the event.

Music events will also be ongoing all day long featuring gospel and blue grass acts.

Cotton candy, popcorn, funnel cakes, ice cream and snow cones will be available for purchase at booths.

Arts and crafts vendors will be allowed to set up booths for free at the event. Glidewell said the event will not allow food stands since the fire department will be cooking food for sale. Lunch plates will be available for purchase for $4.50 a plate. Cold drinks will also be on sale for $.75.

The Fourth of July celebration will feature “a gigantic fireworks show. It’s getting bigger every year and better every year,” Glidewell said.

For the price of a small donation families will have the experience of 45 minutes of fireworks, Glidewell said. Huey StockstillI Inc. has donated $500 this year for the event, as they have the past few years. That donation will be combined with the donations of event goers from the last year to purchase more than $1,000 worth of big fireworks. Since firefighters will be conducting the show safety will be priority.

• The HAWL private party at the gated community for residents and their invited guests will start with a barbecue lunch. The lunch will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Waters Edge restaurant located in the Hide-A-Way Lake clubhouse.

The annual Fourth of July Boat Parade is set to kick off in the 200-acre lake in the middle of the subdivision. Residents are invited to decorate their boats and take them out on the water. Spectators can see the colorful vessels from their private balconies or from the clubhouse beach.

The day culminates for the HAWL residents with a spectacular fireworks display, funded 100 percent by the members of the community. The best views can be gained from a private boat on the water, or standing on the beach behind the clubhouse. Those living on the water only need step out on their back porch.

For more information about the Hide-A-Way Lake Fourth of July celebration, contact the main office at 601-798-1484.