In addition to a patriotic parade, a visit from Georgia’s governor, music, fun and food and the reading of the Declaration of Independence will remind those in attendance of the history of the freedoms celebrated on the holiday.
Bob Rugg, president of the Cherokee chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, said the organization will be reading the Declaration of Independence in its entirety at 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Cherokee County Historic Courthouse in Canton for the Fourth of July Festival.
“It’s a great ceremony,” he said. “The document is not that long; it will probably take a total of 20 minutes, but we get to celebrate the solemnity of the special occasion.”
Rugg said the reading will be divided between four people, who will each take turns reading a section.
“We anticipate, with the goings on of Fourth of July downtown, that we’ll have a fairly decent crowd gathered to hear the reading of the Declaration,” he said.
At 3 p.m., Penny Rae, a bluegrass band out of Nashville, will be taking the stage as part of the celebration.
Gov. Nathan Deal will make remarks before the parade through the city at 4 p.m., said Meghan Griffin, Canton Main Street director.
“Gov. Deal will be giving a few remarks on the solemnity of the holiday before leading the parade down Main Street,” Griffin said. “We will be passing out flags for all the kids, and hope to see a good crowd to welcome the governor.”
The parade is expected to include about 60 to 70 vehicles, including classic cars, antique tractors, Boy Scouts, fire trucks and a brass band, Griffin said. There will also be volunteers and others walking in the parade, she said.
“It should be good fun. First Friday starts at 3 p.m. Then, after the parade, we will go back to First Friday. It lasts until 6 p.m.,” Griffin said. “Then, people will have a chance to go to dinner and then see the fireworks at dusk.”
Griffin said the fireworks are sponsored by Canton Tourism and will take place behind Riverstone Mall off Riverstone Parkway at dusk.