Wise localities line up full slate of events for Independence Day

Stephen Igo • Jul 3, 2013 at 9:26 PM

NORTON — Fireworks of one sort or another will fill the skies around Wise County after dark on Thursday as municipalities prepare for their separate celebrations.

The city of Norton has at least announced a rain date for Friday just in case Mother Nature doesn’t prove cooperative for the city’s 10 p.m. fireworks display planned for Thursday. That’s probably a good idea given the weather patterns of recent days, featuring almost daily thunderstorms rolling across the region.

The latest weather pattern is currently controlled by a stalled low pressure system funneling moisture-laden air out of the Gulf of Mexico northward over the eastern sector of the U.S., with chances of thunderstorms across the entire eastern half of the nation rather promising for at least the next two days and beyond.

Stormy, wet weather has been so incessant for the first half of the year that July 4 celebrants in Wise County may well take it all in stride, however.

Norton has scheduled a July 4 parade, sponsored by the Norton Lions Club, to begin at 7:30 p.m., with music, concessions and inflatable bouncy houses available from 7 to 10 p.m.

The city’s annual July 4 fireworks display, typically one of the best in the region, is slated to begin at 9:50 p.m. and, again, the city has scheduled a rain date for the fireworks for around the same time on Friday if need be.

The town of Coeburn’s celebration will take place around the Robert Hale Amphitheater at the Depot beginning at 7 p.m., with the Center Stage Cloggers literally kicking things off in their usual grand rompin’ stompin’ delightful dance style.

The Depot Stage will also feature music by Rich & Poor Frankie from 8 to 10 p.m., then the national anthem will be performed by Diane Collins leading into the annual fireworks display.

“Right now we are scheduled to go rain or shine. Of course our stage is already covered and we’re setting up tents for the audience. But we’re hoping there’s no rain,” said Jeff Kiser, a member of Coeburn Town Council not to mention the CIA and NATO — and as kind of scary as those seem, in Kiser’s case, it stands for the Coeburn Improvement Association and National Association of Theatre Owners.

Meanwhile, the town of St. Paul offers residents and guests a full day of events beginning with an Independence Day breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church. Registration for the Clinch River Adventures Tube Race, offering a $150 top prize, begins at 10:30 a.m. at the town park with the race to begin at 11 a.m.

From noon to 4 p.m. will be free admission at the town pool, and noon is also the start of eats prepared by Fat Boys Barbeque at Miner’s Exchange Bank. The Krafty Kids Korner will offer snacks and refreshments along with rides on a fire truck.

Bingo enthusiasts can have at it beginning at 4 p.m., Retroville will perform beginning at 5:30 p.m., and deejay Bennie Mays will entertain up to the fireworks display slated for around 9:30 p.m.

The Flat Gap Community Center in Pound will offer hot dogs and refreshments beginning at 6:30 p.m. along with games and inflatables for the kids, with fireworks after dark.

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