Hundreds flock to city’s
Published 8:33 am Saturday, July 5, 2008
Fourth of July festivities
Fireworks draw huge crowd to Washington waterfront
By DAN PARSONS
Wearing matching red-white-and-blue knit shirts, the Hoover family set up camp on a grassy patch along Stewart Parkway nearly three hours before Washington’s fireworks display was set to go off.
With eight members of the family on vacation from Cheyenne, Wyo., the Hoovers may have had difficulty finding space for their camping chairs and cooler if they had showed up any later. Greg and Evva Hoover stopped with six of their eight children in Plymouth for the Fourth of July Weekend. They had been brought to the East Coast by the marriage of one of their sons in Pennsylvania.
Without the observance of the nation’s birthday, the clan’s vacation would qualify as a patriotic one. When they left Pennsylvania, they made a trip to Washington, D.C., where they visited “all three branches of government.”
It’s evident upon introduction to the couple’s children that the Hoovers are fond of the traditional themes of freedom and independence celebrated on July 4. Their children who accompanied them from the nation’s capital to the original Washington are Liberty, 18; Jubilee, 16; Justice, 14; Noble, 13; Cherish, 12 and 8-year-old Royal. The children were still excited about the horse show they had seen earlier at the Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston.
The Hoovers were not the only early visitors to Washington’s Independence Day festivities, which began along Stewart Parkway at 5 p.m. A half-hour later, visitors were staking out their spots from the former Mayola building to the western end of the waterfront. Vendors were having difficulty keeping hungry revelers fed with hamburgers and hot dogs as Mad Dog and the Blues Night out took the stage to provide music. It was the band’s second appearance at the city’s Fourth of July celebration.
While the waterfront bustled, Main Street was comparatively empty. While food hot off the grill provided by Acre Station Meat Farm and other festival treats were being distributed as fast as they could be prepared, festival goers would have found it more difficult to find food at one of the local restaurants. Visitors could also be seen gazing through windows of darkened shops on Main Street.
Cat Bamboo was the lone boutique, Curiosity Shoppe the lone restaurant open the greet the crowd. Scoops also provided a cool treat for folks trying to beat the heat.
Though hundreds showed up in anticipation of the city’s annual pyrotechnic display, confusion persisted over whether the burn ban in effect for Beaufort County would snuff out the show. The Daily News fielded at least three phone calls from residents of neighboring counties wondering if the show was on.
The Hoovers wouldn’t have end their America-themed vacation without witnessing the time-honored tradition of airborne explosives. Officials with the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department saw fit to permit the display Thursday despite the risk of sparking fires and a whipping wind Friday evening.