Celebration takes to air, land and water

Published 8:42 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Taylor Edwards (back seat) gives a big thumbs-up to those on the ground as she, Loretta Edwards (front) and Michaela Jones start their helicopter tour of Belhaven. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

BELHAVEN — At least a thousand people lined the streets of Belhaven for the annual Independence Day parade and left with beads, candy and throws of all kinds.
But the fun did not stop there. Festivities included live music, mud runs and helicopter rides.

  • Check out photos of July Fourth events in our photo gallery here.

Landon Edwards came to Belhaven for a different form of family fun. He joined other Hyde County Mini Pullers in a tractor pull sponsored in part by the Belhaven Volunteer Fire Department. The 5-year-old climbed onto his Cub Cadet, determined to win his first trophy.
“I just have to press the gas,” he explained.
Lamaria Cutler, 8, said she was following in her aunt’s footsteps and raced for the first time.
Kenny Crawford, 10, wore a racing suit for the competition. He and his dad had spent the past year getting his mower ready for the event.
“We rebuilt the engine, and we gave it more power,” Crawford said.
Michael Spencer was looking for ways to bond with his 10-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, after he learned he had cancer. His health has improved, and the pair still can’t stay off the tracks. Spencer said it is great family time.
“The whole family comes out; we cook and we spend the day together,” he said.
Last year’s winner, 10-year-old Courtney Lilley, was there to defend her title. She said there were practical applications for the skills needed in tractor pulls.
“Actually, if we want to be a farmer, that will help,” Lilley said.
Colonial Capital Helicopters offered quick tours of the Belhaven area for $20 a person. Bridget Melvin took 4-year-olds Grant Melvin ad Porter Carroll up for their first helicopter ride. The boys were all smiles when they landed.
Loretta Edwards said the area looked beautiful from the birds-eye view.
“That was awesome,” she said. “I could see my house.”
The Pantego Volunteer Fire Department continued a 29-year tradition with its mud run. Lt. Derrick Myers said the mud run is the departments’ biggest fundraiser of the year.
Entries came from all over the tri-state area. Entries included 4-wheel-drives that represented everything from modified Toyotas to classic Chevrolet trucks.
In Washington, a patriotic-themed boat parade, a cornhole tournament, a concert by Spare Change and a planned fireworks show were part of the July 4 celebration.
Hours before the scheduled fireworks display, sailboats and powerboats jockeyed for prime positions on the Pamlico River so their occupants could better view the pyrotechnics show.