Happy birthday!

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hours before the crowds showed up and the birthday party for the USA began, organizers of the July 4 celebration in Washington and vendors selling food to those crowds were busy working.

It was a workday for them, not a day off.

Their work paid off.

The Can U Toss (East Carolina Cornhole League) cornhole tournament organizers had their competition area up and running. Among the participants were Wesley Craddock and Caleb Avery.

“Oh!” Craddock exclaimed as one of the beanbags he tossed just missed falling through the hole on the cornhole board.

“That’s it,” he said when his next toss plopped a beanbag dead center in the hole.

Craddock also used a sliding technique with the beanbags, using enough forward motion so they would slide up the board and into the hole. During one game, Craddock tossed and slid three beanbags in a row into the hole.

A car show along Stewart Parkway drew the attention of John Bartlett of Greenville.

“I came here (Washington) for the cornhole tournament, but when I saw the cars I wanted to check them out. Many of them, to me, are more than just transportation. They’re works of art,” Bartlett said.

Tracey Hardy, with Hardy’s Mobile Concessions of Vanceboro, had a steady flow of customers wanting funnel cakes, popcorn and other festival-type food. It was the company’s first time selling concessions at Washington’s Fourth of July celebration, but not its first time in Washington. It was here for the Motown Downtown event last year.

“Funnel cakes, by far,” Hardy said when asked what item most customers wanted.

In Belhaven, crowds showed up for that town’s 71st-consecutive Fourth of July party.

For those who wanted a bird’s-eye view of the daylong celebration, helicopter rides provided that opportunity. Among other activities were a hot dog-eating contest, sailboat rides, the traditional parade and a dunking booth.

If the weather permitted, fireworks shows were scheduled at the Washington and Belhaven celebrations.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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