Harbor District plans festive Fourth

Published 12:33 am Thursday, July 4, 2013

Beth Byrd, head of the Washington Harbor District Alliance, gets goosebumps when she sees the Washington waterfront packed with people. With all that she and the WHDA have planned for the Fourth of July, those goosebumps are practically a done deal.
This year’s event will include cornhole tournaments, a car show, a hot dog contest, live music, plenty of vendors and of course, fireworks.
George and Martha Washington will join Joy the Clown at Festival Park and be available for photos. Byrd said kid always have fun with Joy.
“She does magic tricks and she has a little dove that kids love to hold,” Byrd said.
The classic car show is a new addition to the holiday festivities and will take place along Stewart Parkway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sponsored by Lee Chevrolet, the show is open to vehicles circa 1988 or earlier. Early entry registration is $15. The first 50 entries will receive a custom-designed dash plaque. Register the day of the event for $20. Registration lasts from 8 a.m. to noon.
Best in show will receive $500. Second place will get $300 and third place will drive home with $200.
“The contest will be held rain or shine and all proceeds will be donated to Ruth’s House,” Byrd said.
When asked why he was interested in sponsoring a car show, Steve Lee of Lee Chevrolet said he thought it would be a fun family event that cold be enjoyed by all ages. It would also help fill the time waiting for the music and fireworks later in the evening.
Another source of entertainment will be the cornhole tournament.
“It’s going to be singles and doubles so it’s going to be all day,” Byrd said.
A special edition of the Saturday Market will be open Thursday morning and 13 local merchants will be open for business. The list includes Lone Leaf and Riverwalk art galleries, the General’s Store, Nauti Life Little Shoppes and South Market Antiques.
Byrd said several downtown eateries would be open, too. La Bella Slices and Ices, Backwater Jack’s, The Bank Bistro and Bar, Grub Brothers, On the Waterfront, Scoops and Bill’s Hot Dogs all reported holiday hours.
Those with a healthy appetite can sit down to 10 of Bill’s best. The local eatery will supply the dogs for the contest. Whoever finishes 10 of Bill’s hot dogs the fastest will be the champion and win $50. Coldwell Banker Coastal Rivers Realty will sponsor the contest.
Greensboro favorites the Dickens Band will headline an evening of live music. Byrd saw the band online a few years ago, but could not afford to book them for the event she was planning at the time. When she asked Lone Leaf owner Neil Loughlin for band suggestions, the Greensboro native’s first choice was the Dickens Band.
“I felt like I had a mandate,” Byrd laughed. “We hired them because they are so diverse. They are super cool.”
The band is guaranteed to rock Festival Park, rain or shine. Byrd said the contract stipulated the band would play as long as their stage floor was dry. If necessary, a rain date will be announced Wednesday evening.
Greenville singer JoceLien will join the Dickens Band during the fireworks display for a few songs. The 14-year-old will also perform the National Anthem.
For more information on this and other WHDA events, go to www.washingtononthewater.com or search for the WHDA on Facebook.