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Fourth of July festivities scheduled

BELHAVEN – The celebrations committee has released the official schedule for the 79th annual 4th of July celebration.

The festivities will kick off on June 26 with the Little Miss Independence and Miss Independence Pageants, which will be held at the Wilkinson Center at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively. 

The following festivities will be held on July 2 and 3, as July 4 is a Sunday. On July 2, vendors and concessions will open at 2 p.m. along with the carnival rides. From 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the first annual Mutt March will occur behind the Market located along Main Street. 

“It’ll be a social meeting for dogs and parents with prizes for the most patriotic costumes, and unique talents,” read a post to the town’s Facebook page. “All dogs are welcome. Must have current vaccinations. 6 feet or shorter leash at all times, handled by adults over age 18. Bring poop bags and water. No aggressive behaviors can be tolerated.  If your dog has not been exposed to social situations, this is not a good place to try it. Pre registration is required for costumes and talent. To pre register or for questions, text Carrie Anderson Bonnie at 304-312-5255.”

The Little Patriots Parade will also start at 4 p.m. at the River Forest Manor in Belhaven. Following these two events, the pie and cake contest will occur at 5:30 p.m. at the soon to open Caboose Park, located near the Belhaven Police Station. A hot dog eating contest and Twilight Hour will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by performances from DJ Stevie Green from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and The Main Event Band from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the main street stage. 

On July 3, the festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with vendors, concessions and carnival ride opening as well as helicopter rides around town beginning. The horseshoe tournament at the Belhaven Fire Department will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Belhaven Fire Department. A helicopter flyover will take place at 10:55 a.m. to signal the start of the parade, which will begin at 11 a.m. Following the parade, the Down East Rods &Classics Car Show will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Southern Bank Lot. Level Up Video Gaming and the Lawnmower Pull will start at 1 p.m. behind the market. The Pantego Volunteer Fire Department mud run will start at 1:30 p.m. along U.S. Highway 264 West. 

Several performances will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Wilkinson Stage and will feature two performances by Dave Rieves and Tom Koch, and one performance from Keane Warren, Chris Gibbs and The Trinity United Methodist Choir.

The firework show will begin at 9 p.m. and will be held along the Waterfront in Belhaven. For a complete schedule, visit belhaven4thofjuly.com.