State Park weekend festivities to include watermelon, magic and campfire stories

Published 8:57 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

A day full of field games, watermelon, campfire stories and a little magic is in store for the annual Independence Day Celebration this weekend at Roan Mountain State Park.
Each year, the state park hosts its Independence Day Celebration on the weekend before the actual holiday.
“It’s a big day of field games,” park Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Amanda Smithson said.
Many of the events are traditional field games like sack races and relay events, she said, adding there are always lots of fun things for kids to do.
“We always have events for the kids where they can get wet and messy,” Smithson said. “Our favorite event is the watermelon-eating contest. That one can get pretty messy.”
While the events are held in the state park they are open to the whole community, not just those staying in the campground or in the park’s cabins Smithson said.
“There will be prizes for a few of the events, specifically the checkers tournament, bike parade and the watermelon eating contest,” Smithson said.
The day of festivities kicks off at 10:30 a.m. in the park campground with a bike parade. Participants are asked to meet at the campground check in station and show their patriotism by decking out their bike in red, white and blue.
“They either need to decorate their bike at the campground before the parade or arrive with it ready to go,” Smithson said.
After the parade, sack races will be held at 11 a.m. followed by a sponge relay at 11:30 a.m. in the campground playing field.
A hot dog roast is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Picnic Shelter 3 with hot dogs available with a donation to the park.
At 2 p.m. the field games recommence with a watermelon eating contest at the playing field.
When 2:30 rolls around, park visitors have their choice between a checkers tournament and an egg relay. Those wishing to play in the checkers tournament must sign up in advance at the campground check-in station and must be present through the entire tournament to be eligible to win.
Get ready to get wet at 3:30 p.m. with a game of Body Bowling. Contestants will slip and slide down the alley as they use their body as the bowling ball and try to take out the bowling pins.
When night time comes around, the magic comes out.
At 7 p.m. in the Amphitheater, Mister Mistery will present a magic show and Smithson said he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
“We did the magic show last year and he was awesome,” she said.
In the event of bad weather the magic show will be moved to Picnic Shelter 3.
The day’s festivities come to an end with a campfire circle at 9 p.m. where participants can enjoy jokes, riddles, stories, charades and, of course, s’mores. The circle will be held at the campground area fire ring.
All of the events are open to the public for no charge, but Smithson said the park appreciates donations to help the staff continue to offer fun programs for park visitors.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox