Day full of fun planned for Roan Mountain State Park on Saturday

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Star File Photo/Abby Morris-Frye  Visitors and park staff alike participate in a sponge relay race at last year's Independence Day Celebration at Roan Mountain State Park.

Star File Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
Visitors and park staff alike participate in a sponge relay race at last year’s Independence Day Celebration at Roan Mountain State Park.

Start your Independence Day Celebration early by joining the staff of Roan Mountain State Park for a day filled with family fun on Saturday.
Each year, Roan Mountain State Park hosts its annual Independence Day Celebration on the weekend before the official holiday by hosting a variety of old fashioned events for the whole family.
The event kicks off Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. at Shelter 3 next to the Campground as children decorate their bikes in patriotic colors. Children can also decorate their bicycles before hand if they wish.
“We provide some supplies for those kids that didn’t know about the event or forgot to bring anything,” Park Ranger Meg Guys said.
Once the bike are decorated, at 10 a.m. children will don their helmets (which are required in order to ride in the park) and will take part in a bicycle parade through the campground.
“We’ll honk our horns and show our American pride,” Guy said.
After the parade, the bicycle decorations will be judged and the winning rider will receive a prize, Guy said.
At 10:30 a.m. the fun moves to the playing field next to the campground for an old-fashioned sack race.
Children will get a chance to express their creative sides and create their own American Flag at 11 a.m. at Shelter 3.
“We will discuss the history of the United States flag and it’s symbolism,” Guy said.
Park visitors — both children and adults — will get a chance to cool off at 11:30 a.m. with a Sponge Relay race at the playing field.
Participants will have to grab a soaking wet sponge from a bucket, run across the playing field with the sponge on top of their heads and then squeeze the water out into another bucket. The runner then returns to the starting point and hands off the sponge to the next person in the relay. At the end of the relay, the team with the most water in their bucket will be declared the winner.
At Noon, the festivities will take a break for lemonade at the Campground Store to give park visitors a chance to eat lunch and dry off, though drying off may be a bit premature as the fun resumes at 1 p.m. with a water balloon toss on the playing field.
Visitors will have to use their most careful steps for the 1:30 — an egg relay.
At 2 p.m., visitors will have their choice of two tournaments to take part in — a cornhole tournament on the playing field or a checkers tournament at the Campground Store.
Prepare to get dirty at 3 p.m. with a classic crowd favorite — a good, old-fashioned mud pit tug of war.
At 4:30 p.m. the festivities move to the Park Amphitheater for different variations on the game of tag.
After the games of tag, park visitors will get a break for dinner before the fun resumes.
“At the end of the day we have a big magic show,” Guy said.
Mister Mystery will perform at the Park Amphitheater from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Then at 9 p.m. the day will come to a close back at the Campground as participants are invited to gather around the campfire for stories and, of course, s’mores.
The events of the Independence Day Celebration at Roan Mountain State Park are open to anyone who would like to attend, not just guests of the campground or park cabins, Guy said.
For more information on the park or the Independence Day Celebration, contact Roan Mountain State Park at 423-772-0190.

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