Under the Sycamore Tree: City celebrates Independence Day at Covered Bridge Park

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden           The Elizabethton Twins provided a booth for information during the Covered Bridge celebration, along with different games for children to enjoy.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
The Elizabethton Twins provided a booth for information during the Covered Bridge celebration, along with different games for children to enjoy.

The third year was the charm for the City of Elizabethton.
Citizens converged under the summer sun to take part in the third annual Independence Day Celebration held at Covered Bridge Park Monday afternoon with different results compared to previous years, according to Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains.
“We’ve done this the last couple of years and we’ve had bad weather,” Mains – who spearheaded the event – said. “God’s surely blessed us with beautiful weather today. This is just one way for us to show our appreciation to those that have served our country and gave us the freedom to come out to the park, like today, to have a good time with one another.”
Paul Gabinet, executive director with Shepard’s Inn, ushered in the opening ceremonies for the event, seconding the sentiments of Mains by telling attendees Monday was a time to not only remember veterans, “from the 1700s until now”, but also reminded individuals it was a day to remember the heritage of the country, and Elizabethton – alluding to the fact that the country’s founders met underneath a sycamore tree, just like the foliage on hand at Covered Bridge Park.
The opening ceremony saw the American Legion take part, while the American flag flew high with pride, attached to the ladder of a fire engine from the Elizabethton Fire Department.
“First off, I have to thank city council,” Mains said. “Without them supporting us, we wouldn’t be able to do this. Bob Cable, a member of the council, really loves Elizabethton so much. He loves our veterans and he’s always so active in the community. He’s organized parades in the past and he’s today supporting the event.
“The police department, the fire department, the street department … we really appreciate everyone’s efforts. Everyone worked together as a team to make this event possible today.”
Different activities were available to the public while Jerry Pierce and Retroville handled the duties by serenading attendees. Inflatables were offered for children, while free watermelon and concessions were sold to keep the summer heat down.
“The Elizabethton Twins and Parks and Recreation Department are also out here today,” Mains said. “We’ve had the American Legion here for the opening ceremony, it’s been a great day so far.”
The work put into Monday’s event also saw a kids’ motorcycle parade along with the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant organized by Amy Simmons. Simmons’ who operates Dancer’s Dreams Performing Arts Academy provided more entertainment with the Covered Bridge Cloggers and the Angel Steps Praise Dance team showing their talents to the public.
“They’ve put in a lot of work for the kids,” Mains said crediting the efforts of the academy.
Four hours of fun in downtown Elizabethton migrated to Joe O’Brien Field for the nightcap ceremony during the annual God and Country night. The sponsorship was sponsored by Borderview Christian Church as the Twins’ squared off against the Bluefield Blue Jays.
Much like the tradition of the Fourth, a fireworks show, sponsored by Snap-On Tools, concluded an ever eventful Independence Day for the city.

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