Kaylee Padgett has been dancing and waving brightly colored pool noodles in front of her mother’s Macclenny fireworks store in the run-up to Independence Day.
“Every Fourth of July and New Year’s since eighth grade,” said the soon-to-be sophomore at Baker High the morning of June 27.
She said her favorite music to listen to is country, but it can be too slow to be effective at pulling in customers. She needs music with more pep.
“If you’re pumped up, then they get pumped,” said Ms. Padgett of potential customers, adding the store has deeply discounted fireworks.
For those seeking a bigger bang from their Independence Day activities, however, there’s two public fireworks displays planned this weekend in the area.
Fireworks, food and craft vendors and live music will descend upon Memorial Park for the annual Chamber of Commerce July 4th celebration on Friday.
The fireworks display will begin after dark about 9 pm, but the event starts at 5 pm on West Boulevard North.
On tap will be lemonade from Jim Geiger, ribs and snow cones from Parker’s Ribs, sausage dogs and cajun cornbread from Shark Bites food truck, barrel train rides courtesy of the City of Macclenny, cotton candy, nachos and popcorn from Liam’s Courageous Heart; a raffle by the Baker County Veterans Council, fruit chillers, boiled peanuts and pork skins from Terry Iron Kettle; plus flip-flop, jewelry and woodworking craft vendors.
Chamber director Darryl Register said the fireworks will be donated by Phantom Fireworks and ignited by the Macclenny fire department. The musical entertainment he described as “quasi-karaoke” is being provided by Helen Taylor, who organizes similar shows at the annual Christmas parade, he said.
The forecast shows their may be some showers with a 30 percent chance of rain expected that day, according to the National Weather Service. The agency is forecasting a high near 94 degrees, but dropping to 72 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain Friday evening.
Souls Harbor Church of God will host its “freedom celebration and fireworks show” the following day on July 5 beginning at 7 pm with free food, drinks and prizes. Music will start at 8 pm and fireworks at 9:30 pm.
It’s located in Glen St. Mary at 10028 Stasi Rd.
It's the second year of the event, said Pastor Dan Sturgill, with last year's celebration drawing some 400 people. New this year to the music, dinner and fireworks are raffle prizes for visitors to be announced just prior to the fireworks display, also from Phantom Fireworks. Pastor Strugill expects some 500 folks this year.
In addition, First Baptist Church of St. George is having a 4th of July Celebration from 11 am to 3 pm.
All churches in the surrounding area are participating. There will be guest speakers, live music, kids games, rides, hamburgers and hot dogs and plenty of dessert. The church is located on 1st Street in St. George, GA.