Independence celebrations planned in Perry, Warner Robins

awoolen@macon.comJune 26, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s rock ensemble, Reserve Generation, will go out with a bang as fireworks light the sky for the city’s annual Independence Day concert July 3.

This will be the last time the six members will perform together due to the pending deactivation of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Singer and actress Bobbie Eakes, who grew up in Warner Robins, and local Southern rock band Stillwater also will perform.

The Reserve band members “are world-class musicians,” said Philip Rhodes, public affairs spokesman for Air Force Reserve Command.

“We hate to see them go.”

The band members will go on to new locations, some the day after their performance in Warner Robins, said Tech Sgt. Frances Kness, a vocalist who has been with the group for three years.

“There are very few career paths in the Air Force that you get to do what you love,” she said.

A lover of music since he was 6 and listening to his father’s band, lead guitarist Staff Sgt. Josh Byrd has a tattoo of a guitar on his forearm with Psalm 33 written in Hebrew, which says “sing unto Him a new song. Play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts.”

During rehearsal Thursday, there was no doubt the six enjoyed what they were doing.

Their music for this concert will range from top 40 to country to old school Guns N’ Roses.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will start at 8 p.m. at McConnell-Talbert Stadium in Warner Robins. The fireworks start when the show is finished, about 9:30 p.m., Rhodes said.

Perry holds Independence Parade

A few days before the Warner Robins event, the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce will host its Independence Parade on Sunday.

In addition to the parade, there will be fireworks at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.

The parade will have about 75 units, including the grand marshal, Casey Hayward of the Green Bay Packers and a Perry High School graduate, said Stacy S. Campbell, chamber president and CEO.

There will be two floats to honor the spouses and children of deployed service members as well as veterans floats and military units. The parade will start at the Perry Public Library at 1201 Washington St., continue down Main Street and then head to the fairgrounds via Gen. Courtney Hodges Boulevard.

The parade will start at 6 p.m., and the fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. near the west gate at the fairgrounds.

Live music from Campbell Airlines will start at 7 p.m., also at the fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds hasn’t had fireworks in several years, so Campbell hopes to draw in a big crowd. The fireworks will be low level and will be best viewed at the fairgrounds.

“We hope everyone will be showing their patriotic pride,” she said.

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