Perry fireworks will last twice as long this year

awoolen@macon.comJune 27, 2014 

Fireworks light up the Georgia National Fairgrounds in this 2006 photo.

WOODY MARSHALL/THE TELEGRAPH — wmarshall@macon.com

PERRY -- Perry will kick off Houston County’s Fourth of July celebrations with a parade and fireworks Sunday.

The fireworks, now in their second year, were so popular last year that the number of rounds fired off will double this year.

“It was so well received by the community, we are growing it,” said Perry Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Darlene McLendon.

Last year, the fireworks lasted about five to six minutes. This year, the show is expected to be between 10-12 minutes.

The parade and fireworks are scheduled to go on, rain or shine, McLendon said.

The festivities start at Washington Street near the Houston County Courthouse with a parade at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Featuring 53 units, the parade will honor military members and veterans as fitting for an Independence Day parade.

The grand marshal will be retired Lt. Col. Wallis V. Hurlbutt, a World War II Purple Heart recipient.

Several trams carrying veterans will be in the parade along with performance bands, antique cars and other floats.

A race car from David Ragan will be in the parade, which travels from Main Street to Courtney Hodges Boulevard and ends at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.

At about 7 p.m., the A2Z Band will perform near the West gate at the fairgrounds.

According to the band’s website, it plays all types of rock ’n’ roll.

Picnics as well as lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Food will be available for purchase from Cox Concessions.

“This is a family-oriented picnic environment,” said McLendon.

The event is free, but a kid-zone featuring inflatables will be available for $10.

There will be no alcohol, pets or fireworks of any kind allowed on the grounds.

McLendon expects more than 10,000 people to show up for the event.

“We want to honor our hometown heroes,” she said. “Our military pride runs deep.”

Freedom Fireworks

When: 9:30 p.m. June 29; gates open at 7 p.m.

Where: Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Perry

Cost: Free

Information: 478-987-1234

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