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Opportunities abound to have a blast July 4

Songs by noted artists, a duck race, parades and fireworks highlight this year’s Fourth of July activities in the area. Grammywinning recording artists will perform at The Rock Ranch, Chapelstock in Pike County and Rock Springs Church off Highway 36 east of Barnesville, and all three venues will have fireworks. Area events begin with The Rock Ranch’s 13th annual patriotic event and fireworks show Celebrate America on Saturday, June 30. Gates open at 4 p.m. and close after the fireworks show around 10 p.m. ’We invite you and your family to come celebrate our freedoms as Americans and the heroes who fought and are still fighting to preserve those freedoms – to Celebrate America,’ said general manager Jeff Manley. This event features activities, a charity Rubber Duck Derby with a chance to win $1 million, and live music. Admission is $25 per carload or $35 per busload. Zipline rides are only $12 and $7 but all other attractions are included in the admission. The ranch has train rides, pony rides, zip lines, Tiny Town, paddle boats, live musical performances and many other attractions ‘“ plus one of the largest fireworks displays in the state. Stepping Stones Educational Therapy Center will be the recipient of proceeds from the 10th annual Duck Derby to be held at 6:30 p.m. Race proceeds benefit academic and therapy programs for children with special needs. The goal is $30,000. Ducks are $5 each; adopt one at steppingstones, or at the event. Sponsorships are available. Prizes include a $1,000 gas card, flat screen TV, iPod Nano, Big Green Egg and Nest and Chick-fil-A sandwiches for a year. For information on the derby, call 770-229-5511. Event coordinator Adam Pugh says the event is a great value for families, who also can contribute to a worthy charity. A concert by recording artist Noah Cleveland and the patriotic program just before the fireworks will feature an appearance from a fighter pilot who was shot down and held captive as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. No outside food or drink and no pets are allowed. For information, contact The Rock Ranch at or 706-647-6374. Rock Springs Church will hold its Fourth of July celebration, Celebrate Freedom, on Sunday, July 1, 5 p.m. with a concert by the Grammy award-winning Oakridge Boys followed by fireworks at dusk. Admission is free, thanks to sponsorships by Marathon and Jones Petro. In addition to the concert there will be games and food with an old-fashioned picnic planned. In addition to the crowds expected at Rock Springs, Christ Chapel Church’s ‘Chapelstock’ planners are anticipating 10,000 to 15,000 people on July 1 at the Independence Day celebration in Pike County. The church is located on Highway 19 South outside Zebulon. Grammy-winning musicians Mac Powell and Jason Hoard of Third Day will take the stage at Chapelstock as will musicians who are part of RUSH Ministries and Pike County musicians who are part of the Christ Chapel church band. The celebration begins at 4 p.m. with the annual Fourth of July parade starting from the primary school and proceeding through downtown Zebulon. The parade, sponsored by Pike County Emergency Services, will lead everyone back to Chapelstock. The event will include more than 50 food and craft vendors and free children’s activities including bounce houses, inflatables, a small petting zoo and a bungee trampoline ride. Free parking, a first aid station and diaper changing station will be at the event. For information on Chapelstock, go to or call 770-567-1141. The High Falls/Towaliga Watershed Alliance will hold its annual Fourth of July Boat Parade on High Falls Lake on Wednesday, July 4, beginning at 10 a.m. at the state park swimming pool dock. Participants must pick up a judging number from the boat parade marshal’s boat at 9:30 a.m. and provide organizers with a cell phone number so the winners can be contacted for trophies that will be awarded for first, second and third place. Boats should be decorated with a patriotic Fourth of July theme. To view the parade attendees should go to the park office, dam wall or the public swimming pool areas. During the parade all state park rules are in effect.

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