The local Independence Day celebration brings on Thursday with a down-home parade in Crouse at 4 p.m. followed by a parade and fireworks in downtown Lincolnton.

Every year, the community of Crouse holds an Independence Day parade. It began 27 years ago with the Willie and Debbie Heafner family as a way to entertain their small children.  The first parade was a small group of adults pushing or pulling their children on tricycles or red wagons.

“As the children grew and their riding toys improved, the parade grew,” organizer Mona Ramsey said in a press release. “The number of entries for the event grows each year and this year we hope to exceed the 2018 parade turnout.”

The entries will begin lining up around 3:00 p.m. at Crouse United Methodist Church located on Pleasant Grove Church Road in Crouse. The official grand marshal each year is Sandy Jones, a lifelong resident of Crouse.  

For the Lincolnton celebration, the Kids Zone opens at 6:30 p.m. at the 100 and 200 blocks of East Main Street featuring bounce houses, face painting, games and the Lincolnton Fire Department engine sprinkler to cool off. 

"We've got lots of new parade entries with more to come,” City of Lincolnton director of community relations Laura Morris said. “Everyone is welcome to join the parade, just fill out a free entry form online at the city web site. We're looking forward to seeing everyone in historic downtown Lincolnton starting at 6:30 when the kid's zone opens."

The parade begins at 8:30 p.m. at Cedar Street, near Fifth Third Bank, and goes to the Lincolnton High School parking lot. 

“While East Main Street is the key location for parade fun, there are great viewing locations for both the parade and the fireworks at the courthouse lawn and along North Aspen Street,” Morris said. “Downtown Dairy Treats will be serving up delicious ice cream treats from the bus and other vendors will have fair foods like candy apples, cotton candy, and popcorn.”

The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. at the Lincolnton High School football stadium. Concessions will be available, no outside food, beverages, coolers are chairs are allowed. The stadium opens at 7:30 p.m. and is the best vantage point to enjoy patriotic music from DJ Johnny B and the fireworks show.

"Many people may not realize that our awesome fireworks show actually shoots from the field at the Ramsour's Mill Battleground Park, the site where the Revolutionary War was actually fought in Lincolnton and Lincoln County," Morris said.

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