Jul. 1—Kids are the stars of Downtown Waynesville's July Fourth Stars & Stripes Celebration.
The annual Kids on Main Patriotic Parade will step off from the historic courthouse at 11 a.m. and make its way up Main Street to First Baptist Church, where a free ice cream party awaits.
"Kids aren't just spectators. It is literally their parade, which makes it a unique experience," said Beth Gilmore, Downtown Waynesville director.
Kids are invited to decorate bicycles, roller skates, scooters, skateboards, wagons and strollers to participate in the parade. Walkers are welcome also.
A decorating party will begin in front of the courthouse at 10 a.m. Some supplies will be provided — including 200 kazoos to be distributed to kids — but feel free to bring your own decorating garb, as well. Think streamers, pinwheels, balloons, signs, tiny flags and tape for fastening them.
Festivities prior to the parade will feature face painting, special characters, kid's activities, live music and entertainment, including a barbershop quartet ensemble from HART theater's current production of "The Music Man" and special performances from Kids at HART.
There will be a live reading of The Declaration of Independence on the steps of the courthouse by a Revolutionary War character around 10:45 a.m.
Later in the day, the Haywood Community Band will perform a free concert of patriotic tunes at 2 p.m. on the lawn of the courthouse.
Downtown Waynesville merchants meanwhile are pulling out all the stops for the Stars and Stripes Celebration.
"We encourage people to spend the day shopping and eating and drinking and enjoying the day downtown," Gilmore said. "All the stores will be open and we will have live music on the sidewalks to encourage people to make an afternoon of it."
First Baptist Church provides the ice cream social, bottled water and games in their parking lot following the parade. Members of the Kiwanis Club are partnering with the Downtown Waynesville Advisory Committee to host the event.
Only non-motorized equipment is allowed, and kids must wear bike or skateboard helmets if riding.