Families looking to celebrate Independence Day have plenty of options in Johnston County.
Communities will hold celebrations featuring live music, parades, games, food and activities for children on and around the July 4 holiday.
And, of course, once it gets dark, there will be plenty of fireworks.
In addition to Saturday’s events, Selma will stage its All-American Festival on Friday and Smithfield will hold festivities Sunday night. Scheduling events around July 4 instead of on the holiday brings down the cost of fireworks displays, said Sarah Edwards, head of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corp.
It also allows people to turn Independence Day into a weekend-long event, she said.
“It definitely provides an opportunity for more celebration for our town’s residents,” Edwards said. “I know a lot of people last year told us that they would kind of be doing a tour of the county and going to each town’s fireworks show.”
Here’s a list of community celebrations:
Selma’s All-American Festival: Live entertainment by disc jockey Jim Earp, dancing, hula-hooping, a variety of vendors a and children’s area from 5 to 10 p.m. in the 300 block of Railroad Street, near Selma’s Union Station. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. For more information on this free event, call 919-975-1411 or email Rec_LibraryDirector@selma-nc.com.
Family Fun Day at Archer Lodge: The day begins at 7 a.m. with a 5K run and one-mile fun walk starting at the Archer Lodge Community Center, 14009 Buffalo Road. Parade and skydivers at 2 p.m. Festivities begin 2:30 p.m. at the community center with kids games, blow-up rides, food, Bingo, a cornhole tournament and cakewalks. The Big River Band will play at 8 and 9:45 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Complete schedule and parade route map online at ArcherLodge.org/events/#july.
Benson’s July 4 celebration: Activities from 3 to 9 p.m. in the Benson Singing Grove, 400 E. Main St. Live music by Lawless, The Cross County Scuffers and The Attractions. Attractions include classic cars on display and food and drink vendors. Fireworks around 9 p.m. on U.S. 301 near Carlie C’s IGA. For more information, call 919-894-5117.
Clayton’s July 4th Celebration: 4-10 p.m. at Municipal Park, 340 McCullers St. Activities include games, rides, a cornhole tournament and free basketball-skills competition. Concert at 6 p.m. by The Central Park Band. Freebies include watermelon, ice cream and a hose-down by the Clayton Fire Department. Fireworks at dark, usually around 9:15. Complete schedule online at TownOfClaytonNC.org/Parks-and-Recreation/july-4th.aspx.
Celebrate Cleveland: Festivities all day beginning with a 7 a.m. breakfast at Oakland Presbyterian Church. Parade at 10 a.m. starting from behind the fire station on Cleveland Road. Opening ceremonies at 10:45 a.m. in the JCC Cleveland Campus parking lot. Attractions include games, inflatables, pony rides, food, a community baseball game and a street dance. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. For a complete schedule, search “Celebrate Cleveland” on Facebook. For more information, call Chris Ellington at 919-989-1909.
Fireworks in Kenly: The town will partner with Kenly 95 Petro for a 9 p.m. fireworks show at the truck stop, 923 Johnston Parkway.
Ice Cream Social in Kenly: Get a free scoop of ice cream from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with admission at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N. Church St. As they do every Saturday, museum staff will demonstrate traditional arts, crafts and trades. Tickets costs $6 to $8. For information, call 919-284-3431 or visit TobaccoFarmLifeMuseum.org.
McGee’s Crossroads: Music, homemade ice cream, cold water and tours from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Coats Estate, 3317 Old Fairground Road, Angier. Cub Scouts will ring the estate’s bells. Attendees are advised to take a lawn chair.
Pine Level’s July 4 celebration: Karaoke, inflatables and concessions from 5 to 9:30 p.m at Sam Godwin Recreation Park, 20 Crescent St. Fireworks at dark, usually around 9:15 p.m. For information, call 919-965-2284.
Smithfield’s July 4 celebration: 6:30-10:30 p.m. on South Third Street, featuring a concert by The Backyard Group. Other attractions include food vendors, water-balloon fights, face painting and other activities for children. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 919-934-0887.