Fireworks, Food, Fun: 37th annual Fabulous 4th in Columbus

Published 1:57 pm Friday, July 3, 2009

Fireworks will be launched from the north end of town, just across Hwy. 74 behind Stearns School. They may be viewed from anywhere on Main Street in the courthouse vicinity, at Stearns Park or from the side streets to the south of the festival area.

The Main Stage opens at 11:10 a.m. with the Folsom Prison Gang, a Johnny Cash tribute band out of Western North Carolina. They&squo;ll be followed at 12:30 p.m. by Wink Keziah and Delux Motel, hillbilly rockers who currently have a red-hot album out, &uot;Working Songs for the Drinking Class.&uot;

The afternoon continues with Jef Chandler & Friends at 2:30 p.m. An eclectic singer-songwriter from Greenville, Jef&squo;s latest CD, &uot;Account,&uot; was released in January.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Work, a horn-driven funky band, also from Greenville, comes on at 4:10 p.m. followed by perennial favorite Silver Travis at 5:50 p.m.. Travis&squo; group is a little bit country and whole lot Southern Rock.

Evening on the Main Stage features two Pinecastle Records groups: Darin & Brook Aldridge at 7:30 p.m. and The Special Consensus at 8:50 p.m..

Darin and Brooke Aldridge&squo;s music is rising toward the top in their field. The duo produces powerful vocals and perfect instrumentation to deliver a most memorable acoustic music experience. A native of Cherryville, N.C., Darin toured the United States and Canada with The Country Gentleman for seven years and earned four nominations for bluegrass mandolin player of the year in Nashville. For the past three years, he has been on tour with The Circuit Riders. In 2006, Darin joined up with extraordinary vocalist Brooke Justice to perform several festivals and fairs. Brooke is a 24-year-old young lady who recorded her first CD in 2007.

The Special Consensus, after 30 years, continues its quest to turn listeners into true bluegrass lovers. They bridge the gap between traditional and progressive bands and have appeared on The Nashville Network &dquo;Fire On The Mountain&dquo; show.

Bandleader Greg Cahill is one of the busiest men in music today. Besides heading up a band that tours more than most, he is the president and chairman of the board of the International Bluegrass Music Association.

In 2000, Pinecastle Records released the band&squo;s first performance video. Their last album, &uot;The Trail of Aching Hearts,&uot; has garnered the most acclaim for the group. It was on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart for 12 months and received rave reviews from every major bluegrass publication. The group&squo;s new project, &uot;Signs,&uot; was just released in March.

The Street Stage, located near the corner of Mills and Walker Streets, cranks up at noon with Garry Segal and Frank Beeson playing a mix of originals and cover songs. Gary does vocals,&bsp; acoustic guitar and harmonica with Beeson on the bass. At 1:30 p.m. singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett will engage the audience with his acoustic folk that&squo;s anything but typical ‐ Aaron explores modern sounds while blending in the time-tested traditions of songcraft and presentation.

Longtime local favorites Phil & Gaye Johnson perform at 3 p.m.. Out of Green Creek, this acoustic duo has lived the Southern Appalachian country music tradition for the past 27 years. The pair currently hosts &dquo;The KingPup Radio Show,&dquo; a syndicated program on more than 55 radio outlets worldwide.

The Lone Derangers, who hail from Tryon, are noted for their great harmonies and unique arrangements. Doug Dacey, who is the Street Stage entertainment chairman for Fabulous 4th, does vocals and guitar with this group that is acoustic guitar driven but&bsp; with a generous helping of electric banjo and mandolin.

At 6:30 p.m. the Shane Pruitt Band from Spartanburg takes the Street Stage. One of the most explosive blues acts out of the Southeast today,&bsp; this group embodies a regional tradition while bringing its original tone and flare to every performance. Leader Shane Pruitt has been named Spartanburg&squo;s instrumentalist of the year for the past seven years running. The band was&bsp; included in the Top 10 Regional Albums of the Year 2008 for radio station WNCW 99.7 FM

A new feature of the Fab 4th celebration this year is the bicycle contest and parade. Youngsters and adults are invited to bring their bicycles, decorated for the occasion. Entries should arrive early to line up for the parade, which begins at 9:45 a.m. The line up is in front of the old WWE Building at the corner of Houston Road and Mills Street. Bicycles will be judged on creativity and patriotism. One first place prize will be awarded for the adults&squo; entries and one for the children&squo;s entries.

Handicapped parking is available for disabled guests on Courthouse and Gibson Streets. Limited golf cart shuttle service will be available.

For more information, please visit or call the town hall at 828-894-8236.