Patriotic pomp and pizazz

Published 1:18 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

The Fabulous Fourth Celebration has been a Columbus tradition for more than 40 years. This year’s celebration will be held tomorrow in downtown Columbus.

The first event this year will be a 5K run starting at 8 a.m. near the courthouse.

Opening ceremonies for the celebration will be held at 10 a.m. A fireworks exhibition will wrap up the celebration at 10 p.m.

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New to the Fabulous 4th this year will be Family Fun Games held at the courthouse yard from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Columbus councilwoman Ernie Kan, who also sits on the 4th of July committee for the town, wanted to bring back familiar games that would parents an opportunity to be involved with their children.

So come by early and pair up with your child&bsp; for a Frisbee toss, a bubble blowing area, a checkers championship, egg on spoon races, a jump rope championship and more.


Some of the best local and regional entertainers will be playing on the main stage at Stearns Park (see box for schedule).

Rock & Roll Reunion

Rock and Roll Reunion will take the stage from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering classic rock, beach and blues music. Based in Spartanburg, S.C., the group features front man guitarist Tom Crabtree, one of the best-loved television news anchors (Channel 7/WSPA-TV) in the Carolinas.

Red Dog & Winkie

Red Dog & Winkie will perform from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Winkie draws his influences from the coast, a love of the ocean and beaches. Jimmy Buffet music is a natural, mixed with a smooth blend of rock and easy listening. Red Dog, on the other hand, came from the School of Hard driving southern rock and blues. This unlikely pairing combine over 50 years of playing into a style they call “Island Blues.”

Country Spirit Band

The Country Spirit Band will play from 2:35-3:20 p.m. The group plays classic country, surf rock instrumentals (Dick Dale, Ventures, etc.), rockabilly and vintage rock tunes. Norm Cole originally founded the band in 1978 in Connecticut but after moving to Polk County in 2004 revived the band with current members Chuck Walker (rhythm guitar and vocals), Eddie Page (drums and vocals) and Steve Whiteside (bass and vocals).


Speedwell takes to the stage from 3:20-4:30 p.m. A group of musicians based out of the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina, Speedwell plays everything from classic and 80s rock to funk and country. The band’s influences include Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Linda Ronstadt, Cass Elliot, Aretha Franklin, KISS, Johnny Cash and many more. The band features Johnny Edney (drums and vocals), Randy Simpson (bass), Doug Hooper (guitar and vocals) and Marie Hooper (vocals).

Bucktown Kickback

Bucktown Kickback ( will be on stage from 5 – 6:15 p.m. The group offers “good old-fashioned, fiery, oh-mama-that’s-what-I-like roots tunes.”

Gary Ray and the Heartwells

Gary Ray and the Heartwells ( or will perform from 6:45-8 p.m. Whether the group is putting the country in rock n roll or vice versa, Gary Ray & the Heartwells from Atlanta, Ga, have been described as Zac Brown Band meets Jason Aldean.

Silver Travis

The Silver Travis band ( will perform from 8:30 – 9:45 p.m. The group was originally formed in Spartanburg, S.C. in 1981, playing their originals songs and covers of the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band broke up in the mid 80s, but in 2005 reunited to record its first album, “One Monkey Don’t Spoil the Show. In 2009 the band released its second album, Take The High Road. Silver Travis is a little bit country and a whole lot Southern rock with some fine ol blues tossed in for good measure.

5K run

An addition to the festival this year will be a 5K run sponsored by Ross Fox, who hopes it will be an annual event. The run will begin at 8 a.m. near the courthouse in downtown Columbus.

For more information about the Fabulous 4th in Columbus,&bsp; call (828) 894-8236, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.