Fabulous Fourth of July: Rides, classic cars, music, recognition of EMS personnel promises a fun-filled celebration

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, July 2, 2015


By Michael O’Hearn, Intern

This Fourth of July, children and adults alike can head to Columbus to take part in the 2015 Fabulous Fourth festival to celebrate Independence Day.

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The festival will take place in front of Stearns School on E. Mills Street from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. At 9:45 p.m., fireworks will close the festival.

According to Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield, E. Mills Street will be closed for the festival stretching from the Bank of America to the Visitor’s Center in Columbus beginning at 5 a.m. to divert traffic flow from the main area of the festival.

“We’ll do the same thing that we have been doing for the last 20-something years,” Beddingfield explained. “We usually don’t have traffic during the festival but we will once it’s over and what we do is try to send people out of town. If you’re on the Food Lion side, you’ll be going towards I-26 and will have to take the I-74 bypass to get to the Mill Spring side of town, for instance. If we didn’t do that, the roads in town would become impassable and essentially a gridlock.”

Traffic coming from I-26 down NC 108 will be detoured down Walker Street to Ward Street and then back up S. Peak Street to NC 108. Conversely, those coming from the Mill Spring side of town will be diverted to S. Peak Street down to Ward Street and back up Walker Street to NC 108, according to Beddingfield. [See inset map]

Vendors ranging from Foothills Mountain BBQ to Polk Baptist Association to Thomas Shaved Ice and Face Painting by Donnie and Melissa will be on-site to provide food and entertainment to visitors for the entirety of the festival. The total number of vendors will be 65.

Rides for the festival will open today starting at 5 p.m. at Stearns and will be provided by ABC Party Rentals. Tickets for those rides will be available for purchase from vendors at the festival the evening of July 3 and all day Saturday, July 4.

Crossroads Baptist Church will be sponsoring the Kids and Family Games, also at Stearns, and that event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Fourth.

Anita Williamson will begin the ceremonies by singing the National Anthem. Veterans will be honored and recognized at noon in an hour sponsored by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars association of Columbus.

The Little Detroit Car Club of Polk and Rutherford Counties will be hosting their antique car show this year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Gibson Street in downtown Columbus. No entry fee is necessary to enter cars and the most popular cars, voted on by the people in attendance, will receive door prizes.

The Polk County Tailgate Market will be a part of the festival at 10 a.m., providing food and supplies for visitors wanting to do their own cookouts.

Bands from across the area will also be present at the festival. Those featured at the festival include Joyful Noise, a youth gospel group from Sunny View Baptist Church, Patrick Ballard from Flat Rock, southern rock cover band Loaded Toad, eclectic band Project X and Silver Travis.

Polk County will also honor EMS and first responder personnel from across the county who go above and beyond the call of duty in their line of work in various departments that support the residents of the county from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The agencies that will be included are the Polk County Sherriff’s Department, the Police Departments of Tryon, Columbus, Saluda, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, the Polk County Communications Center, the Fire Departments of Tryon, Columbus, Saluda, Mill Spring, Green Creek, Sunny View, the Polk County Rescue Squad, EMS, First Responder and Emergency Management and Animal Control.

The Rock and Roll Reunion band, fronted by WSPA-TV news anchor Tom Crabtree, will return to the festival at 5 p.m., playing classic rock hits from bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Beatles and Van Morrison.

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Bands at the Fabulous Fourth

Joyful Noise

Joyful Noise is a family based, Southern Gospel group from Sunny View, N.C. Their biggest desire is to spread the gospel through song. They enjoy worshipping at their home church, New Hope Baptist, located in Marietta, S.C. with Pastor John Parker. They believe in old-fashioned singing, praying and preaching! The group is made up of five siblings including Luke and Dezma Phillips, Morgan and Anna Hodge, and Ian Campbell.


Patrick Ballard
Patrick Ballard, the Guitar Blues man, will perform a blues set as well as a solo banjo set at 1 p.m. You will hear the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Fred McDowell, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly as well as his original compositions. Ballard is from Flat Rock and teaches banjo, mandolin, and guitar lessons privately.

Loaded Toad
Loaded Toad is a cover band that formed in 2011. If you enjoy The Allman Brothers, Marshal Tucker, Bob Seger, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, you will enjoy Loaded Toad. Chris Powell, guitar and vocals, Randy Simpson, bass, and Johnny Edney, drums and vocals. Search Facebook for Loaded Toad to learn more.
Rock and Roll Reunion
Rock and Roll Reunion of Spartanburg is excited to be returning to the Fabulous Fourth in Columbus. The band is celebrating 20 years of performing classic rock, beach and blues in Upstate South Carolina, Western North Carolina and Northeast Georgia. The band’s leader and guitarist is Tom Crabtree of WSPA-TV, one of the Carolinas’ best-known television news anchors. The group also includes Sonny Stokes (bass guitar), Tim Walker (drums), Andre Kerr (keyboards/saxophone) and Fred Miller (keyboards/guitar). Rock and Roll Reunion performs the hits of the Beatles, CCR, Delbert McClinton, Van Morrison and many other popular artists.


Project X

The music of Project X is an eclectic blend of classic and obscure covers from rock and roll, beach music, southern favorites, 80’s to modern hits, interlaced with powerful originals, by X member Carey Upton. Along with Upton on guitar and keyboard, band members include Julie Miller on percussion and keyboard, Calem Upton on drums, Woody Cowan on bass, and Brandon Upton on guitar.


Silver Travis

Silver Travis, a local favorite band, has been playing in the area for many years. Silver Travis is a little bit country and a whole lot Southern Rock, with some good ol’ blues tossed in for good measure. The band boasts a rich catalog of original tunes, with choice cover tunes peppered throughout their show.


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2015 Vendors

GC Missionary Baptist Church
Rob and Rachel Hensley
Red Hawk Studios
3rd Degree Softball Team
Foothills Mountain BBQ
Luscious Lemon
Harry’s BBQ
Bo’s Fun Foods
Britt’s Belts
Bluzie Boys
Made for Missions Jewelry
Annette’s Crafts
Jane Bezold
About Face
Polk County Democratic Party
R & J Creations
Eco View Window Gutter Helmet
State Line Catering
Carolina Chiropractic Plus
Thomas Shaved Ice
JL’s Crafts
Helen Stewart
Aunt BB’s Designs
Shannon Greene
Julie Lovelance Avon
Hand of Hope for Life
Polk Baptist Association
Paradise Home Improvement
Polk County Transportation
Polk County Republican Party
K & M Concessions
Nanike Originals
New York Life
Emily Ruth Tyner
American Legion
Mile High Concessions
Susan Guffey Crafts
Wanda Overhulser Tupperware
Partylite Candles
Get Thirsty Ministry
Face Painting by Donnie and Melissa
Brittany’s Burgers
Save Our Slopes
PC Thunder
Carolina Embroidery Design
Itala Flores
Polk County Historical Assocation
Hand Crafted Wreaths
Columbus-Tryon Tailgate

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Schedule of Events

10 a.m.                        Opening Ceremonies and Star Spangled Banner by Anita Williamson
10:10 a.m.       Joyful Noise
11 a.m.                        Patrick Ballard – Guitar Blues Man
12 p.m.                        Veterans Hour with House of Flags to honor our service members
1 p.m.              Michael Crisp – Guitar and singing to oldies and contemporary
2 p.m.              Law Enforcement & First Responder Appreciation Program
2:30 p.m.         Shades of Time – Classic rock and favorite country songs
3:45 p.m.         Crescent Moon Blues – Red Dog and friends
5 p.m.              Rock and Roll Reunion – classic rock and favorites
6:15 p.m.         Loaded Toad – Southern and classic rock and blues
7:30 p.m.         Silver Travis – southern rock, country, blues and originals
8:40 p.m.         Project X – Eclectic classic rock, obscure 80’s covers, modern hits and originals
9:40 p.m.         Star Spangled Banner – Julie from Project-X
9:45 p.m.         Fireworks!