Thousands descended on Demorest for the city’s annual Independence Day celebration. (Daniel Purcell/Now Habersham)
It’s a tradition that dates back 130-years. July 4th in Demorest always draws a crowd and this year’s Independence Day celebration was no different. Thousands braved the heat and humidity for some wholesome family Fourth fun.
Highlights included a patriotic parade, a concert by local country music recording artist John King, and fireworks.
Local Vietnam veterans served as this year’s parade Grand Marshals.
“They went and fought valiantly and came home to a country that was unappreciative in many cases so it’s our opportunity to honor them for their service,” Demorest Mayor Rick Austin said prior to the parade.
Vendors set up downtown and created a festival-like atmosphere with activities the whole family could enjoy. There were inflatables, crafts, music, and food. The City also organized horseshe and cornhole tournaments, adding to the southern classic flair of Thursday’s event.
A line-up of locally well-known musicians performed prior to King. Mat Fried, Alan Baker and the Working Man Band, and Steve Bryson revved up the crowd. King, fresh off his latest appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, kept the celebration going right up until fireworks at dark.
Austin says Demorest’s Independence Day celebration is the “longest running Inedpendence Day celebration in the southeast.” The first one was held in 1889 and it’s been held every year but two ever since. On those two occasions the event had to be canceled due to the weather.
While there were some concerns about possible rain Thursday, the weather held out and folks poured into the middle of Central Avenue/Highway 441 around 9 p.m. to watch the fireworks display.
Demorest’s Independence Day celebration costs the city around $30,000 each year. It takes city employees about six months to plan and organize.
Click here to view more photos of Demorest’s Independence Day celebration.