Expecting to announce their decision this afternoon, the Stars, Stripes and Cartersville’s parade presenters are receiving the inside weather track from the procession’s grand marshal Markina Brown, a meteorologist for the CBS Atlanta News.
“She’s been saying that it looks like an 80 percent chance of rain,” said WBHF Radio 1450 AM Program Director Lee Burger, referring to Brown. “But, at the same time, we have a couple of choices right now and the decision will probably be made [this] afternoon. One of the choices is to completely forgo the parade and to cancel it. The second choice is to do it this coming Saturday.
“So far, we’re calling all the people who have signed up for the parade. Most of them are saying that Saturday is fine with them, but there are a number of people who would not be in the parade if we didn’t have it on the Fourth. ... We’ll have [the announcement] on our Facebook page. We’ll have it on the radio. Probably at 4, 5 and 6 [p.m.], we’ll have the announcement [Wednesday] on the news and also have it on our website, [www.wbhfradio.org].”
Generally drawing thousands of attendees, the Stars, Stripes and Cartersville’s daylong festivities — a parade and activities at Dellinger Park — on Thursday will benefit the Cartersville Morning Optimist Club’s outreach efforts.
If held, the Fourth of July parade — presented by WBHF radio and the Optimist Club and sponsored by Georgia Bank & Trust — will begin and end at Tabernacle Baptist Church’s parking lot. After lining up at 7:30 a.m., the entrants will depart at 9 a.m., proceeding down Douglas Street, Church Street, Bartow Street, Main Street, Stonewall Street and back to Church Street and Douglas Street.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Optimist Club still was planning to offer the Dellinger Park activities.
Starting at 10 a.m., the Dellinger Park offering will feature live entertainment, children’s activities, pony and camel rides, a petting zoo and a car show presented by the Shriners. A fireworks display will conclude the celebration at nightfall, courtesy of the Optimist Club and the city of Cartersville. While the event will not feature any admission fees, there will be a $2 parking charge.
“We met this morning and the plan was to continue to go on with the activities,” said Cartersville Morning Optimist Club member Bruce Lindler on Tuesday. “We’ve had a fair number of vendors who have signed up, not as many as in previous years. It’s not a political year but it’s still pretty good representation — food vendors, crafters and other folk. [The fireworks decision] would be [made] sometime on Thursday.”
With the fireworks being the main attraction of Cartersville Parks & Recreation’s Fireworks Hike Thursday, the evening offering also will depend on the weather. To be held at the Pine Mountain Trail, the guided hike’s participants will meet at 8:15 p.m. and depart from the West Trailhead at 8:30 p.m.
“We have not made a decision,” said Greg Anderson, director for the Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department. “Our decision will be tied into the Optimist Club, whether or not they’re able to shoot their fireworks. I talked to them [Tuesday], again everything right now is on for Thursday.
“If we do have to rain out the fireworks for Thursday night, they’ll be scheduled Friday night. If we have to rain out for Friday night, they’ll be scheduled Saturday night. So it’s going to be the first available date,” he said, adding the hike will correspond to the fireworks presentation. “... I guess what the city will do is we will send a CTY out, one of our broadcast things that go out to all the citizens of Cartersville, saying that we will have the Fireworks Hike.”
Also in the same boat is the Allatoona Yacht Club, which is presenting a fireworks display called Fireworks over Allatoona today about 9:30 p.m. The fireworks can be viewed by boat near the group’s clubhouse on Lake Allatoona and at various coves.
According to an email from the Allatoona Yacht Club, “A fireworks decision will be made at the last minute based upon weather. East Coast Pyro will be ready to set up and will make [a] decision whether they can make the show work.
“However, if the show must be delayed, the first back up date is Friday [July 5]. Same procedure will apply ... last minute decision. If we must cancel on Friday, second back up date is Sunday [July 7].”
For more information about The Allatoona Yacht Club, visit www.allatoonayachtclub.org.