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Fourth of July celebrations planned for Eastern Panhandle


The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  — Parades, picnics, American history and, of course, fireworks will be taking place on and around July 4th in the Eastern Panhandle area.

Independence Day Celebration at Sam Michael’s Park.
(Photo by Ron Agnir)

The city of Martinsburg and Jefferson County are gearing up for their annual fireworks shows in celebration of America’s Independence Day.

Although Martinsburg will not have a designated area for people to park and enjoy the show, which is slated to begin around 9:30 Tuesday night, the fireworks will be set off from Townsend Field, which is situated between Old Mill Road, North Tennessee Avenue and Interstate 81 at the west end of the city. The rain date is Wednesday, July 5th, also around 9:30 p.m.

Those wishing to view the fireworks should make arrangements prior to Tuesday. Parking along the entrance and exit ramps of Interstate 81 is prohibited, and residents and visitors are expected to follow “no parking” signs posted on private, residential and business properties.

The Jefferson County fireworks show will take place on Saturday, July 1, at Sam Michael’s Park, which is located on Job Corps Road off Flowing Springs Road near Harpers Ferry, and begin around 9:15 p.m. Admission and parking at the park are free, and the gates open at 5 p.m.

Although those in attendance are allowed to bring their own food to the park, the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission requests that people do not bring pets, alcohol or glass. At least 10 food vendors will be present at the park, as well as craft and home business vendors. All proceeds will go toward next year’s fireworks festivities.

Both Martinsburg and Jefferson County are planning to have family activities before the fireworks shows.

War Memorial Park will be open from dawn to dusk on the 4th, and open picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All pavilions are for those who have made previous reservations. Swimming at the park is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. The park will also have concessions and mini golf from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Although the park will be open for daytime activities, individuals will not be able to stay at the park to view fireworks.

The Jefferson County fireworks is sponsored by the Skinner Law Firm.

At Sam Michael’s Park, there will be two moon bounces — one for children five and under, and one for children between the ages of 5 and 12 — and a 20-foot inflatable slide. Vendors at the park will also be selling glowsticks and glowing toys for children.

The City of Martinsburg Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State Police will be assisting people at War Memorial Park throughout the day.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will hold its annual July 4th fireworks display on Saturday, July 1. The display has been held each year since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Activities include tug of war and water bucket brigade games, guided trail walks and free tours that focus on John Brown and the Civil War. The park also holds a concert on Independence Day, with performers such as the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps playing in the afternoon. The festivities also include living history demonstrations and patriotic arts and crafts, games and displays that hearken back to the year 1860, just before the start of the Civil War.

The Harpers Ferry Women’s Club has planned its annual traditional Fourth of July celebration at the town’s Gazebo Park. The festivities — held at midday — include a band playing patriotic tunes, plenty of red, white and blue bunting and food such as hot dogs, watermelon, cookies and beverages.

The Rohrersville Cornet Band from Washington County, Maryland, will provide the patriotic music.

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