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No need to leave county for July 4
Three family friendly events on tap in S. Bryan
Larry Barker and his band are slated to perform at Station Xchange, just prior to the fireworks display. Organizers say the fireworks will set off at dusk, or around 9 p.m.

If high gas prices mean you’ll be sticking around Bryan County for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, there won’t be a lack of things to do. There are two big events taking place right here inside county lines.

J.F. Gregory Park will once again play host to the Richmond Hill Recreation Department’s annual ‘Ol Time Family Festival while Fort McAllister will host their annual event. Both are lined up with entertainment and activities for both kids and adults and should certainly give locals a reason not to hit the road this holiday.

The Family Festival in the park opens at 2 p.m. with both wet and dry inflatable rides. There will also be carnival games, a carousel, a rock climbing wall, pony rides, live music and of course – fireworks.

RHRA’s Shelly Sauls, who is organizing the event, said the event is not a fundraiser for the rec, but rather "is our way to give back to the community." The City of Richmond Hill is lending a big hand by financing the $7,500 fireworks display, which will take place at dusk – predicted to kick off around 9:15 p.m.

A highlight of the festival in the park is sure to be the annual ‘Richmond Hill Idol’ event. The 12 finalists will each perform one song from 6-7 p.m. which concludes with a 2009 champion being crowned.

Sauls said she saw a lot of very talented local singers at tryouts and is predicting this year’s Idol to be the best yet.

Immediately after ‘Richmond Hill Idol’, rock band Shift N Gears hits the stage. The Richmond Hill-based group will play a mix of new and classic rock from 7 p.m. until just before the fireworks display begins.

Due to ongoing construction at the City Center and the amphitheater, there will be no parking allowed inside the park. Visitors can park at city hall or other adjacent locations. Admission is free. For more information, call 756-4626.

Meanwhile, a full slew of colonial-themed festivities are lined up at Fort McAllister State Park. The festivities begin with a musket firing at 10 a.m. and will have continuous shows and activities up until the cannon firing at 4 p.m.

Events at Fort McAllister on the Fourth include wheelbarrow races, ‘Civil War style’ baseball, watermelon cutting and seed spitting contests, sack races, tug-a-rope and more.

"We’re anticipating a very nice day," said Donna Gooch, a clerk at Fort McAllister. "We hope to have a good turnout because we’ve got a lot of great activities lined up that the whole family can enjoy."

Admission to the Fort Mac event is $5 for adults and $3.50 for children. For more details, call 727-2339.

Even more music is available over at Station Xchange as Larry Barker hits the stage just before the fireworks.

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