The communities of the Dan River Basin know how to celebrate Independence Day, dating back to the early days of the American Republic.
Patrick Henry, the first governor of Virginia who is known for his fiery “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775, lived in what is now Henry County beginning in 1777. In fact, the county, which was split off from Pittsylvania County that year, was initially named “Patrick Henry County” and encompassed a much larger area of land. In 1785, the northern part of the county was made part of Franklin County, and five years later, the western part was split off to make Patrick County.
Patrick Henry went on to live at Leatherwood Plantation in Henry County from 1779 to 1784 and was the birthplace of several of his children. A marker placed in 1922 by the Daughters of the American Revolution still stands and can be visited today. You can also learn about history in the other county that bears his name at the Patrick County Historical Society & Museum in Stuart.
For most people, the 4th of July isn’t properly celebrated without parades and fireworks, and the Dan River communities offer a variety of options. Here are six more ways to celebrate around the region.
1) Rock out in Reidsville.
Reidsville, North Carolina’s celebration begins at 4 p.m., with fireworks over Lake Reidsville at 10 p.m. Musical acts include Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox, with opener the Executives, plus DJ Tez.
Fun stuff for kids: Water slides, bounce houses, rides, games, climbing and velcro walls.
2) Enjoy Eden.
Eden, North Carolina’s July 4th Fun Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Fair Funeral Home, with a route through the neighborhood. Prizes will be offered for parade entries. For more information, call 336-627-8918 and talk to Ann or Alice.
Then, enjoy Eden’s Ole Fashioned Fourth of July in Panther Stadium at Morehead High School. Gates open at 2 p.m., with fireworks at 10 p.m. Musical acts include the Holiday Band, Bullet Band, and Against the Lights.
Fun stuff for kids: Games, concessions, corn hole tournament
3) Do the 4th in Danville.
Danville’s annual Fourth of July Celebration is full of fun events and ends with fireworks at the Carrington Pavilion!
This year’s event will feature returning favorites such as the Scrap Exchange Make and Take program and Captain Jim’s Magic Shows.
Fun stuff for kids (and grown-ups): Start off the day with Danville’s Tenth Annual Patriot Challenge, which will be held at Anglers Park on the Mountain Bike trails again. This year’s race will feature a 5K, 10K, and a Kids Fun Run. The 5K/10K registration fee is $30 and the kids fun run fee is $5. An ice cream ticket is included in all race packets. It cost $2 for non-race participants. Registration on the day of the race will be $40, cash only.
7:00 am – Registration Opens
8:00 am – Kids Fun Run
8:30 am – 5K/10K Trail Run
Awards will be given after the Ice Cream Social
4) Mount up for Mount Airy.
Mount Airy will host a Downtown Parade on July 4th and fireworks that evening. For more details, contact the Mount Airy Visitors Center at 336-786-6116.
Fun stuff for kids: A pie-eating contest.
5) Roll down to Roxboro.
Roxboro’s Independence Day parade begins at 10 am in Historic Uptown Roxboro. Line-up will begin at 9 am at the intersection of Lamar and Morehead Streets, by the Museum. The theme for this year’s parade is Peace, Love, and the 4th of July.
The fireworks display in the evening will be at Person High School, 1010 Ridge Rd, Roxboro, NC 27573.
6) Have at it in Halifax County.
The Halifax County 4th of July celebration takes place in South Boston, Virginia. The parade begins at 6 p.m., starting at Enterprise and ending at the end of Main Street
Festivities and entertainment follow at 7 p.m. in Constitution Square. Fireworks follow at 9:30 p.m.
For more information, visit downtownsobo.com.
7) Party in Patrick County
Patrick County’s celebration takes place at Dehart Park and is free.
Circles Around the Sun Yoga kicks off the day with a free yoga class at 8 a.m. Bring a mat and towel to the Hospice Garden area to join in.
At 9 a.m., take a walk down memory lane at the cruise-in, with a wide range of classic cars on site all morning.
The children’s parade will begin at 10 a.m. Children will fly the American flag from wagons, strollers, and trikes while the national anthem plays. The Red, White, and Blue Children’s Carnival follows the parade, with sack races, ring toss, pick-a- duck, and more. Inflatables activities start at noon and last into the evening.
The pool will be open until 9 p.m., hosting favorite pool games and water balloon fun. Admission to the pool is $5.
Local band Slick Jr. & The Reactors will be playing before the fireworks show at 8 p.m.
Grand fireworks show takes place at 9:30 p.m.