Oakboro 4th of July celebration returns for 63rd year

(SOURCE: Jesse Deal)

OAKBORO — After being limited to a scaled-down, resident-organized event schedule last year, the 63rd annual Oakboro 4th of July Celebration is currently underway at normal capacity with its traditional slate of activities.  

The parade, rides, pageants, talent show and live bands that were absent in 2020 are back in full force for an event lineup that began Tuesday and runs through Saturday.  

“It’s a relief and a lot of excitement that we’re able to get back to the norm,” said Shea Morton, the assistant fire chief and chairman of the 4th of July Celebration Committee for the Oakboro Fire Department. “This celebration puts us on the map — we have people who come from multiple counties away. There’s even a lady from Florida who came across us about 12 years ago, and now she makes the drive every year.” 

Morton told SCJ that the fire department expects a bigger crowd than normal for this year’s event due to the nature of the past year and a half. 

“We’re looking forward to having people back, and we have a feeling that this might be one of our biggest on record as far as the attendance. People are tired of not being able to go out and do anything.” 

With Independence Day falling on a Sunday this year, Oakboro’s 4th of July Celebration Committee is keeping to its tradition of withholding Sunday events by concluding the week with Saturday night fireworks.  

“It works out best all the way around for us to just end it on Saturday,” Morton said.  

This week’s lineup of events officially kicked off on Tuesday night with the Little Miss 4th of July Pageant and the opening of the rides provided by the B&K Carnival Company. The rides are available from Tuesday to Friday between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.  

Each night will also feature free live music acts performing on the Union Power Stage: Darrell Harwood (Tuesday), Blackwater Rhythm and Blues (Wednesday), Tim Clark (Thursday), The Entertainers (Friday) and The Tonez (Saturday). 

Thursday will be highlighted by a local talent showcase at 6 p.m. — those interested in participating can sign up at the Oakboro Fire Department on Wednesday between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.  

The 63rd annual Oakboro 4th of July Parade is set for Saturday at 9 p.m. and will be followed by patriotic ceremonies, a speech by Oakboro Mayor Joyce Little, and the Miss Stanly County Fire Queen Pageant. Later that night, the official fireworks display is slated to take place following the conclusion of The Tonez’ live performance.