Success of last year’s show cements choice by city for this year’s festivalby MICHAEL E. POWELL
Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Cherryville Colby Heffner said the city will be hosting its annual Independence Day Celebration on June 30, from 6-10 p.m., at Rudisill Stadium. Assistant Chief Heffner also added he will be the lead operator/IC for the event and Captain Nathan Bowman will be the lead shooter.
“The fireworks will be shot from the First Methodist Church parking lot and the best viewing location is within the Rudisill stadium complex,” said AFC Heffner, who is also the Safety Director.
He continued, “The Cherryville Fire Department would also like to remind all citizens that aerial fireworks are not permitted in North Carolina. It is strongly advised that the citizens of Cherryville refrain from shooting these types of fireworks and attend shows only operated by licensed professionals.”
Last year, it was noted in the Eagle the venue “…had to be changed; moved actually, due to construction work being done on the downtown area where past celebrations have normally been held.”
Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III welcomed everyone to the 2022 festivities and he will do the same this year.
Beam noted last year he saw “quite a few people there at the stadium,” adding, “When I left shortly after the fireworks began, I drove on Pink Street and saw many people in chairs watching. Even the tables at Houser Drug were filled with many, many people, and at the First Baptist Church parking lot I noticed a great many folks watching” with many more watching from vantage points in the downtown area as well.
Mayor Beam noted then, “It was great to see everybody come out to celebrate our Independence Day. I believe this was the largest crowd our city has entertained for the Independence celebration. I would suggest we continue at this location for future July 4th celebrations.”
Rudisill Stadium has the seating capabilities a large crowd needs Beam also noted later.
Thanks go to all the sponsors and volunteers that made this year’s celebration such a great success.”
City Manager Brian Dalton said of the 2022 event at Rudisill, “I felt that the July 4th (2022) celebration was a huge success! I have had nothing but positive comments about the event and being able to have it (there)!”
Mr. Dalton also noted he appreciated “…all the City employees working hard and the vendors for helping produce a great event. We also could not be successful without the many volunteers that help!”
Mary Beth Tackett, City of Cherryville Program Coordinator and Cherryville Chamber of Commerce Director, was on record last year, saying “We are so thankful that we were still able to have this year’s festival. We want to say a huge thank you to Gaston County Schools for partnering with us and allowing us to use Rudisill Stadium as a venue during our Streetscape construction. I would like to give a special shout out to (CHS Athletic Director) Scott Harrill for being there through the whole process and helping us out tremendously with this event. We would like to thank our sponsors, Main Street Family Care, Piedmont Lithium, FleetNet America, Hometown Direct Care, Somerset Court, (then) Gaston County Sheriff Alan and his wife, Cathy, NAPA Truck and Auto, and Wal-Mart.
“This event would not have been possible without our sponsors and of course volunteers. Our (2022) event team, made up of Gary Dellinger, Hannah Garrett, Mike Clark, Tina Clark, Allison Brewer and Emily Blackburn, were amazing as usual, and were there set up and to tear down. We had a ton of support from the City’s Public Works Department as well for this Independence Day Celebration. Those guys were there with us the whole time doing whatever needed to be done. It was a great help!
Of course, as always, thank you to the Cherryville Police Department for keeping us safe and to the Cherryville Fire Department for the amazing fireworks show!”
Cherryville Downtown Director David Day’s comments in the Eagle article on the 2022 ID4 celebration were equally thankful.
Said Mr. Day then, “I thought (the 2022) Independence celebration went extremely well, with the new locations and its challenges. The Cherryville High School athletic director, Scott Harrill, worked so well with the event leader, Mary Beth Tackett, and the festival and events team. I personally oversaw the beer garden, which was in a separate location from the festival. It was located on Hoyle Street. We were able to add the beer garden and this was a great asset to the festivities. We had so many volunteers from the community who helped make this successful in this temporary location and the experience brought huge crowds to the Cherryville festival which continued with its reputation of being one of the best in Gaston County.”
Cherryville Fire Chief Jason Wofford said of the 2022 celebration, “I am extremely thankful for all the firefighters who took the time away from family and vacations to help participate in setting off fireworks for our July 4th (2022) celebration. It takes a great amount of work to pull this off and they have done so for 20-plus years. Special thanks go to Assistant Chief (Colby) Heffner and Captain (Nathan) Bowman for putting on a great show. Everything went well without any reports of damage. I would also like to thank the First United Methodist Church and its members for allowing us to utilize their parking lot for the fireworks.”
Assistant Fire Chief Heffner was equally excited about how it all went down last year, noting, “I believe (the 2022) fireworks were great! Everything went as planned and there were no injuries reported that I am aware of! We had great support from our members at CFD, surrounding mutual aid departments (Waco VFD, Hugh’s Pond VFD and others, Cherryville Police, GEMS and Gaston County Sheriff’s Office), Gaston County Schools, and most importantly, First United Methodist Church! Their willingness to allow us to use their parking lot to shoot the fireworks created a safe viewing experience for all and we are very grateful for their support and cooperation. I have only heard positive comments from numerous citizens and city employees about the event. We are proud to serve in this capacity for the City of Cherryville and we look forward to always providing a safe, and enjoyable, fireworks display for the citizens and visitors of Cherryville!”
Captain Bowman echoed AFC Heffner’s sentiments, adding briefly, “I heard a lot of good things about the (2022) fireworks and celebration. I believe this year with the help of Waco, Hugh’s Pond, and Tryonota Fire Departments, it has helped our department grow closer together and strengthen our bonds with each other. We look forward to serving the city and celebrating our freedom for many years to come. We especially want to thank each and every veteran that has served, is serving, and that will serve, our great nation in the future.”
Then-Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks said the city workers did an excellent job, as did the men and women of the Cherryville Police Department and other attending law enforcement agencies who assisted that night, in making sure it was a safe and great celebration for the City of Cherryville.
For more information on future Cherryville events, go to the City of Cherryville’s website at www.cityofcherryville.com
or the Chamber’s web site at https://www.cityofcherryville.com/chamber-of-commerce