By Sarah Reyburn
The annual celebration to mark Independence Day will be held at the Vesta Community Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. The event includes something for everyone, including an old time and bluegrass music competition, games and activities for youngsters, concessions for sale and a quilt show.
The family friendly celebration offers plenty of free parking and shady areas that are perfect for enjoying the day in comfort, whether in a lawn chair or on a blanket.
The event kicks off with an opening ceremony by Patrick County VFW Post 8467 to commemorate the meaning of Independence Day.
For nearly 60 years, the annual 4th of July Bluegrass and Old Time Music competition has been a featured event. Four categories of instruments are included along with vocal and flat footing competitions. Children, teens and adults compete with a banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin or vocals for first, second and third place cash prizes.
Bluegrass and Old-Time bands also vie for honors, along with flat footing dancers. All categories are competing for cash prizes. Advance registration is not required and anyone can participate. The music will start as people gather and will continue throughout the afternoon.
Youngsters will find a variety of games, from ring toss and a coin pitch where the lucky toss can win a pretty dish or plate, to a sack race competition and the ever-exciting egg toss.
Concessions will be available, whether a snack or a nice lunch of hotdogs with all the fixings, BBQ sandwiches and a variety of desserts. Homemade lemonade and soft drinks round out the menu. Much of the food is prepared by community volunteers, who also help with fundraising and maintenance of the community center.
The Mountain Top Quilters will exhibit a selection of handmade quilts that will be for sale. The featured annual raffle quilt is designed and collectively made by members of The Mountain Top Quilters group. It will be offered as the prize in a raffle, with proceeds earmarked to benefit the maintenance of the community center. Raffle tickets will be available for $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. You do not need to be present to win, but be sure to put your phone number on your tickets.
Vesta Community Center is located on Community Drive in Vesta, 4 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In the event of rain, the festivities will move into the community building.