DeHart Park gears up for an old-fashioned celebration

Grab your family and friends. It’s Stuart’s favorite hometown tradition, the July 4th Celebration. This year, the fun kicks off at 8 a.m. and continues throughout the day before ending with the crowd-pleasing firework display at 9:30 p.m.

“This year’s focus is to fill the park with activities all day long. We want everyone to feel welcome and will offer a wide variety of events for all ages.” said Frank Pettway, event coordinator.

Circles Around the Sun Yoga is kicking 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.

Beginning at 9 a.m., you’re invited to take a walk down memory lane at the cruise-in. There will be a wide range of classic cars on site all morning.

The children’s parade is slated to begin at 10 a.m., and according to organizers, “nothing beats the tradition of patriotic children in wagons, strollers, and trikes parading the American Flag to be hoisted up during the National Anthem.”

The Red, White, and Blue Children’s Carnival is new and just in time for this year’s event. It will feature sack races, a Strong Man game, Pick-a-Duck, and more. There also will be a homegrown obstacle course and hay bale maze for the youngsters to enjoy.

An old fashioned pie eating competition will be held at noon. “You will not want to miss” it, organizers said.

From 1 to 3 p.m., Patrick County’s own, Chad Lange Nature Freak will be on site to provide two exciting hands-on exhibits featuring Marvelous Mammals and Magical Macros. Both exhibits will be held down by the creek.

Free inflatable games and a rock climbing wall will be available from 1 to 9 p.m. for all ages.

Vendors also will be set up throughout the event, providing everything from handmade craft items to food truck fare.

The pool remains open until 9 p.m. and will be hosting all your favorite pool games and water balloon fun.

“We have been blessed with an incredible amount of support from local businesses and organizations,” said Amy Corns, 2017 president of Stuart Park and Recreation Association.

“There are over 35 groups who are partnering with Stuart Park and Recreation Association to make the Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration a success. We have been able to keep the entire event free thanks to local sponsors and those willing to donate their time.”

As the headlining sponsor, the Patrick County Tourism Advisory Council will be at DeHart Park all day participating in the fun. Stop by their tent to learn about the latest and greatest happenings of the county and get your face painted too.

STEP, Inc. is this year’s Children’s Parade sponsor. The organization will also be on site to partake in the day.

DeHart Park is a community park located at 212 Wood Brothers Drive, Stuart. It features a swimming pool for summertime recreational and competitive swimming, three ball fields, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a newly extended walking and fitness trail, three picnic shelters, a Hospice Garden, and a playground for children.

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