Hope’s Old-fashioned Independence Day returns Friday

An evening’s worth of family fun, much of it free, is planned Friday in Hope for the annual Old-Fashioned Independence Day celebration.

Events are conducted on or around the Historic Hope Town Square, State Road 9, sponsored by the Yellow Trail Museum, where more than 1,000 people gather each July for the holiday.

Activities begin at 5 p.m. with the opening of food booths:

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Hartsville Fire Department will operate a fish fry, with proceeds going to the museum.

First Baptist Church of Hope will be selling hot dogs, coney dogs, sloppy Joes and other sandwiches.

Kappa Kappa Sigma sorority will serve fruit crisp with home-made ice cream.

Hope Moravian Church youth group will sell Lemon Shake-Ups.

The Yellow Trail Museum, 644 Main Street, will sell root beer floats.

Most restaurants around the square are also open, and the Farmers Market of Hope will sell fresh produce and other items between 5 and 8 p.m., Yellow Trail Museum volunteer Barb Johnson said.

The first organized activity is the children’s decorated bicycle, stroller and wagon parade. Line up by 5:15 p.m. at the pump house on the square, with the parade around the square departing at 5:30 p.m., with prizes to be awarded.

Also on the schedule:

Free old-fashioned kid/family games, starting at 5:30 p.m. The messier ones, the watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests, start after 7 p.m., Johnson said.

Cake walk, 5:30 p.m. in the shelter house.

Apple pie-baking contest with two categories — kids through age 12 and adults. Three prizes will be awarded in each category, $25, $15 and $10. Bring pies by 5:45 p.m. to the north side of the square, with judging to begin about 6 p.m.

Danny Russell will portray the late President Abraham Lincoln at 6:30 p.m.

Music on the bandstand will be provided by the Banister Family Bluegrass Band, based in Columbus, from about 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Fireworks conclude scheduled activities, starting between 9:45 and 10 p.m. in the western sky. Visitors are invited to bring blankets or lawn chairs.

“We’re expecting just as fantastic a display as last year,” Johnson said.

Pony rides will be available for a fee, operated by Rick Foster across the street from the north side of the square.

The Hope Volunteer Fire Department will provide a Touch a Truck experience for children.

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When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Hope Town Square, State Road 9, and areas nearby

Activities: Children’s parade, free contests and games, sponsored by Yellow Trail Museum

Food booths: Variety of menu items, including dessert and beverages

Music: Banister Family Bluegrass Band, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Parking: Free

Information: Call Barb Johnson at 812-371-7969.