Both Woodstock and Canton are celebrating with parades, fireworks, music, fun and food.
In Woodstock, a patriotic parade will wind down Main Street from the old Wal-Mart building to Woodstock Elementary School on Rope Mill Road, beginning at 10 a.m.
Kyle Bennett, director of tourism and visitor center operations, said the parade typically draws about 8,000 people, and it is expected to be even bigger this year, after being rained out in 2013.
“After skipping a year, I think everyone is excited to enjoy the parade and fireworks again in Woodstock,” Bennett said.
With about 70 to 100 entries into the parade in years past, including both floats and walking groups, the parade is expected to last between an hour to an hour and a half, Bennett said.
After the parade, FreedomFest will take over the Park at City Center, at 101 Arnold Mill Road, with live music, craft and food vendors, children’s activities and other attractions.
Live music will be performed in the gazebo at the park all day, and there will be a bounce house for children and a cake walk for all ages, Bennett added.
FreedomFest will wrap up at about 3 p.m.
The city of Woodstock fireworks will be set off at dusk from behind the Target shopping center, at Highway 92 and Interstate 575.
Canton welcoming governor
In Canton, a parade sponsored by the local American Legion will march through downtown at 4 p.m., led by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Before the parade, the Declaration of Independence will be read in its entirety at 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Cherokee County Historic Courthouse in Canton for the Fourth of July Festival.
At 3 p.m., Penny Rae, a bluegrass band from Nashville, will be taking the stage as part of the celebration.
Deal will make remarks before the parade at 4 p.m., said Meghan Griffin, Canton Main Street director.
“Gov. Deal will be giving a few remarks on the solemnity of the holiday before leading the parade down Main Street,” Griffin said. “We will be passing out flags for all the kids, and hope to see a good crowd to welcome the governor.”
The parade is expected to include about 60 to 70 vehicles, including classic cars, antique tractors, Boy Scouts, fire trucks and a brass band, Griffin said. There will also be volunteers and others walking in the parade, she said.
“It should be good fun. First Friday starts at 3 p.m. Then, after the parade, we will go back to First Friday. It lasts until 6 p.m.,” Griffin said. “Then, people will have a chance to go to dinner and then see the fireworks at dusk.”
The fireworks are sponsored by Canton Tourism, Griffin said, and will take place behind Riverstone Mall, off Riverstone Parkway, at dusk.