Credit union to sponsor Canton fireworks show

Plenty of July 4th festivities in Haywood
By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 22, 2013

Canton residents will see fireworks light up the sky this year for the first time during the town's second July 4th celebration.

In years past, those who live on the eastern end of the county were forced to travel to Waynesville, Maggie Valley or elsewhere to enjoy a fireworks show on Independence Day. But all that will change this year thanks to the generosity of a longtime Canton business.

Canton Mayor Mike Ray readily accepted Clayton's offer.

“We do so appreciate Mr. Mike Clayton and Champion Credit Union for their generous gift of sponsoring the fireworks show for our town. This hopefully be another event which is planned for our community to bring back the wonderful feeling of living in a small town and for our friends and families to be able to celebrate this important day together," said Mayor Mike Ray, who is helping sponsor this event

Last year marked Canton’s first official July 4th celebration, which included music, dancing and watermelons all paid for by the mayor.

Plans by a Canton resident to shoot off fireworks to conclude the celebration last year were thwarted when police were notified that there had been no permit retained for fireworks.

But this year, all necessary steps have been taken to make sure the fireworks go off without a hitch. The fireworks will be set off in the field near Riverview Farm & Garden.

South Carolina company Southeastern Pyrotechnics Inc. handled the liability insurance, site planning and permitting. The fireworks were approved by county commissioners at their meeting June 3.

The Haywood County fire marshal will be on hand prior to the fireworks show to review the site for safety.

The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. with music and dancing in the street at Sorrells Street Park. And just like last year, the mayor will provide dozens of fresh watermelons for free and children may participate in a watermelon rolling and watermelon seed spitting contests. Grilled burgers, hot dogs, desserts and more will be available for purchase. There will also be a castle bounce house for children to enjoy and a group of young musicians called the Little Creek Bluegrass Band will be performing unplugged, Ray said.

Champion Credit Union is the sole sponsor for the fireworks show, which is scheduled to begin at dusk as the music and activities of the day are winding down.

Ray said festival goers can bring blankets and lawn chairs to set up on the lawn at Sorrells Street Park to watch the fireworks.



If you’re not planning on being in Canton on July 4th, there are plenty of other celebrations going on across the county.

Lake Junaluska

As a part of its centennial celebration, Lake Junaluska is holding a weeklong schedule of events starting Sunday, June 30. Here is the full listing of events at the lake on July 4th:

Morning Meditation:

Start Independence Day off with a meditation service at 7 a.m. at the sandy beach by the Junaluska pool. The Rev. Mark Conforti will lead a service of Baptism Renewal.

Independence Day Parade:

The 2013 Lake Junaluska parade will last from 11 a.m. to noon with the theme “Lake Junaluska Through The Decades.” Reunion participants, locals, families and others are welcome to participate in the parade. Floats should represent a decade in the history of Lake Junaluska.

Those interested in participating should contact Buddy Young at or download a registration form from

BBQ Picnic and Family Activities:

A barbecue meal and family fun will last from noon to 2 p.m. at the Nanci Weldon Gym following the parade. Tickets for adults cost $8, children ages 6 to 11 are $5 and children 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Bethea Welcome Center.

Lake Junaluska Singers Concert:

Watch a patriotic performance prior to the fireworks show at 7:30 p.m. at the Stuart Auditorium. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating and $17.50 for general admission. Students and children 18 and under are free in the general seating area. Tickets are available for purchase at

Fireworks Show:

The popular annual fireworks show will begin at 9:45 p.m.


4th of July Celebration at Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church

Visit the church at 133 Old Clyde Road at 6:30 p.m. to watch a live bluegrass band and play plenty of old fashioned games including cornhole, egg toss, watermelon seed spitting contest, sack races, volleyball and more.

There will also be hotdogs, hamburgers, sides and funnel cakes. Children are encouraged to bring bicycles and scooters. The fireworks at Lake Junaluska, set to start at 9:45 p.m., can easily be seen from the church.