Friendship Festival in Bear Creek July 6

Bear Creek Mayor Rob Taylor and Town Clerk Kay Wiginton show T-shirts for the Friendship Festival celebrating Independence Day that are available for purchase.

BEAR CREEK - Patriotism will be front and center in Bear Creek on Saturday, July 6, as the town holds its annual Friendship Festival at Twin Forks Park, located off of County Highway 79.
Town officials are preparing for the largest crowd in years to come out for the live music, arts, crafts, food vendors and car show, capped off by at least a 30-minute fireworks show that night, Bear Creek Mayor Rob Taylor said.
The day’s activities will kick off at 11 a.m. and last throughout the day, ending after the fireworks show, which will be held at 9 p.m., the mayor stated.
“Everything will happen basically in the picnic area of the park, which will be around the stage area,” Taylor noted.
Arts, crafts and food vendors will begin their sales at 11 a.m., adjacent to the picnic pavilion and basketball court area, with a car show in the open area behind the basketball court and ball fields, town officials stated.
There will not be a motorcycle poker run nor a barbecue cook-off this year, town officials said.
Activities at the festival will be spread out more this year to give visitors better access to activities, Taylor indicated.
“The last couple of years, the festival has been so congested,” Taylor said. “This year, we are going to try to spread some things out. Instead of everybody having to go into the ball field (for the car show), we are going to have cars back behind it.”
The music will begin at 12:30 p.m. with Mia Adair, followed by Joseph Baldwin at 2 p.m., Dustin Busbee and Nathan Sandlin at 3:30 p.m. and the South Layne Band at 5:30 p.m.
Headliners Wayne Sutherland and the Showtime Band will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and perform until 9 p.m., after which the large fireworks show will be held from ball field 1, Taylor said.
Winston County Grays Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will have cannon firings throughout the day, organizers said.
“Bring your lawn chairs for a day filled with music, fellowship, food, merchandise, cars,” Taylor pointed out.

Car show
Although the festival officially begins at 11 a.m., registration for the car show starts at 8 a.m. Registration ends at 11 a.m. Registration is on-site the day of the car show only.
Awards will be given out at 1 p.m. in three different categories for cars and three categories for trucks, as well as the Mayor’s Choice, Best of Show and Best Motorcycle, according to Sam Heath, car show organizer.
Cars will be displayed in the open area behind the ball fields, with an entry fee of $15 per vehicle, Heath said.
For more information, interested attendees may contact Heath at 205-269-3663.
“Come out and enjoy. Looking is free,” Heath said. “We’ll be giving away free door prizes to car show entrants every 15 minutes.”
Proceeds from the car show will benefit the Town of Bear Creek, Heath said.    

information and deadlines

Arts, crafts and food vendors should contact Bear Creek Town Clerk Kay Wiginton at town hall at 205-486-4707, so an application can be completed.
Arts and crafts, as well as food vendors, will be charged $30 for a 12 x 12 non-electric space, Wiginton said. Vendors needing electricity must bring their own generators.
The deadline for food vendor applications is Friday, June 29. The deadline for arts and crafts vendors is Wednesday, July 3. No applications will be accepted after this date.
Parking will be available on the grassy area to the left of the entrance road into Twin Forks Park during the festival, but the number of attendees entering the park area usually  grows tremendously in preparation for the fireworks show, the mayor stated.
Plans are for the town to have golf carts to shuttle people from the parking area to the festival, town officials said.

Fireworks show

Spectators can have a good view of the fireworks from basically any area throughout the park. The show can also be viewed by boaters on Bear Creek, according to Taylor.
“Ever since we’ve had the Friendship Festival, we’ve had people on the lake in their boats watch the fireworks,” Taylor said.
“Everywhere in the day use area (of Twin Forks Park) attendees have been able to see it,” the mayor added. “The best viewing is right in front of the stage.”
Patriotic music will be played through speakers onstage during the fireworks show, according to Taylor.
“We hope to have great weather, and everyone can come out and enjoy good food, vendors and great music,” Wiginton said.
Friendship Festival T-shirts make great collector’s items. Shirts from small to 3X are $15 and come in  mint green and stone grey. Attendees can also purchase a T-shirt ahead of time at Bear Creek Town Hall to wear to the festival.



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