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Food, fun set the tone for holiday

Dawson Day celebration kicks off Fourth weekend

POSTED: July 8, 2009 4:00 a.m.
Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton/

The inflatable Titanic slide was a popular attraction among the county's younger residents.

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Before James Tolbert could begin celebrating the nation’s birthday, he got soaking wet in a dunk tank.


Tolbert, Dawson County’s facilities director, was one of several local personalities to “take the plunge” during Friday’s Dawson Day Thunder in the Sky Fireworks Extravaganza.


The event, which offered an early start to the July Fourth weekend, featured a variety of family fun including a rock-climbing wall, face painting, dance contests and live music.


“You can’t dunk me, you throw like a girl,” Tolbert said to 10-year-old Jordan Waddell, who repeatedly dunked him after paying $10 for 25 throws.


Proceeds from the dunking booth went to support the local parks and recreation system.


“Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays,” said sisters Michelle and Kimberly Jarrard, who were dancing to the music. “We are having a good time out here.”


The teenagers said being with friends and family is what made the celebration so fun. Well, that and the fireworks.


Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner said the county was pleased to have had a hand in organizing the event with the Dawson Community News.


“This was a first for Dawson County and our way to provide our citizens with an exciting night for the entire family in celebration of the Independence Day holiday,” he said.


Also pleased with the event was Cathy Brooks, the county’s government and community affairs representative.


“Approximately 10,000 people came out Friday to kick off the holiday weekend with their friends and family,” Brooks said. “... We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and county employees who put forth a great effort and made the event possible.”


Brooks noted the county hopes to make this an annual event.


Featured entertainment for the evening was provided by The Frogz, an Atlanta-based, six-piece, dance music band.


The celebration culminated with a nearly 30-minute fireworks show at dark.


“The fireworks display was excellent, and I’ve even heard that it has had some rave reviews,” Brooks said. “All in all, it was a stellar event. There was a variety of food and a variety of entertainment. There was something for everyone.”


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