Yadkin County will begin celebrating the nation’s birthday on Saturday with the annual East Bend God and Country Celebration. The festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a parade down Main Street in East Bend.
This year’s grand marshal will be Gary D. Martin. He will be celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary this year as well as his 50th anniversary of serving with the East Bend Volunteer Fire Department.
Martin is an East Bend native, born at his family home off Shady Grove Church Road. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1971, where he was stationed in South Korea with the Air Defense Artillery as a fire control operator for Hawk missiles.
Martin is also a past chief of the fire department and continues to serve as assistant chief. He has received three Firefighter of the Year awards and the First Responder Award consecutively from 2007 to 2017. Martin also has served on the God and Country Celebration and Small Town Christmas committee for many years.
Following the parade, the celebration will continue at 11:15 a.m. on the grounds of East Bend Elementary School. A special service recognizing veterans will begin the program and announcement of the parade float winners.
Entertainment from noon to 4 p.m. will feature the Rhodes Family, Common Ground and the Stan Bobbit Band.
The East Bend Volunteer Fire Department will keep things cool for the children with a water spray from the fire hoses during the afternoon.
An evening service will take place at 6:30 p.m. with music and a speaker.
A fireworks display will begin at 9:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, the town of Yadkinville will have a July 4th parade down Main Street beginning at 5 p.m. A fireworks display will take place on the Yadkinville Elementary School campus around 9:30 p.m.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.