Let The Eagle Fly

Valley Fourth Returns To Downtown Harrisonburg

Posted: June 29, 2013

(Photo by Justin Falls / DN-R File)
A day-long even, Harrisonburg’s Valley Fourth celebrates Independence Day with events including the Valley 4th Run at 8:30 a.m.; a reading of the Declaration of Independence at noon; a parade (TOP) at 6 p.m., and a fireworks finale at 9:30 p.m., as well as others. (Photo by Justin Falls / DN-R File)
The annual Valley Fourth event includes a parade through downtown Harrisonburg (below) and a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the stairs of the Rockingham County courthouse at noon. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R, File)
(Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R, File)
Time to put that Independence Day spirit into overdrive — Valley Fourth is back for its annual appearance, with a few improvements.

 “For the second year in a row, Valley Fourth will be an all-day [event] packed full of entertainment,” said Kim Kirk, special events manager at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.

Running Start
The festival kicks off with the Valley 4th Run, which has a bagpipe start set for 8:30 a.m.

“Our goal is to get as many folks from the community out as possible,” Kevin Gibson, co-founder and organizer of the run, said. He expressed excitement at the variety of skill sets that come out, from long-time runners to walkers pushing strollers.

The run allows participants to choose their distance — a 10K, 5K or a 1 mile fun run — and run for a purpose. Part of the entry fee benefits a local charity and participants choose between Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Explore More Discovery Museum or the Rockingham Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Online registration for the run has closed, but in-person registration will take place from 4-7 p.m. July 3 and 7 a.m. the day of the event at the Turner Pavilion in Harrisonburg.

We Hold These Truths ...
In recognition of the Founding Fathers’ dedication, the Fort Harrison Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will sponsor a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

At noon, on the steps of the Rockingham County courthouse, located on Court Square, members of the chapter will honor the reason behind the holiday.

In past years, the reading has been done in period attire, making it quite the show.

Family-Friendly Fun
Take the family and head over to Court Square for some kid-centered activities. From noon until 6 p.m., the Kids’ Zone will house a climbing wall and dunking booth, among other activities, including appearances by the Duke Dog and Uncle Sam.Larkin Arts will host an art market with face painting.

And Court Square Theater will stage the “Ooey Gooey Poetry” Puppet Show — a new event for the kids this year. Two 70-minute shows will start at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Get Your Grill On
Another new event is the First Annual Grillin’ at the Pavilion cookoff, which will be from noon to 9 p.m. The event features a maximum of 12 teams who will compete for prizes in three categories: chicken wings, steak and pork ribs. Tasting tickets will be available for the first 150 attendees starting 2 p.m. the day of the event at the Turner Pavilion information booth.

Beers N’ Cheers will be held between 4 and 9:30 p.m. and will include a broad selection of craft brew, wine and food. Virginia Eagle will offer six selections, including craft beers from Star Hill, Devils Backbone and Three Brothers Brewing, and Bluestone Vineyard will offer six selections of wine. Tickets, available for $5 each, are redeemable for one glass of beer or wine.

On Parade
At 6 p.m., the “Get Outdoors” parade begins, with The Steel Wheels serving as the grand marshals.

“We’ve received numerous accolades for our outdoor treasures, including being designated an Appalachian Trail Community, a gateway to the Shenandoah National Park and a Bicycle Friendly community, to name a few,” Kirk said.

“The parade is an opportunity to highlight these achievements while encouraging people to spend more times playing outdoors.”

The festival ends with a fireworks finale at 9:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to view the show from the Turner Pavilion and Park area.

For more information about the event, visit downtownharrisonburg.org

Contact Sarah Stacy at 574-6292 or sstacy@dnronline.com.

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