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Faith Fourth of July festivities kick off with food and fun

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FAITH — It’s a warm-weather scene that thrills the senses. Colorful and vibrantly-lit rides are whirling by on their tracks, hot and smoky grills are giving off the scent of deliciously-sinful food, and the sounds of excited laughter and squeals are filling the air.

The occasion? The Faith Fourth, a six-day Fourth of July celebration which began Thursday at 6 p.m.

All activities in this near week-long event are taking place at the Faith American Legion Park and Faith Elementary School grounds. With no admission fee, guests can enjoy nightly live entertainment, vendor and food booths, as well as rides and games provided by Wade Shows, Inc.

Rides include the Alpine Bobs, Scooter bumper cars, Starship 4000 and a Ferris wheel. There are a multitude of smaller rides available for children under 54″ tall. Rides are ticketed, but wristband passes are available for purchase.

This year marks the 71st year of the Faith Fourth, and Thursday’s early crowds reflected local enthusiasm for the family-friendly celebration. Jerry and Dolly Karriker, of Mooresville, were some of the first in line for a hamburger cooked by members of the American Legion Post 327. They are long-term attendees of the celebration.

“One of the best hamburgers you can get is down here,” said Dolly Karriker as she enjoyed her burger — all the way of course. “Year after year, this is the only place we get a hamburger from.”

Volunteers from the American Legion can be found behind the food stands, working over open charcoal grills to prepare their masterpieces. Apart from their esteemed hamburgers, they’re also selling hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches and trays, and ham sandwiches. Even the ham is prepared this cookout style, laid out over the smoldering coal for a knock-your-socks-off flavor.

For those craving more standard fair food, booths can be found around ever corner peddling everything from funnel cakes and cotton candy to loaded nachos and roasted corn. The Faith Fourth has it all: from savory to sweet.

Entertainment at this year’s celebration includes nightly musical performances. The Tams performed first on Thursday, to be followed by Too Much Sylvia, the Extraordinaires, The Entertainers, Jim Quick & Coastline, and The Randy Clay Band on each respective evening.

Jerry and Dolly Karriker said their main draw to the event is the bands.

“We always come for the bands,” Jerry Karriker said. His wife agreed, recalling her struggle to chose between seeing the Charlotte Symphony or Too Much Sylvia this Friday.

“The symphony is good, but they’re no Too Much Sylvia,” she said in an obvious tease.

The Faith Fourth is sponsored by the Faith American Legion Post 327 and Legion Auxiliary 327, the Faith Civitan Club and Faith Jaycees. Proceeds will benefit worthy causes in the Faith community.

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