A holiday with purpose: Faith 4th pays it forward to community

Published 12:05 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

FAITH — It was another successful turnout over the Independence Day weekend in Faith, but spreading the joy around the community didn’t stop with the last pop of fireworks Monday night.

According to Chairman of Faith 4th of July and Mayor Randall Barger, all revenue collected during the past week will go back to the community through contributions to organizations throughout Rowan County and to assist low-income families.

“Crowds were thick, but it seems this year they grew even more,” he said. “They stretched even further down the roads. God truly blessed us with the weather and the outcome.”

Barger could not give an estimate of how many came out between last Wednesday and the following Monday, but he emphasized that the turnout was high especially when it came to the fireworks show and music performances. Around 1,500 parking spaces are available in Faith but the numbers of people walking the streets and waiting in line for fair rides proved it was well over the general estimate of three people per car.

On Sunday, the rain did have some effect on the events lined up, but crowds still gathered at 7:30 p.m. that night to cheer on Blackwater Rhythm and Blues band at the stage by the Faith Legion Building. Mother Trucker and Cat 5 were first-timers to the annual event Monday night but that did not keep people from tuning in to well-loved beach music and country rock ‘n’ roll.

“We always try to keep up the beach music with our entertainment, it’s a staple,” said Barger. “But this year we brought in some country bands and had a great turnout.”

The Faith 4th of July has been the heart of the town, and the surrounding area, for 76 years and counting. The committee begins planning every January but Barger said even now he is thinking of what is to come in 2023. Thanks to the hard work of a team of volunteers, Faith has been able to use the funds raised from the events to support local non-profits and schools in order to give back to the community, including funding scholarships for Jesse C. Carson High School and East Rowan High School.

Local programs such as Nazareth Children’s home, Faithful Friends Animal Shelter, YMCA and grocery assistance programs also are given donations from Faith every year. The town also supports the Faith Boy Scouts Association, which participates in cleanup after the events of the 4th.

“We have generations of families who volunteer with us,” said Barger. “I want to thank each and every one of them because without them, we wouldn’t be able to do all this.”