July's events include patriotic festivities
Fluttering flags, sizzling hot dogs, stirring music and booming fireworks will kick-off a month full of activities at communities and attractions in North Alabama this July.
Among this month's events are:
The annual Spirit of America Festival, planned for July 3-4, presents a mix of entertainment, games and activities. The festival takes place at Point Mallard Park.
Special activities this year include Ultimate Championship Wrestling featuring Road Dogg Jesse James, The Bullet Bob Armstrong, and Scott Super Kick Armstrong; a Spirit Idol contest will select the best singers and dancers ages 6-12, 13-17 and 18 years and up; and the Spirit Games will pit teams of six individuals against one another in physical as well as mental challenges during a series of interactive games.
Continuous entertainment will fill both stages throughout the two days and special guests will include "Lanier," "North Star Quadrent," "Lauren Stroud," and "Natchez Trace."
Special events will include the presentation of the Audie Murphy Patriotism Award, the Barrett C. Shelton Sr. Freedom Award and the H.J. Heimlich Humanitarian Award. Other activities will include field games, sports competitions, vendors, an NCAA cheerleading championship, bike rides and one of the South's largest firework displays.
Two popular events returning this year are the Handy's On the Plaza and the annual Street Strutters parade. Handy's On the Plaza covers one of Florence's main streets with live bands and dancing couples.
The Street Strutters allows music lovers of all ages to put on their fanciest duds, decorate their parasols in bright colors and promenade through downtown Florence.
Other scheduled activities include an Evening at the Ritz, Rockin' at the Roxy, music at Bell Mont Mansion near Tuscumbia July 27 from 2-5 p.m., education programs and a headliner concert on Aug. 2.
Sports activities include the DaDoo Run Run 5K, Handy Festival Golf Tournament at McFarland Park, men and women's tennis round robin competition, a tri-state bike race and a volleyball tournament.
A $5 admission (free for children age 5 and under) to the event includes all day swimming at the park's pool and water slide, a miniature golf course, local bands performing throughout the day, bouncy rides for children, food vendors and arts and crafts. The fireworks show, coordinated with a patriotic soundtrack, will begin at 9 p.m.
Food, games and entertainment will begin at 4 p.m. Admission will be charged.