Fayetteville planning substitute 4th of July celebration - WNCN: News, Weather

Fayetteville planning substitute 4th of July celebration

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

The city of Fayetteville is working to put together an Independence Day celebration to make up for the cancellation of Fort Bragg's annual celebration. Now help is coming because the city won a national contest.

The contest called "Red, White and You" was offered by cable television network Destination America and weekly magazine USA Weekend. A man named Jeff Wells who described himself as an Army leader submitted the contest entry that led to Fayetteville winning. He said Fort Bragg is the center of the Army universe, so the area deserves a celebration to show soldiers they are not forgotten.

Wells mentioned that Fort Bragg's budget cuts led to the Army canceling this year's celebration.

City leaders have been working to organize a substitute celebration. Winning the contest means the celebration now has significant funding. Reed-Lallier Chevrolet, Huske Hardware House and the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County have also stepped forward as sponsors.

"I think it's great that we won a contest," said Fayetteville resident Sue Davis. "Fort Bragg is I think one of the biggest military bases, and we should be able to have fireworks."

She was upset when she heard the Fayetteville area, with so many military connections, could be without a celebration this year. So she is excited about the new plans.

A statement released by the city late Friday read, "A fireworks show, complete with entertainment and food vendors, will be held July 4 in Festival Park. Entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. and fireworks start at approximately 9:15 p.m."

The city, contest organizers and other sponsors are still working to finalize all the plans, such as the entertainment lineup.

One other organization that has put together an alternative to the annual Fort Bragg celebration is the Fayetteville Swampdogs baseball team. In addition to the team's traditional fireworks on July 3, the team added a fireworks display on July 4 this year at J.P. Riddle stadium.

The contest entry from Jeff Wells follows:

Due to governmental budget cuts, there will be no post fireworks for Fort Bragg. Our post is home to more Army tradition than any other installation, has produced the most Medal of Honor recipients, and is seen as the center of the Army Universe. To not have a fireworks display on our nation's day of independence for those who have fought to secure our freedom is not only a morale-degrading scenario but also a shame to those who have sacrificed so much. As an Army leader, I believe a fireworks event celebrating all that Soldiers fight for would not just boost morale but also let them know that, despite our difficult fiscal times, they are not forgotten and still have the support of those they fight to protect.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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