Greenville throws huge Fourth party

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2000

Thousands of people from around the region attended the Family Fourth celebration at Cambrian Ridge for the Fourth of July. Entertainment, food and fireworks was the business of the day despite 100 degree temperatures across the area.

Photo by Allen Stephenson

Like many who live in the Greenville area, I attended the Family Fourth Celebration on Tuesday at Cambrian Ridge.

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I had never attended any Fourth of July festivities such as this one, and I have to admit I was wondering how successful it would be.

Boy, was I in for a surprise! Despite the 100-degree heat, people were spread out across the golf course as far as the eye could see, enjoying being out with friends and listening to good country music. As the scent of hotdogs and barbecue wafted through the air, children ran by, all dressed in red, white and blue, rolling in the grass and playing with golf balls from games gone by. Adults sat underneath large straw hats or umbrellas, keeping cool by flapping makeshift fans. Marty Raybon and Sawyer Brown put on excellent concerts, and the crowd cheered and danced throughout both shows.

I have to admit I have not been awed by fireworks such as the ones that ended the celebration Tuesday since I was a child. The excitement reached an all-time high as the lights dimmed just before the fireworks began. Childish amazement appeared on the faces of young and old alike sitting on blankets or towels and looking up at the "rockets' red glare" as patriotic tunes played in the background.

The Fourth of July celebration will not be the first time I have noticed the people of Greenville enjoying the small things in life, like chatting with old friends while eating good food on a sultry summer night.

Since attending college in Tuscaloosa, I have been caught up in the rat race, so to speak, running around all day long trying to get everything done that I am supposed to and never quite meeting that goal.

Here, though, I find myself returning again and again to the little things that make life fun. When I first arrived in the Camellia City, I remember being touched by the hometown atmosphere. I grew up in a town smaller than this one, and being here reminded me of the days of growing up.

It didn't

take me long to get to know people, and I enjoy going places and stopping for a chat with people I see in the grocery store or on the street in downtown Greenville. It is amazing how a simple "hi, how are you?" can make any day brighter. People I don't even know would speak to me, not a reaction usually received from people in a larger city.

Greenvillians obviously seem eager to make you feel it home, whether it is by feeding a visitor a homecooked meal or offering to let them sit a spell and chat. It's been a long time since I've seen the ability of people to take a few friends, a homecooked meal and maybe a watermelon and have a good time.

As I look back on the Fourth of July celebration today, I see hardworking, hometown people enjoying a day of relaxation and fun. They know how to enjoy the small things in life. Without such simple, seemingly unimportant occurrences, life truly cannot be lived to its fullest.