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FUMC hosts star-spangled success in park

Mother Nature continued to smile down on the city Saturday, as clear skies and a welcome breeze ushered in July 4 festivities downtown.

The occasion was the First United Methodist Church of Greenville’s Third Annual Community Fish Fry and Independence Day Celebration in Confederate Park.

Dozens of entrants gathered for the annual Children’s Parade, with youngsters riding everything from decorated bikes and trikes, to golf carts and girly-pink motorized vehicles, as they kicked off the event.

Children’s activities such as the bean bag toss and fishing booth proved popular, with many also stopping by the face painting table to get stars, stripes and other patriotic designs painted on cheeks and foreheads.

The local Boy Scout troop handed out bags of popcorn, with volunteers offering slushies and slices of ice-cold watermelon to help everyone cool down on a hot July day.

The traditional “fried fish with the fixings” meal and hot dogs with plenty of sweet tea were offered for lunch.

Several local vocalists performed gospel, country, inspirational and patriotic favorites for the crowd during the morning, including Andy McKeown, William Champion, the FUMC Praise and Worship Team and Steve Norman.

Young musicians Matt Langford, Stephen Butts, Matthew Butts and Alex Bailey from First United Methodist performed several praise and pop numbers to close out the day, with Boy Scout Troop 520 providing a Color Guard during the patriotic event.

Steven Davison of FUMC said the day was “yet another success.”

“We got lucky with the weather and everybody seems to have had a good time. We hope even more folks will join us next year,” Davison said.