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 Fourth of July in Groveland
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City of Groveland Fourth of July event sparks images of small-town patriotism

Groveland’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration begins at 8 a.m. at Lake David Park, located on Lake Avenue in Groveland, Fla. Volunteers are needed for the event. For more information about the event or to volunteer, call Anne Sasser at (352) 429-2141 ext. 17 or e-mail anne.sasser@groveland-fl.gov. Those interested in participating in any of the activities, need to register with the respective organizers.

Wakeboarding tournament — For more information, call Hansen’s World Wakeboard Center at (352) 429-3574

Mr. & Miss Firecracker Pageant — The pageant is for boys and girls ages 12 months to 10 years. Registration ends May 31. The registration fee is $35. Applications are available at Groveland City Hall. For more information, call Audrey Lawrence at 407-721-4779.

Skateboard tournament — For more information, call (352) 429-8180. Registration forms are available at Groveland City Hall.

Car show — For more information, call Connie at 429-2141 ext. 11.

Basketball tournament — The registration fee is $35.00 and applications are available at Groveland City Hall. For more information call East Ridge High School Coach Williams at (352) 246-1686.

Hot Dog Eating Contest & Great Chili Cook Off — Entry fee for the hot dog contest is $5 and the entry fee for the chili cook off is $10. For more information, call Herb at (352) 516-9485.

Elaborate firework shows are a mainstay of Fourth of July celebrations across the United States, but in one South Lake community patriotic spirits are lifted to new heights with a day full of city-sponsored events and activities.

The City of Groveland hosts its annual Fourth of July celebration with thousands of Lake County residents attending. When Groveland began the event is anyone’s guess, but with its nostalgic activities, such as a hot dog eating contest and three-legged races, it’s a big winner among families.

“We’ve been doing this every year for as long as anyone can remember around here,” said Anne Sasser, Groveland City Clerk.

What sets Groveland’s patriotic gala apart from its peers is its comprehensive nature. From sporting tournaments to the Mr. and Miss Firecracker Pageant, the Fourth of July celebration has something to offer for everyone.

“The Fourth is a traditional event that Groveland has hosted for the city,” said City Manager Jason Yarborough. “We invite neighbors, friends, acquaintances, everyone to come join us for some good food and lots of fun.”

Starting early Monday morning, the festivities begin with a 3-on-3 basketball tourney, a volleyball competition and a wakeboarding tournament at Lake David Park, located on the corner of state roads 50 and 19.

The wakeboard tournament this year will be sponsored by the Hansen’s World Wakeboard Center and is geared for pros and amateurs. Long regarded as a water-skiing haven, several national ski-jumping records still hold from the tourneys previously held at the downtown lake.

After the morning festivities, the Fourth of July event will switch into high gear with its first ever car show sponsored by Street Stylez Productions. Along Lake Avenue in Groveland, all sorts of tricked out rides including imports, domestics, classics from 1901 to 1984, trucks, sport-utility vehicles and four-by-fours will be on display.

Also new this year to the event is a skateboarding competition. The tournament is sponsored by Vert Skate Shop and Banyan Homes, and registration forms are available at Groveland City Hall, 156 S. Lake Ave.

Other events for the entire family include those hosted by Legacy Community Church and First Baptist Church of Groveland. Activities include the traditional festival games such as a dunk tank and bean bag tosses, as well as a puppet show for children.

Fireworks

As for the cuisine at the event, it’s some of the best down-home cooked delicacies, but for a few participants food is also part of the competition. The South Lake Pop Warner Eagles will be sponsoring the First Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest and Great Chili Cook Off at the Fourth of July event.

For those that desire more than just chili and hot dogs, several community groups will be raising funds for their respective organizations by peddling a variety of festival fare, including watermelon, snow cones and boiled peanuts.

“We will have lots of food and the really great thing about Fourth of July here in Groveland is all these people that participate are not-for-profit,” Sasser said.

The abundance of fun activities is available all-day long, but come 9 p.m. the gathering of event-goers stake a claim to spots in the park for the Groveland Fire Department hosted fabulous fireworks show.

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