Wytheville will celebrate the Fourth of July Thursday with patriotic parading youngsters, classic cars, beer gardens, live music, icy treats and colorful fireworks. There will even be ax throwing.

New this year is the Music Trail with beer gardens set up at various points downtown, where bands will play music as festival-goers eat, drink beer and mingle.

In the past, beer was sold at various booths on Main Street and there was a main stage where people could pull up a seat and listen to music. This year will be different with live music and beer gardens located throughout downtown: at Moon Dog Brick Oven Pizza, Graze on Main at the Bolling Wilson Hotel, 7 Dogs Brewpub and Elizabeth Brown Park.

“This will actually drive the crowds of people into businesses. That is why we do the events – to drive the people into businesses,” said Todd Wolford, executive director of Downtown Wytheville Inc., which is sponsoring the festivities.

“In the past, we paid money to have a large stage with bands and sound equipment, but we didn’t have a lot of people who sat there and listened to it, so we decided to do it differently this year,” Wolford said.

Organizers hope the live music at the venues will encourage people to move from space to space, checking out downtown stores along the way.

Beer and music is only a part of the festivities. For the kids there’s the annual parade, the Brain Freeze Challenge at Wiffle Pops, inflatables and children’s activities on Tazewell Street, and ice cream at the Bolling Wilson Hotel courtyard. Also, there will be booths and vendors set up along Main Street.

In addition, the Wytheville Farmer’s Market will be open and the popular Cruise-In for classic and collectable cars will be held on Main Street. Also new this year, Wythe Axe will set up its ax-throwing trailer, allowing people to learn and test their ax-throwing skills.

Then at 10 p.m., fireworks will light up the sky.

“If the weather is nice, I think the crowd is going to be really good this year,” Wolford said.

Here is a list of street closings:

• Main Street will be closed from Fifth Street to the Fourth Street intersection from about noon to 6 p.m.

• Tazewell Street between Monroe Street and Main Street will be closed to host children’s inflatables from noon to 6 p.m.

• There will be a temporary closure of the block between Fourth and Sixth streets to accommodate the Children’s Parade from noon to 2 p.m.

Here is a schedule of events:

All Day – Downtown Music Trail (see below for details)

1:30 p.m. – Children’s Parade Lineup and registration on the sidewalk near the Post Office on Main Street, between Fourth and Sixth streets. Decorate bikes, tricycles, strollers, wagons, etc. in your best patriotic gear.

2 p.m. – National Anthem; Children’s Parade Starts on Main street, left onto Tazewell Street and ends at the Old Stage Mall Parking area. Flourz Deli & Sweets will provide water and cookies for the children at the end of the parade, and is giving away two children’s bikes. You must be a registered parade participant to be entered for the bike prize drawing.

2:30-3 p.m. – Brain Freeze Challenge at Wiffle Pops.

2-4 p.m. – Sangria Tasting and Prize Wheel at Petals.

2-5 p.m. – Inflatables and Children’s Activities at Old Stage Mall parking area on Tazewell Street, sponsored by the Tazewell Street businesses.

2-5 p.m. – Artist demonstrations at Local Artists & Sellers.

3-5 p.m. – Ice cream for kids in the Courtyard at the Bolling Wilson Hotel.

2-5 p.m. – Activities Trailer sponsored by Wytheville US Army Recruiting Station with football, basketball, cornhole and XBox stations – First Community Bank parking lot.

2-5 p.m. – Vendors at the Wytheville Farmers Market.

2-6 p.m. – Classic Car Cruise-In on Main Street. Downtown Wytheville Inc. has targeted classic car owners in an 80-mile radius to participate in the cruise-in.

6:45-9:45 p.m. – Wytheville Parks & Recreation After-Hours Concert & Activities in Elizabeth Brown Park.

10 p.m. – Fireworks hosted by Town of Wytheville Parks & Recreation.

Music Trail Information:

• Morrison & Perkins from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Moon Dog Brick Oven and Pizza. Courtyard will be at the St. John’s Episcopal Church green space beside the restaurant.

• Junior & The Jar Shakers at the Wytheville Farmers Market from 2 to 3 p.m.

• Jared Stout Band from 4 to 6 p.m. at Moon Dog Brick Oven Pizza with courtyard at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

• Lily Comer from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bolling Wilson Courtyard.

• Adam Musick from 6 to 8 p.m. at 7 Dogs Brewpub.

• Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. at Elizabeth Brown Park.

• Alex Baughman from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Bolling Wilson Perch (cover charge).

• One Side Missing from 9 p.m. to midnight at 7 Dogs Brewpub with intermission for the fireworks.

To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email mrothrock@wythenews.com.

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