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BIG BANG FOR FOURTH OF JULY

South Boston NewsSouth Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Fourth of July celebrations in South Boston and Elmo on Thursday drew big crowds for patriotic parades and, in downtown, a dazzling display of fireworks. The South Boston parade began under ominous skies, but the rain held off as the night sky glowed with the Virginia Skypainters show. Uncle Sam rode sidecar at the Elmo community parade, which attracted dozens of entries. (David Conner II photos)
SoVaNow.com / July 08, 2019
The annual Fourth of July celebration in South Boston was a blast — literally — for the thousands who turned out despite early light rain that cleared off during the downtown parade and was followed by pleasant weather the rest of the evening.

Tamyra Vest with Destination Downtown, which staged the event, said she was helping with the parade lineup around 6 p.m. when drops began to fall. But the threat of stormy weather dissipated, and people continued to gather at Constitution Square for musical entertainment, kids’ activities and food leading up to the shooting of fireworks.

The iffy forecast cut down on the number of antique cars entered in the parade, but Vest said some 40 entries did show up. The highlight, though, came later with the fireworks show by Virginia Skypainters, now run by Halifax resident Ryan Francisco. “The fireworks is what the whole thing is about,” said Vest.

“This year they were just awesome,” she added, crediting Francisco with putting on a spectacular show. And Mother Nature offered a hand: “It cleared off and was perfect the rest of the night.”

Vest added the fireworks “were bigger and more awesome than South Boston has ever seen.”

The Elmo community, too, staged a jubilant parade on Independence Day, with dozens of people riding tractors, antique vehicles, horses, scooters and buggies on the route from Ashton Hall to Elmo Grocery — much to the delight of the crowd that braved muggy but clear afternoon weather to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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