By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell
Lake Junaluska, NC –Come celebrate the Fourth of July at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center with music, barbecue, a local foods dinner, parade and dazzling fireworks display. It’s the ultimate celebration for families of all ages in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.
The celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 3 with the Lake Junaluska Singers, a 16-voice ensemble, directed by Dr. Melodie Galloway, performing “The Songs and Spirit of America” at historic Stuart Auditorium.
The festivities continue at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 with a parade from Lambuth Inn to the Nanci Weldon Gym, along Lakeshore Drive and the Rosewalk, for a barbecue lunch at noon and bluegrass music from Reems Creek Incident until 2 p.m. Tickets for the barbecue are $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 to 11.
At 1 p.m., July 4, the Lake Junaluska Singers will perform the national anthem at the Nanci Weldon Gym, and at 7:30 p.m., they’ll present an encore performance of their previous night’s concert, “The Songs and Spirit of America” at Stuart Auditorium.
Throughout the day, families may enjoy a host of other activities such as face painting, inflatables, balloon artists and more. Guests may also rent paddle boats or take a peaceful tour boat ride, swim in the outdoor pool, play tennis, miniature golf or shuffle board, walk the paved path around the lake or just relax lakeside with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains.
New this year will be a Farm to Table Dinner, from 5 to 7 p.m., where local food will be the featured fare, plus more bluegrass music from The Freight Hoppers. Tickets for the Farm to Table Dinner are $25 and may be purchased in advance at the Bethea Welcome Center or by calling 828-454-6738.
Then it’s back to Stuart Auditorium for the Lake Junaluska Singers concert at 7:30 p.m.
At 9:45 p.m. Lake Junaluska will present the grand finale, a spectacular fireworks display provided for more than 60 years free of charge to area residents by Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. It’s a wonderful family tradition you won’t want to miss.
The music continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5 with a concert by Christian musician Andrew Peterson at Stuart Auditorium. Peterson is a talented singer/songwriter/author/illustrator from Nashville, who appeals to children and adults. This is a concert for the whole family.
Tickets for the Junaluska Singers are $16.50 for adults and $8 for children 8 and under. Tickets are available online at www.lakejunaluska.com/singers. For more information, please visit www.lakejunaluska.com/july4th, or call 828-452-2881.
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is an agency of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. The mission of Lake Junaluska is to be a place of Christian Hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind, and body.