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Roddy Ray to lead Independence Day parade at Lake Junaluska


Rosalyn "Roddy" Ray, who retired from Lake Junaluska after 27 years as landscaping manager, will serve as the grand marshal of the 2019 Independence Day parade at Lake Junaluska. 

During her tenure, Ray curated the more than 800 acres of the lake's grounds and gardens. She also worked in collaboration with colleagues, homeowners, The Junaluskans and the Lake Junaluska Associates to create gardens and parks including the Biblical Garden, Inspiration Point, the Susanna Wesley Garden, the Gattis Meditation Garden and Weatherby Park.

"Roddy has generously shared her time and talents so that visitors to Lake Junaluska may recognize the natural beauty of God's creations," said the Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska. "We are grateful for her service and honored that she will lead the parade this year as grand marshal."

The hometown-style parade begins at Lambuth Inn at 11 a.m. and continues down N. Lakeshore Drive to Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym. Themed “When the Circus Came to Town,” the parade will feature performers from the Imagine Circus as well as individuals, families and businesses from all over Haywood County.  Register to be in the parade online at 

Following the event, a barbecue lunch will take place at Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym at noon with music and kids’ activities including face painting, bounce houses and a balloon artist. Meals are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 4 to 11, and free for children 3 years old and younger.

At 1:30 p.m., Whitewater Bluegrass Company will lead attendees in a square dance. No experience is necessary to participate, and the dance is free and open to all. 

Then during the evening on the Fourth of July, the Lake Junaluska Singers, a 16-voice choral ensemble that has performed at Lake Junaluska for more than 60 years, kicks off its summer season with a patriotic salute at Stuart Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.  

The concert precedes the free community fireworks display that begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. More than 800 fireworks will be shot from the dam and reflected on the lake.

Then on Friday, July 5, live music from bluegrass to southern gospel will be performed at the Harrell Center by the lake from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

Later on July 5 at 7:30 p.m., the Imagine Circus featuring aerialists, stilt walkers and jugglers will perform a Cirque-style show in Stuart Auditorium.

Independence Day Celebrations continue on Saturday, July 6, at 2 p.m. with the Family Olympics, a friendly field day competition with fun and silly challenges. 

The Independence Day festivities conclude July 6 with a performance by the bluegrass group Balsam Range in Stuart Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. 

Admission to the Lake Junaluska Singers concert is $23 reserved seating and $18 general admission. Tickets to the Imagine Circus are for adults $23 reserved seating and $18 general admission, and for children ages 12 and younger $15 reserved seating and $12 general admission. Tickets for the Balsam Range concert are $25 reserved seating and $23 general admission.

Tickets for reserved seating to the Lake Junaluska Singers concert, Imagine Circus and Balsam Range performances to be held, respectively, on July 4, 5 and 6, in Stuart Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., can only be purchased through, which is linked to from and can be reached at 800-965-9324.

General admission tickets can be purchased through or at Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A ticket bundle for general admission to all three performances also can be purchased for $50 at Bethea Welcome Center.

In addition, three-and four-night packages that include lodging at Lake Junaluska, meals and admission to ticketed events are available. To learn more about the Independence Day Celebrations, available packages or to purchase tickets, call 800-222-4930 or visit

Lake Junaluska is a conference and retreat center and residential community that surrounds a 200-acre mountain lake in Western North Carolina. Lake Junaluska’s mission is to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information, visit


Wednesday, July 3
7:30 p.m. – Blue Ridge Big Band in concert. White tent near Stuart Auditorium. Free.

Thursday, July 4
11 a.m. – Independence Day Parade. Starts at Lambuth Inn, proceeds along North Lakeshore Drive to Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym. Free.
12 p.m. – Independence Day Barbecue Picnic with live music, face painting, bounce houses and balloon art. Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym. $10 adults, $5 kids 4-11, Free for ages 3 and under.
1:30 p.m. – Square Dance led by Whitewater Bluegrass Company. Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym. Free.
7:30 p.m. – Lake Junaluska Singers Independence Day Concert. General Admission $18, Reserved $23.
Approx. 9:30 p.m. – Fireworks display. Free.

Friday, July 5
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. – Live Music by the Lake from bluegrass to southern gospel. Harrell Center. Free.
7:30 p.m. – Imagine Circus. General Admission – $18 adults, $12 for kids (12 and under); Reserved – $15 kids and $23 adults.

Saturday, July 6
2 p.m. – Family Olympics featuring zany field day activities. Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym. Free.
7:30 p.m. – Balsam Range. General Admission $23, Reserved $25.


Lake Junaluska Communications
Lake Junaluska