WJTV News Channel 12 - July 4th celebration ignites downtown Fayetteville

July 4th celebration ignites downtown Fayetteville

Posted: Updated:
Fireworks rise above Festival Park in Fayetteville Thursday night. Fireworks rise above Festival Park in Fayetteville Thursday night.
Jeff Wells Jeff Wells
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Thousands of people in Fayetteville enjoyed an Independence Day celebration that was a significant change from what the community has come to expect. Festival Park had an overflow crowd Thursday night for a celebration that include food and drink vendors, live music and a fireworks show.

For decades, many people in the Fayetteville area enjoyed the Fourth of July celebration on post at Fort Bragg. However, in April, forced spending cuts led Fort Bragg and other military bases nationwide to cancel their annual July celebrations.

The city of Fayetteville began quietly working on a substitute event for the community, and the efforts got a big boost. The city won the "Red, White and You" contest that provided significant funding for the live music and substantial fireworks display.

Fort Bragg-based Army soldier Jeff Wells wrote the brief essay that led to Fayetteville winning the contest. He said his father read about the contest and told him it may be worth a try to enter.

Wells wrote 138 words – just less than the 150-word limit. He admits he probably spent only about ten minutes on the essay, but obviously his heartfelt message got the right attention.

"When there wasn't going to be Fort Bragg fireworks, which the community looks forward to, it was a disappointment for all of them, and I think they all deserve to have a fireworks celebration, absolutely," Wells said.

His essay also talked about Fort Bragg being the "center of the Army Universe." He said he worries that some soldiers may feel like support for troops is waning as the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

"I don't want soldiers to think that they're not still supported," Wells said. "I think it's great to reinforce to them, like I said in the essay, to be reminded that they still have the support."

The magazine "USA Weekend" and the cable TV channel "Destination America," which is part of the Discovery network, ran the contest. During Thursday's celebration, "Destination America" led the way as the hosting sponsor.

Other local partners included Reed-Lallier Chevrolet, Huske Hardware House and the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:36:19 GMT
    A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.