Cartersville’s annual Fourth of July celebration returns in 2023 with events on Tuesday. The events are presented by the Rotary Club of Etowah with WBHF FM 100.3 and AM 1450 coordinating the parade with the Rotary Club. The presenting sponsor for the parade is Shottenkirk Honda. The parade down Main Street in downtown Cartersville begins at 9 a.m. in the Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot. The procession, which leaves Douglas Street, turns right onto Church Street, then continues to make a left on Bartow Street, left on Main Street, left on Tennessee Street and left on East Church Street. It ends back at the church.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Wes Durham. He is an award-winning play-by-play sportscaster, whose voice has become increasingly familiar in the southeast over the last 25 years. He currently handles play-by-play calls of college football, basketball and baseball, for ACC Network and ESPN. The last two years, he’s also been part of ESPN’s coverage of the PGA Championship.
Since 2004, he has been the play-by-play announcer of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, and this fall celebrates his 20th season as their radio voice. From 1995-2013, he was the radio voice of Georgia Tech, and was on the call for more than 750 football and basketball games, including trips to the Final Four and the Orange Bowl. In October of 2015, Durham was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, for his 18-year career with the Yellow Jackets. He is an 11-time winner of the “Georgia Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Association.
A 1988 graduate of Elon, he was honored by their School of Communications as their “Distinguished Alumnus”, in April of 2013.
An avid golfer, Durham is married to the former Vicky Newman. She and Wes now live in her hometown, Cartersville, Georgia. He has adult twins as well, Emily and Will.
“We are thrilled to have Shottenkirk Honda as the presenting sponsor of the parade this year, and we are still actively looking for parade participants”, stated WBHF station manager and Rotary Club of Etowah member, Matt Santini, when asked about the parade. “The Fourth of July Parade is one of the community service projects that we have taken on here at WBHF, and we are working with the Rotary Club of Etowah to continue the tradition of this parade.” In addition to honoring Wes Durham as our Grand Marshal, we will also be honoring our veterans and first responders. “As our community has grown, so has the workload of the police, fire, and EMS professionals who are saving and protecting lives every day. We felt like this parade was a great opportunity to recognize their professionalism and dedication as well.”
Proceeds from the parade benefit local charities through the Rotary Club of Etowah. A parade application and information about the parade can be found on the Etowah Rotary Club website at etowahrotary.com/4th-of-july.
The July 4th Celebration at Dellinger Park is a community- wide event that includes Arts & Crafts, children’s activities, entertainment and the largest fireworks ever!! All activities, other than the downtown parade, are on Tuesday, July 4th at Dellinger Park on the huge football field. Park activities start at 3:00 p.m. and continue until 10:00 p.m.
VIP Tables are available at Dellinger Park. For $200 you get a reserved table for ten that will give you a great view of the Century Bank Concert Stage and the fireworks show and a reserved parking spot at the park. These tables must be reserved in advance of the event. The VIP form is also available online at etowahrotary.com/4th-of-july.
Admission to Dellinger Park is free and parking is $10.00 per vehicle. More than 15,000 people are expected to celebrate the Fourth of July at Dellinger Park. Organizers of the activities at Dellinger say that Thanks to City of Cartersville, Bartow County and Century Bank of Georgia that they will again have a huge fireworks display. Glenda Mitchell Law Firm has a special fireworks viewing area. Spaces for that are being through an online contest on their social media pages. Fireworks will launch from Dellinger Park about 9:30 p.m.
There will also be live entertainment on the Century Bank of Georgia Stage that will feature local entertainment all day then Scott Thompson performs an acoustic show starting from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., then Scott Thompson and Peachtree Station perform at 8:00 p.m. and take us on a musical ride until fireworks!!