Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham on July 4 will preside over something a little less formal than the legal cases he has heard the past 30 years.
Benham is scheduled to serve as grand marshal of Cartersville’s annual Fourth of July parade as part of the city’s daylong celebration of the holiday.
The Rotary Club of Etowah will host the parade in downtown Cartersville and concert and fireworks show at Dellinger Park Thursday, July 4.
Radio station WBHF-FM 100.3 and AM 1450 is helping coordinate the parade and Shottenkirk Honda serving as presenting sponsor, a news release stated. .
The parade is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot. It will enter Douglas Street and turn right onto Church Street, left on Bartow Street, left on Main Street, left on Tennessee Street and left on East Church Street before returning to the church, a news release stated.
A parade application and information about the parade can be found on the WBHF radio website at wbhfradio.org and clicking the banner at the top of the page; or in person at the WHBF studios at 7 North Wall St. in downtown Cartersville.
Proceeds from the parade benefit local charities through the Rotary Club of Etowah.
In addition to the traditional entries, the parade will feature a “Patriotic Pup” contest. Participants are asked to dress up their “furry friends” in red, white and blue and join the parade. Prizes are planned for first and second place and a portion of the proceeds from those entries will benefit the Etowah Valley Humane Society.
WBHF station manager and Rotary Club member Matt Santini said, “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.”
“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 build on last year’s parade.”
In addition to honoring Benham as grand marshal, the parade also will honor the community’s 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,” Santini said. “We felt like this parade was a great opportunity to recognize their professionalism and dedication.”
The grand marshal, Benham, is currently the longest serving member of the Supreme Court of Georgia and the son of former Cartersville City Council member Clarence Benham.
A Cartersville native, Robert Benham was the first black man to win a statewide race since Reconstruction when he won election to the Georgia Court of Appeals bench in 1984.
In December 1989, then-Gov. Joe Frank Harris appointed Benham to be the first African-American on the state Supreme Court in its 140-year history. He won election to a full term in 1990 and later served as chief justice from 1995 to 2001.
Benham announced in April that he will not be seeking re-election when his term expires in 2020.
DELLINGER PARKAfter the parade, more than 15,000 are expected to join the July 4 Celebration at Dellinger Park.
Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.
The daylong event on its football field will feature arts and crafts, children’s activities, live entertainment and a fireworks show at the end. Park activities are set to begin at 2 p.m. and run through 10 p.m.
A Kid’s Zone sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will feature inflatable slides, obstacle courses, bounces, Quad Euro Bungee and more.
Live entertainment on the Century Bank of Georgia Stage will feature local entertainment all day with Scott Thompson performing an acoustic show from 4 to 7 p.m., and Peachtree Station performing at 8 p.m. until fireworks.
Organizers thanked the city of Cartersville, Bartow County and Century Bank of Georgia for the fireworks show, which will launch from Dellinger Park about 9:30 p.m.
VIP tables will be available at Dellinger Park for $200, the release stated. It includes a reserved table for 10 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, the release stated.
The tables must be reserved in advance by accessing the VIP form on the Rotary Club of Etowah Facebook page.
In addition, Academy Sports + Outdoors is hosting a viewing area that will have 100 seats for the fireworks and concert.
To register for the seats use #Academyviewingarea on social media. Academy will provide the chair and winners get to take the seat home after the fireworks, the release stated.
For more information on the Fourth of July celebration in Cartersville, visit https://www.facebook.com/CartersvilleJuly4th/ or search for “Cartersville July 4th Celebration” on Facebook.
For sponsorship opportunities, call 770-423-1330 or visit http://jrmmanagement.com/sponsorships.html.