Thursday is Independence Day and with that comes the annual Smyrna-Clayton July 4th celebration, the oldest Independence Day celebration in the state. And with each year the festivities grow. Along with the parade, there will be a carnival, dog contest, baby contest and more. The event is put on by the Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Association.

In the event of rain the morning of July 4, the parade will be cancelled and the Citizens' Hose Company Band and the Dublin All Stars Marching Band will give a free concert at the Clayton Fire House on Railroad Avenue at 10 a.m.

Here are the details for this year's Fourth of July event:


1. Here comes the parade. This year's Fourth of July parade will be in Clayton, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4. The parade will start at Clayton Elementary, turn right onto Main Street, turn a left onto Reed Street and break up on Industrial Boulevard.

Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Association President Joanne Masten said there will be over 100 participants in the parade including fire companies, various organizations, floats and more. Units will be. The parade will even have the Dublin All Stars Marching Band from Dublin, Ireland participating in the parade. The band, which features children and adults, has already been to Smyrna before marching in the 2004 July 4th parade and in the 2005 St. Patrick's Day parade.

2. Keep on to the park. Following the parade, families can head to George C. Wright Jr. Municipal Park on North Main Street for more activities. Activities at the park begin at 11 a.m. Masten said there will be ongoing activities throughout the day including music and a Cherokee demonstration.

There will also be an all-day carnival. Stine Amusement Shows will continue operating their carnival, which starts Tuesday, July 2. The carnival will open at noon and operate in conjunction with the other holiday activities at the park until 11 p.m.

3. Bring on the babies. The annual Baby Contest will start at noon on July 4. Register online before Monday, July 1 and the cost is $5; after Monday, July 1 the cost is $7. Check in opens at 10 a.m. at the park. The age groups will be 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years of age.

Masten said there even are babies from New Jersey signed up for the contest. To register online go to,

4. Is your dog Most Patriotic? The Annual Dressed Up Dog contest is on Thursday, July 4 at 12:30 p.m. at the park. The contest is hosted by Concord Pets and A Natural Paw.

The categories are Most Patriotic, Best Trick and Best Kisser. Prices will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each of the three categories. The fee is $3. For registration, please contact Concord Pets at 653-1515.

5. Cap the day off with fireworks. The Independence Day concludes with fireworks at dusk at the Smyrna-Clayton Little League fields on Duck Creek Parkway.


"I think it's a good time to display patriotism, to show community spirit, and to take time to be with your families." – Joanne Masten, president of the Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Association

Email Jennifer Dailey at