Parade, carnival, beard contest, baby contest, concerts and fireworks planned

As part of the celebration of Smyrna’s founding 250 years ago, the Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Foundation is planning special Independence Day events including a larger parade, a bigger fireworks display, concerts and a five-day carnival.

The parade on Wednesday, July 4 will start at St. Polycarp Church, South Street and Ransom Lane, Smyrna, at 9:30 a.m. and end at Wright Municipal Park (formerly Smyrna Municipal Park) on North Main Street. Plans so far include three bands with dozens of marching units and floats. For information on participating, email Skip Carrow at skip4515@yahoo.com or call (302) 632-2405.

After the parade, attractions will include a carnival and a beard contest at the park, and a baby contest at North Smyrna Elementary.

The beard contest will be at noon at the gazebo, with registration starting at 10 a.m. The four categories will be full beard, goatee, groomed beard and the double dapper (full beard with a styled mustache). In keeping with the historic theme of Smyrna’s anniversary celebration, a top hat is highly recommended. For more information, email Diane Price at dianepr55@yahoo.com.

The baby contest will start at 1 p.m., at North Smyrna Elementary, just across North Main Street from the park. The event is open to little ones up to 4 years old. For registration details, call Tracy Ayala at (302) 423-2848.

The fireworks display will be about twice as large as past years, thanks to additional funding from Smyrna, Clayton and Kent County for Smyrna’s 250th Anniversary.

Carnival coming to Smyrna July 3-7

The Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Foundation is sponsoring the Houghton Amusements Carnival at Wright Municipal Park on North Main Street in Smyrna July 3-7.

Carnival hours will be 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6, and 3-10 p.m. Saturday, July 7. The carnival will open on Wednesday, July 4 following the parade until 10 p.m.

Ride bracelets will be on sale for $25 allowing customers to ride all they can on individual days Tuesday to Saturday. Coupons for a $2 discount on the bracelets will be available at many local merchants. Houghton Amusements is also offering a $50 “mega band” which allows customers unlimited rides Tuesday through Saturday. Mega bands may be purchased in advance online at www.jimhoughtonenterprises.com or by calling Joanne Masten at 653-6235.

Proceeds from the sale of carnival tickets will help raise money for the Fourth of July parade, festivities and fireworks.

The George Wright Municipal Park was formerly known as Smyrna Municipal Park and is across North Main Street from North Smyrna Elementary School.

The Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Foundation is an independent group organized to provide the community with a day-long celebration of American independence. Anyone wishing to help the committee may call Masten at 653-6235 or Bob Merrill at 653-6809.

British band to perform in Smyrna July 3 and 4

The Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps from Romford, England will perform in Smyrna as part of Smyrna’s combined Fourth of July celebration and 250th anniversary.

On Tuesday, July 3, the group will perform a concert at the Smyrna Opera House, 7 S. Main St., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $13 for military personnel and senior citizens and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available online at www.smyrnaoperahouse.org, or by calling (302) 653-4236 or at the box office Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Next, the band will be marching in the Smyrna-Clayton Fourth of July Parade at 9:30 a.m., in downtown Smyrna. Finally, the group will be playing that night before the fireworks display which is scheduled for dusk outside Smyrna High School, 500 Duck Creek Road.

The Romford Band was organized on October 11, 1957. The award-winning group has played for the Royal Family and throughout England, as well as in Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar and the United States.

The drum and trumpet corps is the seven-time national champion youth band of England and played at the Olympic Games in 2012.