This year’s rain-free Fourth of July celebration in St. Paul, Virginia was one of the best in recent memory. A LARGE crowd that included many children turned out for the event. As usual, the fireworks display was spectacular, bringing forth gasps, oohs, and aahs from spectators as fireworks exploded against the backdrop of the evening sky.
BUT…before we move along to our CVT photos of yesterday’s event and fireworks, let’s take a moment to recall the evolution of the Town of St. Paul’s Fourth of July event.
ABOVE: FROM THE JUNE 30, 1977 EDITION OF THE CLINCH VALLEY TIMES
Back in the “olden days” when children still walked two miles to school (uphill, both ways) St. Paul had no public recreational area suitable for large outdoor gatherings. The completion of the A. R. Matthews Memorial Park changed all that, and in 1977 the town’s Fourth of July celebration was held there. The 1977 event was much different from what took place yesterday.
Eventually, the Fourth of July celebration was relocated to the Riverside Shopping Center area of St. Paul, allowing spectators more room to enjoy the fireworks from a safe distance.
In addition to games for everyone, the St. Paul Municipal Pool (not pictured) was open on July 4th with free admission for children. A much-appreciated treat on a hot day!
The Town of St. Paul puts forth a lot of time, money, and effort to make this event a reality. So…if you attended and had a good time, take a moment to thank the town’s employees and elected representatives when you see them out and about. We’d like to extend a particular “thank you” to members of the town crew who were on-site prior to the event, during the event, and again today taking down tents and tidying up. It is about 5 degrees cooler than hell in St. Paul right now, so that is not easy work. Area first responders were also on hand to make sure everyone was safe. For these folks, it’s all in a days work – but it also what makes the event possible, allowing us to truthfully say, “A good time was had by all.”
NOTE: All photos of St. Paul’s 2023 Fourth of July celebration by David Gregory.
UNTIL NEXT YEAR!