December 3, 2022

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Red, white and whew: Heat was on as Greensboro celebrated the Fourth | Local

GREENSBORO — Fun Fourth Festival, the annual downtown celebration of Independence Day, returned in extravagant force on Monday. With the event canceled in 2020, and modified in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people gathered in the city as a hot sun hung in the air.

Families came wearing decorative Fourth of July designs on their faces and clothes.

Lines of people waited for funnel cakes, fish and lemonade.

A mechanical bull took on all comers.

But it wasn’t enough to stop residents from showing pride in their country — and city.

The festive scene was a stark contrast to what was happening across the country in a Chicago suburb. There, a gunman opened fire, killing six and wounding 30.

Chances are good that anyone who had a smartphone as they walked around among the denizens on Monday probably saw the news.

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Still, the mood in downtown was exuberant and joyous. As it typically is on a Fourth of July in the city.

In what’s become a festival tradition, four couples were chosen to get married through the Red, White and Say I Do contest. The wedding includes flowers, a reception and officiant.

“I’m looking forward to marrying my husband on such a special day as today,” said Stella Kessler, one of the brides.

Lillian Brown’s fiance didn’t want to plan a huge wedding, so both decided to use the festival as an opportunity to take the plunge.

“I’m so excited to get married in a big crowd,” she said as the brides started getting ready at the Historic Magnolia House. “We both are people that go against the norm, so it was a perfect opportunity for us.”

For children, there seemed to be endless activities. There was a Bounce House, an area to throw footballs and a roller-skating rink where there was plenty of room to burn off an almost infinite supply of kid energy.

Dogs of all kinds could be seen throughout the crowd. They were all on leashes, but seemed content to be alongside their owners despite the intense heat.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Fourth of July in Greensboro — or anywhere in the country — without remembering that America is one big melting pot.

“My husband I are first-generation immigrants that traveled to the U.S. Both of our children were born here, and I’m so thankful that my children have an opportunity to have so much fun,” Uma Khan said.

Contact Tanasia Moss at 336-373-7371