WAYNESBORO >> What attracts you to a festival — making a mad-dash run first thing in the morning, catching some cash, downing hot dogs with al the fixin's or watching fireworks? All of this and more awaits visitors on July 4 to Waynesboro's 18th annual Summer Jubilee.
The key to the event is to get there early, especially for the parade. Drive down Main Street on the morning of the July 4 and chairs are already in place, as people use these silent sentinels to reserve the best spots for viewing.
"The parade is sponsored by the Brothers of the Brush," said President Dave Woodring, and there is no entry fee to participate. Invitations are sent to more than 100 businesses, non-profits, and religious groups to request their involvement.
This is just one of the many activities which highlight the town's patriotic festival.
The day starts off early with two running events: the Kids 1 Mile Fun Run (7:30 a.m.) and the Firecracker 5K (8 a.m.). "This is the second year we have held runs on this day," said Bob Correll, race director for Community, Fitness, Fun, Friends and Running, the organization that manages the races for the Summer Jubilee.
For the early run open to those ages 5 through 12, everyone gets a finisher ribbon; for the 5K runners, there are various awards. All races are professionally timed.
The starting point for both races is Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce office, 118 Walnut St., where runners can pick up their informational packets.
Registration is strictly online at www.waynesbororunning.org and payment, even on the day of the race, will be by credit card only. Entry fee is $35 for the 5K and $10 for the Kids Fun Run.
At 9:30 there will be a flag raising ceremony with the singing of the national anthem. An hour later, the parade on Main Street begins.
"I love doing this," said Woodring, who organizes the parade line-up. "We usually start with the banner of the Brothers of the Brush, followed by various public safety organizations. and this year's Grand Marshall, Jeff Rock. "We have been organizing the parade for some 40 years."
When the group was originally organized in 1968, Brothers of the Brush members had to have a beard or mustache, but as styles have changed, "we'll take you even if you're bald," said Woodring.
The rest of the day is open to explore the craft show, watch the Wacky Wizard Magic Show and the Waynesboro Children's Troupe, and enjoy bands playing music from classic rock to country.
"We try to diversify the music groups based on the feedback we get from the public," said Darrell Swart, now in his second term as president of the Summer Jubiiee Board.
There will be an extensive food court area with a variety of vendors and enough good to provide all three meals of the day, starting with coffee and breakfast sandwiches, on to hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, Chinese food, barbecue, kettle popcorn and desserts — including goodies such as funnel cakes and ice cream.
With the purchase of a wrist band, children may enjoy all sorts of activities from pony rides, to face painting, climbing a rock wall, inflatable rides, and more. Supervision will be provided.
Now, about everyone's favorite subject — cash.
F&M Trust's Money Machine will be on hand. People will be picked to enter the "machine" in hourly drawings. As the air blows, the money flies and entrants try to grab as much as possible.
Two new events have been added this year:
• St. Andrew Catholic Church, Waynesboro, will hold a food drive for the benefit of Waynesboro Community and Human Services, which maintains a food bank for low-income residents. It is looking for non-perishable food items and will be located in a trailer at the end of the food court.
• A representatives from Maxwell Sipe Law Offices LLC will provide free consultations for active and retired military, covering such topics as wills, living wills, health care powers of attorney, and related matters. A follow-up visit is also at no charge.
Except for the parade and the morning races, all events will take place in the field across from Waynesboro Hospital, 501 E. Main St.
Last year there were about 8,000 attendees, and some years attendance has been as high as 12,000. So set up those chairs, enjoy the day, and as night falls, prepare to ooh and aah as the darkened sky lights up with a brilliant array of color and the bang! of fireworks.
For a full schedule and more information, visit www.summerjubilee.org.