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Independence celebrated despite rainy weather

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    Fireworks lit up the sky at the Independence Day Extravaganza despite being held up by rain. NATHAN CLARKE/Contributed
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    The zip line inflatable was enjoyed at the Independence Day event. NATHAN CLARKE/Contributed

The Jones County Chamber of Commerce and Jones County Parks and Recreation celebrated Independence Day with their annual Independence Day Extravaganza July 1 at the Morris Bank Recreation Complex.

Haley Watson, the executive director of the Jones County/ Gray Chamber of Commerce, said she was excited for the event and people seemed to enjoy what went on despite the rain.

“We had our Independence Day Extravaganza. Jones County Parks and Recreation, along with the Chamber of Commerce helped to put this event on,” she said. “We had lots of inflatables sponsored by TRI-CO GO and The Party Jumper.”

The director said the event was free to attendees. She said Skweeky Kleen sponsored Laura Starling, the entertainment for the evening, and Southeast Outdoor Solutions sponsored the fireworks for the night.

“It was a great event for people to come out and enjoy. Lots of kids and families were there. They all looked like they had a great time. It was just a great community event for the people of Jones County to enjoy,” Watson said.

She said the Extravaganza was important for Jones County, because it gave people a chance to celebrate Independence Day within the community. She said she wanted to bring people together and have them hang out with their friends and family at a fun event.

“We did this event last year, but we didn’t have any inflatables or anything,” the director said. “We kept everything open, so people could spread out more. Now we can kind of get back to normal, so we wanted to do a fun event where the kids could come out and have fun with their families and friends.”

Nick Cameron, Southeast Outdoor Solutions owner, said the fireworks were important for the celebration, and he feels they helped bring the community closer. He said he was happy to to support the Jones County community. Cameron said he’s from Gray, and a lot of his work comes from Gray, so he’s happy to give back.

“We donated the money for the fireworks for the Independence Day Extravaganza for the community to enjoy. The fireworks are a tradition for Gray, and we’re always surprised by what we see,” he said.

Greg Mullis, chief operating officer with TRI-CO GO, said they sponsored the children’s area and bouncy houses. He said he’s happy to be a part of the community, and TRI-CO GO was happy to be a sponsor. He added that this year’s event was definitely a lot more fun than last year due to COVID-19.

“The kids seemed to be having a ball,” Mullis said. “It was packed with kids, so I’d say they had a great time. Anything we can do to be a positive part of this community is important to us. It’s a cultural event for the community.”

He said he feels it’s important for people to get together in the community. He said everyone is always going to Macon or other places for things, so this was a great opportunity to stay in Jones County and celebrate independence.

“We talked to a lot of people, and they seemed to really appreciate this event,” Mullis said. “Everyone loves fireworks. This was just a great opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate.”