Mount Pleasant puts on a big celebration

If you've been wondering how to celebrate Independence Day, I have the answer: Come out to Mount Pleasant for the Independence Day celebration next weekend.

It's the celebration's 10th anniversary, and every year a small group of dedicated volunteers works hard to make it bigger and better.

If you go to the town's website - - you'll find a schedule of activities, which begin Thursday evening with the Miss Mount Pleasant Independence Day Pageant and end with fireworks and a concert Saturday.

The always-delightful mayor of Mount Pleasant, Troy Barnhardt, chatted with great enthusiasm about the celebration, his appreciation for the volunteers who make everything happen, and details you won't find on the schedule.

The number of bands performing has increased by two. A new event this year is a street dance on Friday, with music by Exit 54. On Saturday evening, the band Blackjack will perform from 6 to 8p.m., followed by crowd favorite Too Much Sylvia at 8.

But before Too Much Sylvia plays, another new event will take place: the Mr. Mount Pleasant Pageant. About six good-natured men will don their most attractive evening wear (and by "evening wear," I mean gowns, not tuxedos). Each will carry a purse, which he will use for the next couple of hours to collect donations from the crowd for the Mount Pleasant Food Ministry.

Whoever raises the most money for this worthy cause will be crowned Mr. Mount Pleasant. Barnhardt said the competitors' faces should be familiar to Mount Pleasant dwellers, though they may be happier to remain unrecognized. One face, he said, we will not see: his own.

Besides the fireworks, which begin at 10 p.m. Saturday, another highlight of the Mount Pleasant Independence Day Celebration is the parade, at 10a.m. Saturday.

This year the grand marshal will be Sam Treadaway, retiring principal of Mount Pleasant Middle School. Barnhardt said Sam Treadaway is being honored because he has done so much for Mount Pleasant, both as principal at the school and as an active member of the community. Indicative of Treadaway's appreciation for his colleagues at the middle school, rumor has it many of them will join him in the parade.

Other new features of this year's celebration are a used book sale at the library after the parade Saturday, and rides for children and adults at Town Hall. Also new this year: The Mount Pleasant Fire Department will sell barbecue chicken for lunch Saturday as a fundraiser.

For a little town, Mount Pleasant throws a big party. Don't miss the celebration.