Many helped Franklin Experience with holiday event

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Thank you to this outstanding community for gathering together for a fun, family-oriented evening for the July 3rd celebration (celebrating the 4th of July!). It was a wonderful evening, starting with the large American flag in the middle of town, loaned to the City of Franklin by the Port of Virginia, hanging from the crane provided by David White’s Crane Service. The Blackwater Events’ car show (Mike, Lauren, Linda and Ray Smith) and the Farmers’ Market (Karen Cobb) both had great participation. Steve Owens’ Summertime Band, sponsored by Blackwater Community Events, Blake Ford, Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care, Don Pancho’s Cantina, and Franklin Collision Center, was an outstanding choice for the event. And the fireworks, sponsored by Blair Brothers Inc., Bronco Federal Credit Union, Prism Engineering, Visit Franklin Southampton VA, Enviva and The Tidewater News, were an excellent show of patriotic spirit and a great way to end the evening.

As far as the food at Barrett’s Landing, the hot dogs were delicious. Jim Jervey, Bryan Fenters and Terry Godwin deserve kudos after cooking 1,800 hot dogs — in the sweltering heat. From every person who stopped to talk to us, we heard the watermelon was one of the best people had tasted in a while. Many thanks to G.D. Contractors and Terri Marks!

Behind the service of the free food were a lot of people who had started early in the morning in preparation for this big event. Margaret Lewis, Ryan Godwin, Dennis Burgess, Chet Burgess, Kathy Brittle, Ann Burgess, Becky and Bobby Varmet, Evan Griggs, Don Spengeman, Harlan Lewis, Julie and John Griggs and Davis Moore were all instrumental in making the distribution of food and drinks seamless.

And, without those who helped to sponsor this event, the community would not have been able to have had free hot dogs and free watermelon — and all you can eat at that! So, thank you to Southside Gas, Parker Darden Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., Moncure and Cox LLC, Jim Hart, Davenport and Company, Edward Jones, Carter Hotchkiss, Dr. and Mrs. Mike Ponder, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, Burgess & Co., Councill Wealth Management, Mackans, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Cheatham, Meghan Councill and Parker Battery. Please be sure to thank them for assisting in putting on such a wonderful event.

Alongside these great community sponsors, The Franklin Experience Inc. would like to specifically thank Dan Howe for the use of the concession stand for the storage of the drinks and hot dogs as The Franklin Experience, Inc. was setting up.

The City staff was invaluable, but behind the scenes, in this community celebration. City Manager Amanda Jarratt, the police, Public Works, the Franklin Fire Department and EMS, including the Hunterdale Volunteer Fire Department, were instrumental in making sure everything went well, that everyone was safe, and that all areas were clean and looked amazing. Two other unknown but very necessary groups making the 3rd of July event so successful were the Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department and Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, who both sent their boats out to assist.

We would like your feedback on ideas, suggestions, and recommendations for the next July 3rd celebration. Please send your feedback to Thank you!

The Franklin Experience Inc.’s board members, Oscar Babb, Corey Olds, Henri Porter, Don Spengeman, Mike Smith, Benny Burgess, Margaret Lewis, Liz Burgess and Ray Smith would like to thank everyone who helped organize and work the event.

And, again, thank you to the Franklin community for participating in this endeavor. We look forward to seeing you next year!


Liz Burgess

President, The Franklin Experience