Rain fails to dampen spirits at Surry Independence Day event

A little bit of precipitation was not enough to keep Surry County’s 4th of July celebration from taking place Sunday.

Hundreds of people gathered for food, live music and other festivities, celebrating 240 years of our Union.

The main attraction came later in the day, shortly after night had completely fallen.

“I’ve been doing pyrotechnics for nine years,” Stephen Patterson said.

“I believe this is the first time I have been to Surry, but something seems familiar.”

Patterson would take the show to Fort Monroe on the 4th of July. He, and Donald Henderson, were out in Surry setting up the estimated eight minute display at roughly 3 P.M. This was Donald’s fifth show since 2012, and the first time he had worked with Patterson.

“The finale is about 250 shells,” Patterson said. “The body is about 200 shells.”

“I’m from Alta Vista, South of Lynchburg,” Patterson said while explaining the hour-long ride he and Donald would make after packing up their show. The two would stay in a hotel.

Patterson and Henderson work for a company called Pyrotecnico. James travels all over Virginia, and across its borders on occasion to set up displays in Maryland and North Carolina.

Pyrotecnio is a pyrotechnics company that operates nationally, boasting 125 years of experience. The company operates all over the country, and in numerous arenas. Pyrotecnico is responsible for some of the counrty’s top recording artist’s live shows, NFL presentations, and displays with only the intent to inspire awe.

The show was much anticipated, as audience members drew up chairs or tailgates promptly at sundown. The rumor was the show would start at 8:45.

It is a wonder the display went off at all, as the weather was questionable earlier in the day. Steady rains visited surrounding areas, and the wet field was less than promising, but deputies from the Sheriff’s Department said the show would go on.

It was about 9:30 when crowd members began poking fun at the delay.
“What do we want!”
“When do we want them!”

One family exclaimed while waiting, saying it was getting to be past their bedtime. The display followed shortly after, as did the mass exodus from the parking lot.

Ben May/Sussex-Surry Dispatch
Inflatables for the kids were part of the Independence Day celebrations for Surry County over the weekend.

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