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CANTON — Canton will keep the July Fourth festivities rolling with its signature July 4+1 celebration on Monday, July 5.

“Jokingly, we say we love America so much in Canton we needed an extra day to celebrate,” said Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers.

In reality, July 4+1 is not only a chance for folks to extend their holiday weekend — but it also means that Canton doesn’t have to compete with surrounding towns on the big day itself.

In fact, holding a fireworks show on July 5 means even more big bang for the buck. The demand for pyrotechnic crews is out the roof on July Fourth, but not so much on July 5. So the town is able to land a high-caliber display for far less the day after.

“I will put our July Fifth up against anyone’s July Fourth if we had to go head-to-head on fireworks,” Smathers said. “It is a great show.”

Champion Credit Union generously underwrites the Canton 4+1 fireworks show, and is actually the one that forged a relationship with the pyrotechnic firm used every year.

The July 4+1 festivities kick-off at 6 p.m at Sorrell’s Street park downtown with live music from Sound Extreme; food vendors including Lenoir’s Beef and Bakery, Fat Belly’s, Feugo, Wildflour Blue and Hit the Pit Barbecue; free watermelon courtesy of Mike and Sherry Ray; and free inflatables provided by Dutch Cove Baptist Church.

Coming together in celebration means more than ever this July Fourth.

“As we all start talking about normal, it’s important to get back to what our traditions are. This is the perfect opportunity for people to gather outside with family and friends and celebrate our country,” Smathers said.

But he also said the holiday will be bittersweet for some.

“There are a lot of people with an empty chair at the family picnic this summer. Let us not forget to count our blessings and be thankful,” Smathers said.