Fourth of July fun

Posted: July 5, 2013

The Winchester Star

Bobby and Maxine Bowen of Stephens City take part in Middletown’s Fourth of July festivities on Thursday. The couple met on a blind date in Middletown and have been married 49 years. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Ciana Dunivan, 18 months, of Front Royal, celebrates having the most bags in the cornhole tournament at Middletown Park on the Fourth of July.

Middletown

Cate Lunde baited passersby in the hopes that they would make her pay, and they did.

The 11-year-old was one of the stars of the dunk tank at Middletown’s annual Fourth of July celebration on Thursday.

Getting dunked was a good way for her to cool off on the hot and humid day.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re never going to hit it, then they hit it,’” she said. “It always surprises me.”

Thursday’s event was held at Middletown Park and included vendors, balloon animals, a moon bounce, a softball tournament, music by the band Souled Out, a parade and fireworks.

Brooklynn Mathias, 4, and her brother Blake, 7, of Romney, W.Va., couldn’t get enough of the Wild Rapids inflatable water slide.

“I like the swimming,” Brooklynn said.

“I like when you go down fast and stuff and hit the big bump and go high,” Blake added.

Their mother, Sabrina, said her kids were loving the festival.

“They keep asking me when the fireworks start,” she said.

The proceeds of the moon bounce, slide and dunk tank went to Grace United Methodist Church on Main Street.

Tammy and Jerry Dellinger, of Strasburg, brought their two children, Piper, 3, and Cooper, 11 months.

“Sometimes we miss the fireworks,” Tammy said. “So I like to see her come here and enjoy this and explain to her what the holiday’s about.”

Jimmy Johnson of North Carolina brought his NASCAR vehicle to the event to hold driver simulations. The two fastest drivers received tickets to Winchester Speedway.

Johnson expected 100 people would get behind the wheel by the end of the day.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said showing off the long list of participants. “I haven’t stopped.”

Johnson is with the Racers Reunion, a medical relief charity fund for retired NASCAR drivers.

Junior Armel, 71, sat and watched his granddaughter, Emma Marie Armel, 7, as she swung on the swings.

“There’s something for everybody,” he said. “I like seeing the old cars and I love the parade. I’m still a kid at heart. I’m that kind of feller.”

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com