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Friday, 14 June 2019 16:41

The Rock cancels July 4 fireworks show

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ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County will have one less fireworks display on Independence Day.


Owners of The Rock-Speedway and Entertainment Complex announced Friday that they would be canceling the inaugural July 4 spectacle after “consultation with local leaders and officials and internal discussions,” according to a press release.

The Rock President Dan Lovenheim issued the following statement explaining the “difficult decision”:

“We are still evaluating our infrastructure and making plans for our future. Those efforts understandably took a backseat while we geared up for our part in the success of the Epicenter Festival. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that you’re not quite ready for primetime despite your excitement to move forward. Additionally, we took legitimate concerns that our event might negatively affect longstanding Independence Day traditions throughout the area to heart.”

Before the event was officially announced, the Ellerbe Lions Club had said it was going to cancel its annual celebration because of the competition, but later decided to go ahead with the tradition.

The city of Hamlet also voted to continue with its annual fireworks show. 

“We want to be a positive force and a team player in our area,” Lovenheim said. “We look forward to opening The Rock to our community when it’s ready and when doing so will add to, not detract from, rebuilding Richmond County as a premier entertainment destination.”

Speedway and county leaders had billed the planned fireworks show as one of the largest in the southeast.

Hamlet singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Robinson was scheduled to play at the event.

“It’s clear that the guys at The Rock are anxious to share their excitement about it with Richmond County and beyond,” County Manager Bryan Land said in a statement. “We had good discussions and I agree with them that holding off on the 4th of July at The Rock is wise and I look forward to future events returning to The Rock.” 

One of those future events is the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Hoptoberfest, slated for October.

Rockingham Properties LLC purchased the historic Rockingham Speedway last August for $2.8 million “with plans to stage music festivals and other events to create the Rockingham Festival Grounds. The response to the Epicenter Festival proves the concept is viable and The Rock will continue its planning to bring the world and world class entertainment to The Rock.”

 

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