The Fourth of July is known for many loud things but this weekend, the sound of ringing bells could also be heard emanating through downtown Weaverville from the Bandstand on Main Street. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed July 4 as National Bell Ringing Day, saying, “Let’s ring freedom bells!”

Emcee Scott Morris said his grandfather Leonard Morris and Shirley Callahan got together in 1976 to get Weaverville to take part in the bell ringing across the nation.

“In Philadelphia it was 2 o’clock and on the West Coast it was 11 o’clock and that’s when we traditionally ring all our bells,” he said. Terri Taylor performed the national anthem as the VFW Honor Guard stood in salute.

Morris noted that Gayle Wilde brought Shirley Callahan’s turtle bell that she used bring every year. Shawn Williams brought the Weaverville Schoolhouse bell, which, due to its size, had to stay in the bed of a pickup.

At exactly 11 a.m., dozens in attendance rang their bells for two full minutes as traffic passed on Main Street. 

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