Published on June 29th, 2023 | by Nature Humphries


Red, White, and Boom! Celebrate Your Freedom with Explosions, Games, Music, and Food on Sardis Lake

Independence Day is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a party, Rafters on the Water has you covered with five days of live music, events, and food leading up to the grand finale: the biggest and best fireworks show in North Mississippi.

Red, White, and Boom first launched in 2018 in the town of Sardis, and it keeps growing year after year. Founder Hudson Chadwick has been fascinated with fireworks and sound engineering since childhood trips to Disney instilled a passion for pyrotechnics. Five years ago, he came up with the idea of a lake party for the Fourth of July, and 2023 promises to be the biggest celebration yet.

Starting on Friday, June 30, Rafters on the Water is the place to be for music and fun. Highlights of the five-day event include a Poker Run, Cornhole Tournament, live music, and food truck fair.

“The Performance Marine Poker Run on Saturday, July 1, is a really neat event,” said Chadwick. “It’s a poker run on the water with boats.”

The entry fee is $35 per poker hand, and you stop in your boat at various places around Sardis Lake to get cards. The highest five-card hand wins a $1,000 prize. Proceeds from the entry fees go to support the Ole Miss Student Veterans Association.

“This event raises good money for them, and it’s lots of fun for the participants [to have the] opportunity to get out on the water and go see different parts of the lake,” Chadwick said. “The stops [cover] the full eight miles up the lake to get cards. [In addition to] the $1,000 grand prize for the best hand, we’re giving away a Rafters gift card to the person with the worst hand. So, you can decide which direction you want to play as you start getting your cards.”

Registration for the Poker Run begins at 8:30 am, and a Captain’s Meeting will take place at 10:30 am on the patio at Rafters on the Water. The run will go from 11 am until 3 pm, with the winners announced at 4 pm.

Sunday, July 2, Rafters on the Water will host the Cube Ice Cornhole Tournament, which has a $2,000 prize pot thanks to a generous sponsorship from Cube Ice. Pre-registration starts 1:30 pm and bags fly at 2 pm. There is one division at $40 a team. You can either register at or show up at 1:30 pm and sign up at the table.

Chadwick said he expects the cornhole tournament to have a huge turnout. “Once again, the proceeds from the entry fees go to benefit the Ole Miss Student Veterans Association. We’re expecting a big crowd for Sunday’s tournament, and we’ll have live music all day at Rafters on the Water.”

Monday, you can plan to have a fun laid-back day out at the lake with more live music. Then, get ready for Tuesday, July 4, which will feature music all day capped off with one of the biggest fireworks shows in North Mississippi at 9 pm.

“We are super excited about that, and you can watch it from Rafters on the Water, or the recreation areas below the dam, or from your boat out on the water … there are all kinds of opportunities to view it from different places. It’s something that we’re really proud of,” said Chadwick.

Red, White, and Boom has several great partners, including the main sponsor, Southern Works Demolition, Excavating, and Hauling of Hernando. Platinum sponsors include Performance Food Group in Batesville, the Town of Sardis, Sardis Lake Marina, Performance Marine, and Cube Ice. Also supporting the events are Ready Play Storage, Matt Johnson Electric, 106.9 Country Legends, The Ink Spot, Austein Mechanical Contractors, and Bullseye 95.5 FM.

For the highlight of the night Tuesday, the fireworks display will be one you don’t want to miss. Shot from the overlook on the dam, the show is a “pyro musical.”

“You can tune in to 100.5 The New Sound of Country, a radio station out of Batesville,” said Chadwick. “They will simulcast the music that goes along with the fireworks show. So, if you’re out there in your car, or tailgating, or whatever else, you can just tune your radio to 100.5 and listen right along with the with the soundtrack. The fireworks can be seen for miles—the viewing opportunities are limitless.”

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