INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION PHOTO

Portland’s Top of the Ridge Restaurant is hosting an Independence Day celebration on July 3.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many apart, the owners of Portland’s Top of the Ridge Restaurant are hoping to bring people together for an Independence Day celebration.

“We want to have a time of fellowship, just a good time with people,” Top of the Ridge owner Christy Denning said. “Everybody’s been through a lot this year.”

The celebration will be an all-day affair, beginning at 9 a.m.

“It just popped in my head,” Denning said. “We’re going on vacation and closing down for a week (following the celebration). We probably won’t have any happy people (that we’ll be closed).”

The restaurant — which is located at Bottom View Farm (at 185 Wilkerson Lane in Portland) — actually opens for breakfast at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 10 p.m.

Various vendors — including the Portland-based Big Poppa Corn — are expected to be in attendance as well as food trucks. There will also be Bluegrass music.

Steaks, ribs and wings will be among the cuisine that will be available that day, and Denning said that she has also considered preparing walking tacos and homeade ice cream.

The restaurant opened in January, though Top of the Ridge catering has been in existence for approximately 20 years.

“Business is picking up,” Denning said. “We’re secluded, but we’re doing pretty good.

“Everybody told me, since I’ve been in the catering business, that January and February is a bad time to start a restaurant. They were wrong, but I think it’s because the Top of the Ridge catering name was (already) out there.”

There will be activities for children — including face painting, bubbles and a fish pond — and Bottom View Farm has attractions for families as well.

“We’re going to try to do some stuff for the kids,” Denning said. “There’s a lot of stuff for kids to do out here (at Bottom View Farms).”

Denning is hoping that the celebration might turn into an annual event.

“I’m a people person,” Denning said. “I like people having a good time. We just went through this COVID thing, but we never closed. The restaurant did, but we did a lot of carryout.”

The event will conclude with fireworks — as long as ground conditions aren’t too dry — around sundown.

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