2011-06-29 / Front Page

Fourth of July happenings around the county

Comet staff report

Various ways to celebrate Independence Day will be found around the county this weekend, from unique activities to special celebrations and fireworks displays.

Flora

The annual Gospel Fest sponsored by Flora First Christian Church, will be July 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Flora Community Park.

The free event will feature the following performers: Malachi Jaggers, Ginny Yoder, The Master’s Own, Falling Higher, and Zansahmint.

Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the music before the fireworks. Ice cream will be available from the Flora Lions Club.

Fireworks will begin at dusk, with Flora Volunteer Fire Department in charge. Delphi Canal Days will be celebrated at Canal Park Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The festival will feature artisans and their wares, music groups, food, log school, 1844 Reed Case house, canal boat rides, and the canal interpretive museum will be open.

New at this year’s festival are the scaled down “Pull-Me” canal boat, the lean-to Scale House attached to the boat warehouse, brick kiln exhibit, and a bellows built for the blacksmith shop.

Patriotic programs will be presented in the Canal Center both days at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Boat rides will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday and continue on the hour until closing time.

Free narrated walks will be offered each day at 3:30 p.m.

There is no charge for admission to the festival, but there is a charge for the patriotic programs, boat rides, and rental of bikes, kayaks and paddleboats.

Delphi Rotary Club will sponsor a Horseshoe Tournament on July 4 at Canal Park, Delphi. Registration is at 8 a.m., with play and 9 a.m. Call (765) 564- 4952 to reserve a place on the bracket.

Delphi Chamber of Commerce will host the annual fireworks display at Delphi Community High School July 4, beginning at dusk. Foreman Blasters of Peru is again providing the fire power and will give the audience an expanded show. Foreman has been the fireworks business used by the Chamber for the past four years.

Popsicles and bottled water will be distributed free of charge to those in attendance to enjoy while watching the annual show. Donations will be accepted for the refreshments. Burlington

Burlington’s 4th of July celebration will be held Sunday, July 3, with a rain date of July 4, at the community park. The celebration will begin with a hog roast from 5 to 8 p.m. Also from 5 to 8 the first annual Bingo for Nit event will be held, honoring the town’s long-time bingo organizer, the late Juanita Wagoner.

Kids games benefiting the Simply Soda Foundation will begin at 6, starting off with sack races for all ages. At 7, there will be an obstacle course with greased watermelons and at 8, a watermelon seed-spitting contest.

Simply Soda is a not-for-profit organization founded in honor of a Burlington area youth, Zaine Wagoner or “Soda Pop.” He suffered a traumatic brain injury, stroke and the loss of his grandmother in an auto accident on June 11, 2010. The organization is dedicated to supporting sick and injured children and works in conjunction with Gift of Hope, providing money, gift cards, food, love and compassion to families experiencing need during health crises for their chil- dren.

The celebration will conclude with fireworks at dusk.

Boat Parade/Monticello

The seventh annual Honor Our Military Patriotic Boat Parade and Celebration in the Park is scheduled for Saturday. Led by the Madam Carroll passenger boat, the boat parade gets under way at 11 a.m. from the Oakdale Dam area on Lake Freeman. About 12:15 p.m., the parade will pass the review stand at the Sportsman Inn, 12340 N. Upper Lakeshore Drive.

The public is invited to enter their decorated boats in the parade. To register, go to Oakdale Dam at 9:30 a.m. A contest will be held for the best decorated boat.

A flyover is scheduled at 12:10 p.m.

Spectators can watch the boat parade from the shore, from their boats and at the Sportsman Inn.

Rides on the 400-passenger Madam Carroll boat are reserved for military veterans, active military and their family members. Jim Alkire and the Dixieland Band will provide entertainment.

To reserve a free ride, call (574) 583-9784.

At 1 p.m., flag-bearing skydivers will kick off the three-hour Celebration in the Park on South Main Street in Monticello. Park highlights include Boilermaker Special rides for kids, a flight deck simulator from Grissom Air Reserve Base and hot dogs, watermelon and free games.

The day honors all military veterans. In the past, veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War were the focus. This year, the event will give special honor to Cold War veterans from 1975 to 1991.

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