Area prepares for 4th of July celebrationsPublished 6:48pm Saturday, June 29, 2013
As bursting colors light up the night sky, residents will celebrate Independence Day Thursday — a day marked with patriotism and gratitude. In honor of this special day, cities and towns around Dallas County are hosting a slew of events that will cater to residents of all ages.
Selma will kick off its Fourth of July celebrations at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, located off Dallas Avenue.
Selma Mayor George Evans said the city’s 4th of July program has always been enjoyable. It’s an event “you won’t want to miss,” he said.
“We’re really looking forward to the program. Last year was a great show,” Evans said. “We just plan on inviting everyone to come out to Memorial Stadium and enjoy themselves.”
Along with fireworks, which will begin at 9 p.m., a host of activities will be available for children beginning at 7:30 p.m. The entire event, Evans said, is completely free.
“There will also be concession stands set up around the area so people can purchase different items. Food vendors will also be stationed around the area,” Evans said.
This is the city’s fifth year to host the celebration.
“It’s just a time to enjoy each other as a community and celebrate our independence,” Evans added.
Selma, however, is not the only area in Dallas County that will be donning red, white and blue. The city of Valley Grande plans to launch a lengthy program to commemorate the 4th of July.
Valley Grande Mayor Wayne Labbe said because Independence Day is such an important day for our nation, he along with other city officials plan to host an event that will bring the entire community together to celebrate its freedoms.
Beginning at 5 p.m. residents will be able to enjoy a number of programs — all celebrating the 4th of July — at the city walking trail.
“It will be a really good time. We usually have a great turnout,” Labbe said, noting that several vendors and activities will be set up along the trail, available for residents of all age to enjoy.
Slides, an inflatable, games, a dunking cage and a homemade ice-cream contest are just a few of the activities those who attend the celebration in Valley Grande will get to enjoy.
“One of the biggest things we’re going to have this year is we’re going to have a homemade ice cream contest,” Labbe said. “Anyone can enter. Just bring your freezer and your ice, and freeze your ice cream. Then we’re going to have judges there to test it out.”
And for those who are not as culinary gifted, Labbe said residents can taste all the ice cream they want for a slim cost of $1.
“As long as the ice cream lasts, you can pay a dollar and get you a cup and go down the line and sample each one,” he said.
After residents enjoy the many contests, activities and vendors, a fireworks show will light up the Valley Grande sky at 9 p.m.
“We try to start it as late as we can so it won’t be as hot,” Labbe explained. “It’s going to be spectacular, and I encourage everyone to come out.”
In another part of the county — Orrville — residents will also be able to celebrate their freedoms with lots of tasty vendor options and several games and activities.
Beginning early in the day at 9 a.m., Orrville residents will have the opportunity to participate in several 4th of July events and activities.
Quiencella Montgomery, organizer of the town’s Independence Day celebration, said she encourages everyone to come out and enjoy he day at Five Points Elementary School in Orrville.
“This is the first time Orrville has hosted a 4th of July celebration,” Montgomery said, noting that the program is completely free to the public. “It’s going to be something that will benefit the whole community.”
Other than an array of vendors, the town will also host a volleyball game, cakewalk and several games for children.
“It’ll be something everyone can enjoy,” Montgomery said. “And the more people that come out, the better.”
And although the city and county will be bustling with activities Thursday, all organizers agreed that the 4th of July is a day to remember what is truly important — our freedoms, and those who fought for them.