The purpose of the Fourth of July is to recognize the United States’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
It’s a time for Americans to reflect on the freedoms they enjoy.
Many celebrate with food, friends, family and fireworks.
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In Jackson County, there are several opportunities to do just that.
It starts today at Starve Hollow State Recreation Area in Vallonia. People can make patriotic windsocks at 10 a.m. and participate in a parade at 4 p.m.
The parade will start at the nature center and make its way around the campground. Those interested in participating should bring a boxcar, a stroller or a wagon. If you need decorations, they will be available at the nature center. Then that night, there will be a campsite decorating contest.
Sunday’s activities include making patriotic suncatchers at 10 a.m. and painting rocks for a treasure hunt at 2 p.m.
On Monday and Tuesday, there will be various puzzles and coloring sheets available at the nature center throughout the day.
Then Wednesday, a red, white and blue treasure hunt is at 10 a.m. and a sandcastle building contest is at 2 p.m.
Cassie Stilwell, the assistant property manager, said once people pay the $7 gate fee per vehicle, they are invited to participate in any of the activities. Fireworks are not allowed on the property.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for people to get outside and celebrate the Fourth of July and our freedom,” she said. “It’s a fun time. We have really good attendance every year for it.”
On Tuesday night in the county seat, the inaugural Brownstown Summer Concert Series wraps up with U4ia Band performing from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the stage at Heritage Park.
Sally Lawson, who has helped Brownstown/Ewing Main Street organize the concert series, said the plan was to have fireworks, but it didn’t work out. Kids, however, are invited to bring sparklers.
The concert is free thanks to sponsorship from Schneck Medical Center. Blondie’s Pizzeria & Pub and On Target BBQ will have food available for purchase, and Pewter Hall will sell beer.
Lawson said the concert series has been a success with an average of 200 people attending the other three shows.
“Just seeing people walk around downtown again and seeing nice foot traffic for our retailers is our goal,” she said. “To see that coming to fruition is really fulfilling. It has been a very well-received community event.”
Finally, on Wednesday, Seymour’s annual Fourth of July celebration will include music, swimming and fireworks, compliments of the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department, Radio 96.3 WJAA and Lannett Co. Inc.
There will be half-price admission to Shields Park Pool from noon to 5 p.m. The pool will not reopen for the 6:30 to 8 p.m. session.
Also at Shields Park, Music in the Park will run from noon to 3 p.m. The performers include Molly Hayes, Gage Mull, Gabby Murphy and Lela Hendley. This Old Guitar Music Store helps coordinate the free event.
The pool concession stand will be open, and people are invited to bring lawn chairs, coolers and blankets for the concert.
“Half-price admission is definitely an attraction. With the July heat, everybody enjoys the pool,” said Bob Tabeling, the city’s parks and recreation director. “Then from that standpoint, the Music in the Park is just a nice, relaxing atmosphere. I think it’s just a relaxing day, and people just want to take advantage of that.”
The celebration will conclude with a free fireworks display synchronized to music at 10 p.m. at the Freeman Field Sports Complex. Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc. of Kingsbury will put on the show.
The radio station’s Cool Bus also will be on location throughout the evening.
Alcoholic beverages and private fireworks are prohibited on city property.
“It’s just a grew view of everything, from the airport to out at Freeman Field,” Tabeling said. “It’s just a very nice night for the community.”
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Fourth of July celebrations around Jackson County
Today through Wednesday: Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, 4345 S. County Road 275W, Vallonia; activities include a parade, crafts, a campsite decorating contest, rock painting, treasure hunts and a sandcastle building contest
Tuesday: Heritage Park, 121 E. Walnut St., Brownstown; Brownstown Summer Concert Series featuring U4ia Band; the show is free, but food and drinks will be available for purchase
Wednesday: Shields Park, 600 N. Broadway St., Seymour; half-price admission at Shields Park Pool from noon to 5 p.m.; free Music in the Park from noon to 3 p.m., featuring Molly Hayes, Gage Mull, Gabby Murphy and Lela Hendley
Wednesday: Freeman Field Sports Complex, 2476 N. State Road 11, Seymour; free fireworks display at 10 p.m.