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But prior to – or in conjunction with – that day of celebration, numerous events are being held to commemorate the most important day in America’s history.
Fourth of July celebrations are being announced far and wide this year. In fact, there are so many events being held that some organizations and churches have chosen to hold patriotic programs and celebrations into the week following the Fourth of July.
Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center held its traditional Fourth of July celebration last Friday night at the nursing home facility in south Ava. Folks began arriving in the early afternoon to pick their spot for the gala fireworks display that marked the conclusion of an evening of music, games, food and fun.
By the time the program began at 6 o’clock, practically all the parking spots on top of the hill were taken, and traffic was being diverted to the alternative lots at the bottom of the hill. A shuttle operated by First Southern Baptist Church provided rides to and from the event, with a second bus provided this year by the Ava Methodist Church.
In addition to those who came to the nursing home to participate in the activities there, hundreds more chose to park off-site along Highway 5 to watch the big fireworks display by Chris Davis of Davis Pyro Productions.
Those who may have missed last Friday’s program, and those who want to see more, will have another opportunity Sunday night, July 3, when Highway Church of the Nazarene presents its annual Celebrate America program.
Davis will also be staging a choreographed fireworks extravaganza there to conclude a full night of Fourth of July activities.
The 29th Squires Picnic and Independence Day Celebration will be held on Saturday night, July 2, at the Squires Fire Department.
This traditional community event also features carnival rides, games, food, live entertainment and a big fireworks display beginning at 10 p.m.
The program, which begins at 5 p.m., is held at the junction of Highway 5 and Route JJ, across from the Squires General Store.
The program will include entertainment by Heritage Singers, Bluegrass Tradition and The McGill Family Tradition.
There will be games and drawings, with more than 30 door prizes to be given away.
Food stands will provide burgers, hot dogs, nachos, soda, popcorn, cotton candy, homemade ice cream and a cake walk.
Celebrate American on Sunday night will include live bluegrass gospel music by the Harper Family, of Bunker, Mo., as well as more contemporary gospel by Anthem, from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Highway Church of the Nazarene is located five miles north of Ava on Old Highway 5. There is plenty of free parking available.
Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and admission to the program is free. All activities are free, however, a full meal can be purchased at the food tent for only $2.
Once again this year, a skydiver will make his grand arrival in the middle of the field where the event is being held adjacent to the church, and just before the big fireworks show a free dessert bar featuring homemade cobblers and ice cream will be served.
Games for the kids will include inflatables, pony rides, train ride, face painting, and the Crystal Lake Fish Pond, to mention only a few.
For more information about the program, or for directions, call 417-683-5341.
In addition to these two big community events coming up this weekend, numerous other programs are being announced in the Herald this week – some to be held this weekend and some extending into the following week.