Fourth of July events kick off this weekend

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Beginning this weekend, an explosion of Fourth of July activities are planned around the region.

On Saturday in Green Forest, there will be lawnmower races, plus a park festival with music, food and fireworks. (See accompanying story.)

In Blue Eye, organizers are planning a fireworks display for 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Activities at the Blue Eye Firefall are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on the Blue Eye square with music and cloggers, games, crafts and booths, lots of food and a pageant for girls up to 10-years-old. Lawn chairs are suggested. For more information, contact Tracy Fugitt at (417) 527-6348.

Next Wednesday, July 4, there are many activities planned, including a celebration at the Beaver town campground. Three-legged races are scheduled, along with wheelbarrow races, hog calling contest, watermelon eating contest, and a personality pageant for youngsters in various age divisions. It all begins at 1 p.m.

The City of Eureka Springs will not be hosting its Fourth of July Extravaganza at Lake Leatherwood City Park this year.

According to a Parks and Recreation spokesperson, there is no funding for the celebration.

Shell Knob is gearing up for its 32nd fireworks display, known as Fire and Thunder Fireworks, to be held at dusk on Wednesday, July 4.

The rockets are fired one mile east of the Shell Knob bridge. Good viewing locations from land are any spot with a good view of the southwest side of Shell Knob Mountain.

Organizers say its pyrotechnician has exclusive shells, and some of the shells can only be viewed at Shell Knob. Donations toward the fireworks can be placed in collection canisters at several area businesses.

Other Shell Knob activities planned include a boat parade on Tuesday, July 3, beginning at 9 a.m.

For more information, contact the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce at (417) 858-3300 or visit its Web site at www.shellknob.com. In case of inclement weather, the fireworks display will be held on July 5.

In Kimberling City, Fireburst 2007 will be presented by the Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. It is a well-attended fireworks display funded by donations large and small. This year, Chamber members have set their goal at $36,000.

This will be the 24th year for the event. Fireworks can be viewed by car, boat or on foot. Organizers say an estimated 1,000 or more boats will gather regatta-style near the bridge.

A top 40 band, "What's Next," from Springfield, Mo., is scheduled to perform on stage at the Summer Fresh market parking lot from 6:30 until 10:30 p.m., with a break for the fireworks display.

There will also be childrens games, pony rides, food vendors and fire department demonstrations beginning at 6 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

For those traveling by car, carpooling is suggested because of heavy traffic congestion along key access routes. The best places to park are at the field next to the Summer Fresh, or at the Kimberling Shopping Center.

According to Sharon Haines, program director for the Chamber, city, county and state law enforcement officials, along with a private security force, will be on hand to direct traffic after the fireworks display. She said people "got out in record time" last year because of their efforts.

The fireworks event is always held on July 4. This year, she noted, there will be a Fireburst Flotilla on July 5 with the theme "Honoring our troops at home and abroad," from 7 to 9 p.m., with prizes awarded for best decorated boats. For more information, call the Chamber at (800) 595-0393.

In Harrison, activities begin on Tuesday, July 3, with a street dance on the square from 9:30 p.m. until midnight.

On Wednesday, the Fourth, there will be activities on the town square from 9 a.m. until noon, which includes a turtle race and other activities.

A "Fireworks Extravaganza," scheduled for 9 p.m., July 4, and sponsored by the Harrison Chamber of Commerce, will incorporate a large aerial display from the ground around Lake Harrison, with mirror images of the fireworks exploding on both sides of the bridge, reflected in the lake. The levee area makes the perfect seat to see the fireworks, say chamber officials.

For more information, call the Harrison Chamber of Commerce at (870) 741-2659, or Main Street Harrison at 741-4889.

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