Parade, fireworks and more set for July 4
The annual Versailles/Midway 4th of July festival will begin July 3 in Midway and end the following night in a hail of fireworks at the Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center.
“Sparks in the Park” at Walter Bradley Jr. Park begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will feature barbecue and activities for children, including free sparklers that cool soon after they stop sparkling.
Festivities on Wednesday, July 4, begin at 11 a.m. in Versailles and include a parade, children’s parade, car cruise, kids’ zone, live music and a storefront contest.
At 6 p.m., the celebration moves to Falling Springs, with vendors, live music, and a kids’ zone serving as a prelude to the annual fireworks show when darkness falls. For the third year in a row, Pyrotechnic Display Inc. of Springfield will once again provide the sights and sounds leading to the oohs and ahhs.
Organizer Mike Coleman said he hopes 5,000 people will attend the show – and, with the help of the Versailles Police Department, park in designated areas and ensure they don’t block others leaving the event. Last year, an estimated 3,500 people attended the fireworks show after rain fell on the parade and throughout much of the day.
Sponsors include the City of Versailles, American Legion Post 67, the Joe and Debbie Graviss Foundation, Versailles Merchants Association, and others, with Journey Church putting together the kids’ zone at the park, Coleman said.
Coleman said this year’s theme, “Only In America,” is a switch from previous years in which groups of people such as veterans were honored.
“Just normal people who do something for the community,” Coleman said of this year’s theme.
His words might also be used to describe Coleman, who for the past several years has spearheaded the 4th of July and Christmas festivities. He laughed when asked if the sinus infection he was battling Monday was the result of too much work.
“I love our community and I love doing things so people can come out and network together. It’s energy for me, actually,” Coleman said. “Let’s just hope for good weather and hope everybody can come out.”