Numerous Celebrations Planned For 4th of JulySalem, Centralia, Mt. Vernon and Farina all have Fourth of July celebrations on Thursday.
Centralia begins early, with the Veterans Parade beginning at ten Thursday morning. Line up is near the Chestnut and Broadway intersection. Parade continues down Broadway to Fairview Park where awards will be given out. Parade Liaison Butch Mathus says Kaskaskia College President Dr. Jim Underwood is the Grand Marshall of this year's parade. "We are going to have close to 39 entries that are going to be entered in this years parade. We have a special unit from the Scott Air Force Base, the Scott Air Force Color Guard, that will be leading the procession this year. We also have the Patriot Guard Riders that will be participating," said Mathus.
Thursday is the final day of the Centralia American Legion Homecoming in Fairview Park. The 7th Annual American Legion Vietnam Veterans of America Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show begins with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 with awards at 3:00. There will be awards for best Chevy, Dodge & Ford, Top 20 vehicles, top 5 motorcycles, and three specialty awards. All proceeds go to Madison Price Educational Fund. The carnival will be operating. The activity is capped by the Fireworks Display at 10 Thursday night.
In Salem, the fireworks display will be over the Salem Reservoir at nine Thursday night. City Manager Bill Gruen says the finally will be twice as big this year. That's because the company that sets off the yearly display had problems with the finally last year and to make it up to the city has doubled the size of the finally this year.
Mt. Vernon holds its Salute to Freedom at the Mt. Vernon Airport beginning at five Thursday evening. There will be concessions, a DJ, Miss July 4th Pageant, Shuttle from the parking area and fireworks around nine pm.
Farina has a full afternoon and evening of events, capped by a spectacular fireworks display at 9:15 Thursday night. Activity begins at three Thursday afternoon with the parade through downtown to the Farina Park. Sign up begins at two at the old grade school, with the horses registering at Kelly Welch's house. Games start at the park at four. Bingo and the cake walk follow at five along with entertainment from the South Central High School and Middle School Music Department. At 5:45, magician Chris Egelston will perform. There will be demonstrations of Zumba and Karate in the park. American Legion Post 411 will have the opening ceremony presentation of colors and the National Anthem by Kyla Stevens at 6:30. The band Crazy Horse will entertain at seven. There will be a raffle drawing, military display, homemade ice cream, sandwiches, and drinks. Organizers remind everyone this is a family celebration so alcohol is not allowed.
The Pratt Cemetery will hold its Fourth of July Celebration six miles west of Patoka on the Boat Dock Road. Dinner and supper will be served, there will be a cake walk, kid's games, quilt, cash, and gun raffles and music by the Liberty Road Band. Proceeds go for upkeep of the Pratt Cemetery.
If you don't get enough fireworks on Thursday, Irvington will cap their homecoming celebration on Sunday with a fireworks display at dusk.
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