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Organizers of the county’s two 4th of July events scheduled for Friday – at Clear Creek Park and in Simpsonville – say this year’s shows are sure to please, packed with more of everything, including, what else – fireworks and more fireworks.
“With the sponsors this year, we were able to up the size of the fireworks a little bit,” said Shelby County Parks and Rec. Director Shawn Pickens. “It won’t be drastically bigger, but it’ll be a little bit bigger and longer show than last year.”
Chris Truelock, Simpsonville Parks and Rec. director is even more enthusiastic.
“Our fireworks show, well it’s going to be pretty amazing,” he said.
“Last year, we had The Knock Out [grand finale], and this year, we’ve doubled the strength of it; we’re really going to light the place up!”
All of this is pretty spectacular when one considers the uncertainty that existed earlier in the year that Pickens would even be able to scrape together the $9,000 needed to put on “Shake the Lake,” a 4th of July event that’s been ongoing since the mid 1990s.
But a big boost from Martinrea Heavy Stamping to the tune of $5,000 has made this year’s event possible – and what’s more – the company’s United Auto Workers members will be cooking up all kinds of tasty treats at the event, including plenty of hotdogs and burgers for sale.
However, Truelock said that Simpsonville’s “Red, White and Boom” – in its second year – was never in danger of cancellation due to lack of funds.
“Our sponsors have been very good to us,” he said, adding that last year’s event budget of $12,000 has been surpassed this year, growing to $16,000 because of more fireworks.
“We’re also opening earlier this year,” he said, adding that festivities will start at noon at Simpsonville Park on Old Veechdale Road.
Admission will be free, and activities will include bounce houses for children, concessions for sale, and music from two bands, Silver Wings and The Habit, who will perform from 3-6 and 6-8 p.m., respectively, as well as D.J. Matt Simons, from 8 p.m. until the fireworks show begins.
The Clear Creek Park event will be at the amphitheater at Lake Shelby and gates will open at 5:30 p.m. at a cost of $3 per person. All activities are included in the cost of admission, including bounce houses, and live music from The Killin’ Time Band and Eddie Barber.
“We’ve got two bands this year; in the past, we’ve just had one, so we’ve kind of stretched out the entertainment a little bit,” he said. “They’re country and classic rock, all family friendly. We’ve met with them and we’ve listened to them because we know there’s going to be a bunch of kids out there.”
Shake the Lake will have two new attractions this year, Pickens said – a community yard sale at the FAC center parking lot early in the day and hot air balloon rides.
RE/MAX Performance Realty is sponsoring the balloon rides, which will be tethered and weather permitting.
Remembering how last year’s Fourth of July celebration was postponed because of rain, Pickens said he doesn’t expect that to happen this time, nevertheless, he has made tentative plans for it.
If it does rain it out, the event would likely be held July 12, he said.
The fireworks show is expected to begin at the same time at both events, around 9:45 p.m.
For a morning activity, the Mount Eden Ruritan Club will host its 4th of July parade. It will start in Harrisonville at 10 a.m. with horses, and picks up the floats, fire trucks, bicycles, EMS, dignitaries and others at the bridge on Back Creek Road at 10:45. The parade enters Mount Eden about 11:45, and finishes at the Mount Eden Ruritan Grounds. The complete parade route is more than 8 miles long.
Shake the Lake
When:5:30 to 11 p.m., July 4
Where:Clear Creek Park Amphitheater
Cost:$3 per person
Red, White and Boom
When:noon to 11 p.m., July 4
Mount Eden Parade
When:July 4, 10 to noon
Where:Begins in Harrisonville in 10 a.m., floats and others join parade at 10:45 on Back Creek Road, the procession enters Mount Eden at 11:45