Sedalia residents will have plenty of activities to choose from on Friday when celebrating Independence Day.
The day kicks off with a downtown Fourth of July Parade at 10 a.m., starting at Sixth Street and Ohio Avenue. The route will continue to Main Street and Ohio Avenue, the turn to Osage Avenue and disband. Organizer Terry Cockrell told the Democrat Monday that 20 entries had been signed up so far.
“I would like to have more than 30 entries. The more the merrier. It’s the Sedalia parade, but it’s not just restricted to Sedalia, it’s open to anyone,” Cockrell said. “I’d love to have a good crowd there and at (Centennial) Park. The weather is going to be wonderful this year. The VFW and American Legion will lead the parade out, then the entries will follow after that.”
The Grand Marshal for the parade is Carl Franklin, a former councilman who ran for mayor twice in in the 1970s and was a foreman at local railroad shops. Cockrell told the Democrat he asked Franklin to accept the position last week, and that Franklin said “he is honored to be the grand marshal for this event.”
The deadline to register an entry for the parade is 3:30 p.m. Thursday, and interested participants should call 826-5000 ext. 922.
The seventh annual Sedalia Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration moves down to Centennial Park at 11 a.m., starting with a dedication from Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Mark Hewett for the newly built shelter at Centennial Park, as well as a short speech commemorating the 10th anniversary of the covered bridge replica in the park.
There will be a picnic lunch, games, and a cookie walk, as well as entertainment. Gospel Expressions, of Concordia, will perform beginning at 11 a.m. Later in the day, the praise teams from Burns Chapel Free Will Baptist Church and Methodist Taylor Chapel will perform, a first for the Fourth of July event. Food will be provided by Open Door Ministries and Parks and Rec, and the Salvation Army will be providing bottled water.
“Each year it gets better,” Cockrell said. “The community has been outstanding on this event. There will be city and county officials that plan on helping serve food. Each year I’m amazed with how many people want to help out. We generate total of roughly 1,100 to 1,300 people that come to the event. I’m proud to oversee this event.”
Cockrell said most people stay at the park until late afternoon, and then head out to the Missouri State Fairgrounds for the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce’s entertainment and fireworks display, with events starting there at 7 p.m. He also encouraged local residents to participate in the Independence Day festivities, noting that this is an event “the whole community can rally around.”
“With the price of gasoline being so high and Sedalia doesn’t have a lot of solid, whole community events, this is for all ages. There’s a variety for everyone,” Cockrell said. “You hear different stories of different people coming, they remember what Sedalia used to have. … I’m honored and glad to oversee this project, I have tremendous support.”
The Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting its fourth annual July Community Fireworks Celebration at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, with gates opening at 6 p.m. Free entertainment for the evening includes the Smith-Cotton Jazz Band performing at 7 p.m., the Daughters of the American Revolution reading the Declaration of Independence at 7:15 p.m. and a performance from the Full Moon Band at 7:30 p.m.
VFW Post 2591 will present the colors at 9:15 p.m., followed by the “Star Spangled Banner” sung by Sydney Guthrie, just before the sky lights up with the city fireworks display. Chamber officials said they are working with area churches and organizations to get a bounce house, puppets and games for kids during the event.
For more information, contact the chamber at 826-2222.
Registration for the annual Firecracker Mile, hosted by the Sedalia Runners Club and sponsored by Bothwell Regional Health Center, will begin at 7 a.m., with the open race beginning at 8 a.m. on the Missouri State Fairgrounds near the Pepsi Grandstands. The cost is $15 per person.
The novice division — for those who have run three or fewer races — begins at 8:15 a.m., and the 14 and under division begins at 8:30 a.m. There are divisions for young children as well: the Pee Wee Dash, for kids 6 and under, starts at 8:45 a.m., and the Junior Jog, for kids ages 7 through 9, starts at 9 a.m. Awards will be handed out at 9:30 a.m.
For more information, contact Jeff Mittelhauser at 826-5000 ext. 2 or 827-6809.