Sedalia residents taking part in the sixth annual Fourth of July Celebration on Thursday at Centennial Park had three things on their minds: hot dogs, fireworks and the weather.
Last year temperatures soared into the triple digits during the event, which invites area residents out to celebrate with free hot dogs, music and games, but by noon, temperatures were only in the mid-80s.
“I think we lucked out with this one,” Sedalia resident Melissa Heuerman said with a laugh. “It’s nice having the shade and there’s a breeze. This is wonderful. I was here with my kids at the playground and we heard music coming from the shelter so we decided to check it out. I can’t believe I didn’t know they held this every year. We’ll definitely be back again for it.”
Organizer Terry Cockrell said he was happy with the turnout and noted the 1,100 hot dogs purchased for the event were nearly gone.
“Everything has been going great so far. I’m glad to see a lot of people out,” he said. “This is our sixth year holding the celebration so I think by now it’s something that’s expected every year. I know the parks and recreation department always gets a lot of positive response.”
Cockrell said he was proud to put on the free family friendly event and said while it does take some planning, the end results are always worth it.
“The day started with a great parade — we had about 25 entries — and ends with free lunch and games at the park. It doesn’t get much more American than that,” he said.
Ron Simmons, whose Sweet Springs-based group Gospel Expressions entertained the Centennial Park crowd, agreed.
“We weren’t able to perform last year, but we’re glad to be back this year,” Simmons said. “You know, we like singing gospel music and spreading the word of Jesus wherever we can, but this event is always a fun time for us. It’s good to be outside, when it’s not too hot, playing music and seeing families run around having a good time. Sedalia is pretty lucky to have an event like this.”