Holiday events include Fun/5K Run, Children’s Parade, music in the Grove and first-ever professional fireworks show over Swayze Field
It’s American’s birthday this Thursday, July 4th, and just as in big cities and small towns throughout the nation, the Oxford community will be going all out to mark the red, white and blue holiday with its 2013 LOU Fourth of July Celebration.
From an early morning Fun/5K Run and Children’s Parade on the Square to an afternoon of family activities and music in the Grove that culminates in the city’s first ever professional fireworks show over Swayze Field after dark, LOU Fourth of July Committee chair Meredith Rawl said the local Independence Day salute will bring citizens together for a full day of events that celebrate America’s hard-won freedoms.
“It’s a great opportunity for families to show their patriotic spirit,” she said, starting with the downtown Children’s Parade. “To my knowledge, it dates back to at least 2007.”
As in years past, Rawl said the parade line-up begins at 8:30 a.m., with the actual parade set to kick off at 9:30. “The VFW Color Guard will be there as well as the Oxford PD Mounted Patrol. Community members are encouraged to decorate bicycles, golf carts, antique cars, etc. in a patriotic theme.”
Children riding bicycles must wear a helmet, Rawl said, adding, “Pets are welcome to join in the parade.”
Interested parties can register for the parade online at www.lou4thofjuly.com or sign up at the registration table in the parking lot adjacent to Something Southern on July 4th.
Trophies will be awarded to the Most Patriotic, Most Unique and Best Dressed Pet. Winners will be announced in the Grove at the LOU 4th of July Celebration Ceremony, beginning at 6 p.m.
The afternoon of fun moves to the Grove from 4-8:30 p.m.
“There will be a number of vendors selling art, beverages, food, etc. as well as free games and activities for families. Musical entertainment will be provided by the LOU Community Band, Maybelle’s Lovers, Alanna Mosley and Rocket 88,” Rawl said.
Beginning at 6 p.m., representatives from the University, the City of Oxford, the Chamber of Commerce and Lafayette County will take part in a ceremony commemorating America’s freedom, its veterans and their families. A highlight of the ceremony, Rawl said, will be the singing of the National Anthem and American the Beautiful by Lafayette County High School student Linsey Lawrence.
Although many of the LOU Fourth of July Celebration events will be familiar to attendees, Rawl said the fireworks show set to begin after dark will be different this year.
“We will have our first ever professional fireworks production over Swayze Field. In years past, the local fire department has been kind enough to oversee the fireworks show, but this year, we’ve hired a production company to coordinate it. The 20-minute show will be choreographed to patriotic-themed music.”
The best seats for the fireworks show are inside Swayze Stadium, she said, and the public can get a front-row seat for a $2 donation. Proceeds will go toward next year’s Fourth of July Celebration.
Rawl said this year’s holiday celebration is being underwritten through the financial support of sponsors such as Winchester, the City of Oxford, Lafayette County, Oxford Bank Association, FNC, Southern Airways Express, Sears, the University of Mississippi, Family Crisis Services and the Oxford Chamber of Commerce.
For a full schedule of Fourth of July activities, log on to www.lou4thofjuly.com. –– Michael Harrelson, editor, HottyToddy.com
Email Michael Harrelson at email@example.com