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Oxford Fourth of July Events Schedule Plentiful

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

From music to bouncy houses to a parade, Oxford’s Fourth of July weekend has something for everyone – and of course, fireworks.

Meredith Rawl, with Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, is chairing this year’s LOU Fourth of July Celebration. This year’s events are sponsored by Family Crisis Services, the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Winchester.
The 20-minute fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Wednesday over the Oxford-University Stadium-Swayze Field and is sponsored by Olin-Winchester. To avoid long lines for those wishing to view the fireworks from inside Swayze Field, prepaid wristbands are available with a $2 donation that goes back into the Fourth of July fund for next year’s events.
The wristbands can be purchased Wednesday morning at the registration tent for the Children’s Parade and at the registration tent in the Grove throughout the day.
“Sometimes it can be congested waiting in line for change to enter the stadium,” Rawl said. “We are excited about this option and hope it will allow for a more smooth entrance.”
Financially, the event is funded by Winchester, the city of Oxford, and Lafayette County. In-kind sponsors include the University of Mississippi, providing financial support through their labor and facilities. Additional sponsors include the Chamber of Commerce, Family Crisis Services, Maxx South and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
Several events on the 4th
The nation’s birthday celebration will kick off with the Stars & Stripes on the Square 5k Classic to benefit the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society. Registration is $30 today and tomorrow but may increase on the morning of the event. All participants will receive a race number and official Stars and Stripes T-shirt.
After the race enjoy food, drinks and the awards ceremony where awards will be given for first, second and third-place winners in each group for both male and female categories.
At 8:30 a.m., little ones, pets, moms, dads and the entire family can take part in the annual fun run around the Square for $15.
To register, visit www.oxfordpets.com.

John Arrachea in the 2016 Fourth of July parade. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg. 

The annual LOU Fourth of July Children’s Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. on the Square. Lineup begins at 9 a.m. by Something Southern.
Preregistration is not required, but helpful, according to Rawl.
“So that we can start to sort entries and prepare for the number of entries,” she said.
On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Last year’s Little Miss Firecracker and Tiny Miss will be in the Children’s Parade in convertibles loaned from Cannon Motors.
Lieutenant Governor candidate and current State Rep. Jay Hughes (D-Oxford) will be the Grand Marshal and lead with his Imagine Wagon and will broadcast music for the parade. The National Guard will be riding in a Humvee and the Oxford Police Department’s Mounted Patrol will also be in the parade.
At 4 p.m., activities in the Grove on the University of Mississippi campus begin. The festivities include a children’s area featuring a petting zoo, train rides, bounce houses, face painting and balloon art. The Lou Community Band will perform for an hour starting at 4 p.m.
The Lil’ Mr. and Miss Firecracker Contest for children 0 to 7 years old will be held at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge to enter the contest; however, preregistration is recommended since space could be limited.
The Independence Day Ceremony on the Grove stage begins at 6 p.m. where UM Provost Noel Wilkin, Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill, Lafayette County Supervisor Mike Roberts and Chamber board president Scott Vasilyev will welcome the community and take a few moments to reflect on the importance of the Fourth of July and honor local service men and women. Patriotic musical salute by Tate Moore and parade awards will be announced.
The fun will continue in the Grove with live musical acts until 8 p.m.
Gates open at the Oxford-University Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Coolers are not allowed inside the stadium, but refreshments will be available to purchase. Local films will be shown on the stadium screen prior to the fireworks.
As the sun retires for the day and the stars make their way into the night sky, this year’s $15,000 fireworks show will begin at about 9 p.m.
The money for the fireworks is raised through sponsors, donations, the $2 donation at the stadium and from the sale of glow sticks, pizza and beverages during the fireworks.
Rawl said the weekend could not take place without the help of the sponsors and volunteers, which are still needed. Email Rawl at mrawl@hotmail.com to find out how you can help.
Should Mother Nature not be feeling patriotic this year, event organizers will be working with local emergency management officials to monitor the weather.
“If there are thunderstorms or if safety is a concern, activities will be canceled on a case-by-case basis,” Rawl said. “Social media will be the best way to keep track of that.”
Family Crisis Services provides advocacy, prevention/intervention education, 24-hour crisis intervention for adult and children victims of sexual assault, a 24-hour crisis hotline for all victims of crime, counseling, forensic interviewing, information/ referral, court prep services, and multidisciplinary teams.

2018 Schedule of Events
7:30 a.m.: Stars & Stripes on the Square 5K Classic to benefit the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society
8:30 a.m.: Fun Run
9:30 a.m.: LOU 4th of July Children’s Parade on the Square, lineup begins at 9 a.m. by Something Southern. Parade registration
4 p.m.- Nightfall: Activities in the Grove at Ole Miss
Activities include: Live Music and Food Vendors  Vendor Application 2018
Children’s Area, featuring: Petting Zoo, Train Rides, Bounce Houses, Face Painting, Balloon Art
4-5 p.m.: LOU Community Band
5:30 p.m.: Independence Day Pageant Lil’ Mr & Miss Firecracker Contest 2018 Entry Form
6 p.m.: Independence Day Ceremony in the Grove
6:15 -8:15 p.m.: Music in the Grove featuring Damein Wash and Funkatomic
7:30 p.m.: Gates open at Swayze Field for a $2 donation
9 p.m.: Fireworks

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