Southeast Missouri communities offer Fourth of July events

Friday, July 1, 2011
Sparklers with American Flag

Fireworks, tournaments, car shows and live music -- no other holiday spells summer fun quite like the Fourth of July. Communities all over Southeast Missouri will celebrate Independence Day in their own ways. Some festivals start today, others over the weekend. Here's the rundown of events.

Fourth of July celebration in Arena Park

This year's festival in Cape Girardeau is one day longer, making it a four-day celebration today through Monday. The USA Veterans, who sponsor the event, said they hope to see many people from the community come out to celebrate independence. All the grandstand events have a $10 admission charge. Children 12 and younger enter free with a paying adult.

Poker and pool tournaments will be at 6 p.m. today in the Arena Building. Signups start at 4 p.m. There is a $50 buy-in for the poker tournament with eight tables available for play. Sixteen pool tables are open with a $20 entry fee for the pool tournament. All money will be used as cash prizes.

On Saturday and Sunday, contestants will test their skills in a washers tournament. The singles tournament starts at 9 a.m., and the doubles tournament starts at 1 p.m. Registration will be the day of the tournament, with an entry fee of $10 a person, which will be pooled and awarded as prizes.

Motocross riders from around the region will race on a dirt track during the Arenacross event at 7 p.m. in the grandstand arena. The pit opens at 1 p.m., and the gates open at 4. Audience members can watch as professional riders show off their tricks on motorbikes. Riders will sign autographs after the event.

The John D. Hale Band will take the stage with its Southeast Missouri rock and country at 8 p.m. Sunday; gates open at 6 p.m. Originally from Jackson, the band has traveled around the country performing original songs and covers. The band's website describes its music as a blend of country, Americana, Southern rock and bluegrass.

On Independence Day, demolition derby drivers will crash and bash each other until the last car rolls. Derby starts at 6 p.m. in the arena. Fireworks and a patriotic presentation will follow the derby.

Jackson celebration in city park

Starting early and ending late, Jackson is hosting a day jam-packed with fun Monday. Food stands will be available throughout the day selling corn dogs, barbecue, hamburgers, bratwursts and cotton candy. Events will take place in and around Jackson City Park, families with children of all ages are welcome.

The 2011 Independence Day 5K Walk/Run and Children's Fun Run starts at 7:30 a.m. Monday and will start and end at HealthPoint Fitness in Jackson. Registration packets can be picked up Saturday at HealthPoint Fitness in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, or from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. on race day. The race supports Southeast Hospital's cancer, children's health and wellness programs.

Classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles and monster trucks will be on display at the car show on Parkview Street near the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting at 11 a.m. local artists will gather in the park to display and sell their work. Children can enjoy a pony ride for $3 and Jelly Belly the miniature donkey will give $5 cart rides.

Saxy Jazz Motown will perform at 7 p.m. at the band shell. Food and drinks are welcome but glass bottles are not allowed in the park. The Jackson Muny Band plays at 8 p.m.

Oran, Mo.

The Oran Knights of Columbus will sponsor an all-you-can-eat buffet-style dinner from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday with roast beef, fried chicken, dressing and trimmings along with drink and dessert. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children 6 to 12; free for children younger than 6. There will be musical entertainment with Country Cousin Leroy from 3 to 6 p.m. and The Caney Creek Band from 7 to 10 p.m. Turtle races start at 4 p.m. Western wagon rides will be from noon to 6 p.m. and a horseshoe tournament will be at 1 p.m. There will be bingo at 7 p.m. and refreshments. The fireworks display will be at 10 p.m.

Sikeston, Mo.

The Freedom Celebration, sponsored by the First Assembly of God, will start at 4 p.m. Monday at the church's recreation facility at 1221 N. Ingram Road. The celebration is free and includes live music entertainment, Christian comedian D.C. Foster, rides, slow-pitch softball tournament, craft vendors and lots of food. Registration for the car show will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and the show will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Registration is $15 for the first vehicle you register and $10 for each additional vehicle. Sky divers will display the American Flag with red, white and blue smoke. The day ends with a firework show sponsored by the local Elks Club.

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