When it comes to observing the Fourth of July, there is no excuse to not celebrate in the Ava area.
Three major events will be held this weekend, beginning with the annual Heart of the Ozarks celebration on Friday night, the Squires Picnic and Fourth of July Celebration on Saturday night, and Celebrate America at Highway Church of the Nazarene on Sunday night.
At both Heart of the Ozarks and Highway Nazarene, professional fireworks displays will be presented by A.M. Pyrotechnics, the people who do the Springfield Cardinals games, and Squires will also present its traditional fireworks show on Saturday.
Heart of the Ozarks Celebration Friday Night
The 29th annual Fourth of July Celebration at Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center will kick off the community’s weekend celebrations beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.
In addition to the vendor booths and games available, there will be a giant silent auction with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise up for bidding. Many of these items will go for a fraction of the actual value.
Some of the items up for bid will include Branson show tickets, gift baskets for various interests from fishing to animal lovers, car care and camping; furniture, beauty items, barbecue grill baskets, and a patio set; plus many items and services provided by local businesses.
The total value of items donated for the silent auction comes to more than $10,000!
There will be live entertainment by local musicians including Missy Breshears, Backyard Bluegrass, Southern Streak and Taylor Thompson.
There will also be a color guard by the American Legion and VFW.
Representatives from Copeland will call bingo throughout the evening and there will be inflatable games, pony rides, the Crystal Lake Fish Pond, a dunking booth, and many local vendors providing crafts and games.
Hamburgers and hotdogs will be available, as well as cotton candy, kettle corn, a dessert bar and Ava Kiwanis Club funnelcakes.
Roadrunners Car Club will host a car show during the event and there will be a petting zoo on hand.
Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket to spread on the grass and enjoy the evening.
A.M. Pyrotechnics will provide a professional fireworks display at dark.
Parking assistance will be provided by Ava Rural, Goodhope and City of Ava fire departments, and shuttle service will be provided from the off-site parking lots. Ava General Baptist Church and Highway Church of the Nazarene will be providing free rides from the Murphy lot and the Zane Gray property at the junction of Highways 5 and 76 at the bottom of the hill.
With parking limited at the nursing home, you are encouraged to take advantage of this free shuttle service that will drop you off and pick you up right in the middle of the action.
A rain date of Friday, July 11, has been set.
The 31st annual Squires Picnic and Fourth of July Celebration will be held on Saturday night, July 5, at the Squires Fire Department at the junction of Highways 5 and JJ in Squires.
The event begins at 5 p.m. with live music starting at 7 o’clock on the bandstand. Featured entertainers will include Bluegrass Tradition, Jam Dandy Band and Southern Streak.
Drawings will be held throughout the evening for door prizes, and there will be games and rides for the kids.
Concession stands will offer a complete variety of food including burgers, hot dogs, Nachos, soda, popcorn, and homemade ice cream. There will also be a cake walk, with lots of homemade desserts for prizes.
A $2 donation for parking is requested, and the sponsors are still looking for more volunteers if you would like to help with this annual community event.
A big fireworks show will be presented at 10 p.m.
For further information, or to make a donation or volunteer your services, contact Jeff at 417-689-9637; or Denise at 417-543-2297.
Squires has selected Saturday, July 5, as a rain date for their event.
Rounding out the Fourth of July celebrations in the area on Sunday, June 29 will be the annual Celebrate America at Highway Church of the Nazarene.
Located five miles north of Ava on Old Highway 5, the gates will open for this event at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Plenty of free parking is available on the Doc Smith property across the road, and handicap parking will also be available.
Inflatable activities and kids’ games will be offered, along with pony rides, the Crystal Lake fish pond, and a kids’ train.
Admission is free, and a complete meal can be purchased for $2. The plate meal includes a hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, Nachos, or Frito pie, with chips and soda or water. A free dessert bar of homemade cobbler and ice cream will also be provided.
Live music on the outdoor stage will be provided throughout the evening by Adam McCabe and the JABC Praise Band, from Springfield, and The Goulds, from Joplin.
There will also be a drawing for a free hot air balloon ride at 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting).
Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket to spread on the grass and plan to enjoy the entire evening.
A professional fireworks display will be presented at dark by A.M. Pyrotechnics.
In addition to the Celebrate America event on Sunday evening, State Representative Paul Curtman, from Franklin County, will be speaking in the morning worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday at Highway Church of the Nazarene.
Other churches, organizations and businesses will be sponsoring special Fourth of July events during the coming week. Look for advertisements and announcements in the Douglas County Herald this week, and attend those that are most convenient for you.