Melton will speak at 8:30 p.m. as the centerpiece of the evening program. A practicing attorney since 1946, he served two terms as Barry County prosecutor and 24 years as state senator. Melton has owned five newspapers over the years and wrote three books on local history. Melton last addressed Monett's July 4th celebration in 1993.
Activities will begin at South Park at 11 a.m. with the annual sale of barbecue chicken dinners by the Monett Lions Club. Chickens will be cooked in the barbecue pavilion near the City Park Casino and sold until supplies run out. Advanced tickets are available from Lions Club members.
The Monett Chamber of Commerce is hosting the city's celebration of the nation's birthday for the third year. In conjunction with the community gathering, the Monett Area YMCA will have the municipal swimming pool open free of charge from noon to 4 p.m.
Considering the heat that historically comes with the holiday, the Chamber has planned to start its activities later in the day. More than 25 vendors will have booths set up along the north edge of the park's main field by the Frisco caboose.
|Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry said vendors will be offering a variety of food from hot dogs to tacos. A range of activity booths will be featured as well, including water balloon fights and face painting. Train rides and pony rides will also be offered.|
|The Monett Jaycees will be hosting a hot wings contest at their booth. Cooks of all kinds are welcome to compete for producing the best hot wing recipe. All proceeds will go toward paying for next year's fireworks.|
Med Flight has agreed to bring one of its helicopter ambulances to the park for public inspection at 3 p.m., providing no emergencies require its services elsewhere. The helicopter will land in the park's main field.
|Other activities will include a martial arts exhibition by Monett RWTB led by instructor Ernest Freeman. The demonstration will be given to the west of the main stage on the park's central field. Ham radio operators will have their emergency trailer on site to demonstrate communications under disaster conditions.|
|The Monett Area YMCA will again bring its popular inflatables for the young and young-at-heart, which will be set up south of the tennis courts. This year the inflatables will open at 6 p.m., said event Chairman Jim Haston. The later hour corresponded better with the time children begin to gather in the park.|
|B Sharp Entertainment has been hired to provide both the sound system for the evening and recorded music before and after the patriotic address.|
Live music will begin at 4:45 p.m. from the main stage with traditional bluegrass band Rippling Creek. The Division, a country-western Hispanic band, will follow at 6 p.m.
"Monett's Got Talent," a new feature, will be held from the main stage at 7 p.m. Dance, instrumental or vocal performances are welcome, McElmurry said. Sign-up in advance is encouraged at the Chamber office. Remaining time slots will be available for on-site scheduling for the one-hour show.
Bingo will be offered this year at the City Park Casino, which will serve as an air-conditioned respite site from the heat.
The evening program will begin with an invocation at 8:15 p.m., followed by an official welcome from Mayor Jim Orr leading up to the patriotic address.
Sarah Hohensee will sing the National Anthem at the conclusion of the address. Recorded music will continue until the fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m.
Monett's fireworks show will again by presented by A.M. Pyrotechnics, of Buffalo. Owner Aaron Mayfield said there will be treats in store for viewers.
"We have imported fireworks from three new factories that are very reputable for having very high quality products," said Mayfield.
The cost of fireworks imported from China has increased by 60 percent since 2007, Mayfield said. A.M. Pyrotechnics opted to go into manufacturing its own fireworks, and in October, hired three-time grand master shell manufacturer Bill Page. After four months of research and development, Mayfield's firm went into full production of its own fireworks in April.
|"We only made 500 shells a week to sell to over 50 fireworks companies in the U.S. When they saw them, we sold our entire supply in two weeks," Mayfield said.|
|"These shells have the deepest color. They're the most beautiful stuff, so much better than what we import, and they're made right here in Missouri," Mayfield said. "We've sprinkled these shells in the shows we do. Monett is going to have quite a few of them, including the big six-inch shells. When you see some really exceptions displays, that will be ours."|
|Mayfield said the Monett show will be the same size as it has been in recent years .|
"We've put good American Missouri farm boys to work, and we're going to do the job," said Mayfield. "You ought to be proud of this show."
The fireworks display is made possible through donations from throughout the community.
"The ability to have a show of this quality is directly related to the amount of donations received," Haston said. "Any donations made this week will go toward next year's event."