Plans are complete for Monett's Fourth of July celebration next week at Monett's South Park. Live music, fireworks and a patriotic address are planned as part of the festivities.
The Monett Lions Club will begin serving barbecued chicken dinners at 11 a.m. from the cooking pavilion across from the City Park Casino. Cooking on the 1,400 chicken halves will begin early in the day. Advance tickets are available for $5.50 from any Lions Club member or at UMB Bank or First State Bank.
Gates will open for the official celebration on the lower level of the park off Waldensian Road at noon. The municipal swimming pool will also be open for the day free of charge, courtesy of the Monett Area YMCA.
According to Brittie Oakley, with the Freedom and Fireworks Committee, 30 vendors have signed up for booths, which will be set up on the soccer fields. Three-quarters of the booths will offer food and craft items or games for the children. The others will be informational booths. Meismer's train will be back to offer rides into the evening.
Booth space can be secured by calling Oakley at 489-0197. Forms for vendors can be requested by e-mail at email@example.com.
Vendors will be set up between the soccer field restrooms and the south parking lot. The stage for performances will be set up on the south parking lot, facing Highway 60. The primary parking area with room for around 400 vehicles will be in the old pole yard, south of the stage. Oakley encouraged those attending to follow signs. Parking on Waldensian Road will be limited to keep an open path for emergency vehicles.
The Freedom Talent Show will begin from the stage at 1 p.m. A panel of judges will determine the top performers. An open mike time is planned between 2:30 to 4 p.m. for individuals or groups wishing to perform. A time slot can be secured by contacting Amanda Stokes at 417-872-8053 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music will be provided between acts by Brent Beeson with Shockwave Mobile Entertainment.
Featured performers will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the bluegrass band Spur of the Moment. At 7 p.m., Lain'z Hot Rod Gang will begin nearly two hours of classic rock music.
The patriotic address will be given during the evening by Russ Hagar with the Missouri Army National Guard. A 2003 Monett High School graduate, Hagar joined the United States Army in 2002 and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. He worked his way up to the rank of maintenance sergeant as crew chief of Apache helicopters. Hagar now works full-time for Army aviation flight activity in Springfield as crew chief overseeing three UH60 Blackhawk helicopters.
Hagar will speak on the history of patriotism and his family's experience in serving the nation. Hagar's grandfather was born in Monett in 1908 and family members have served as combat soldiers in the Army Forces back to World War II. He plans to address ways others can show their love of country and how to serve.
The fireworks display by A.M. Pyrotechnics will take place at 9:30 p.m. Because of construction of the Monett Area YMCA building, the celebration is being moved to the lower level of the park. However, Oakley said the upper level will still be available for people who want to hike up to the park's main field. Distance restrictions from the launch area will still apply.
The Freedom and Fireworks Committee encourages people to set up blankets and lawn chairs on the soccer fields, where viewing will be ideal. No grills or tents will be allowed on the soccer fields.
The fireworks display has been made possible by many donations. Oakley said the committee would like to recognize the City of Monett and its electric department, Jack Henry and Associates, Dr. C. Bret Bowling and EFCO Corporation, a Pella company, for each donating at least $500 toward the fireworks' expense.