NEW KNOXVILLE – Independence Days in New Knoxville, set for June 29 and 30, will have favorites like classic fireworks as well as bring back a tug-of-war contest popular in the 1980’s. Other activities include a softball tournament, live music, 5K run, pie contest, kids activities and more. A complete schedule can be found at the festival website http://www.nkjuly4.com/.
Sponsored by the New Knoxville Park Board, the two-day festival will provide nostalgic moments for many.
“The Woody A Piehl Memorial Softball tournament is dedicated to Woody, who died of cancer in 1993, as well as his classmates, who are celebrating their 26th reunion,” says Sheila Farley, Park Board secretary. The team winning first place get $600, shirts, and a trophy.
Farley also said many are excited about the Tug of War Tournament, which is new for this festival. “They held tug of war contests at the Legion’s Fall Festival in the 1980’s, and many of us have fond memories of that event,” she said.
Live music on Friday is Brother Believe Me, and Saturday’s music is provided by Adam “Bubs” Ranly and Michael Christopher.
Kids can try out inflatables and a Touch a Truck event on Saturday that allows kids of all ages to examine and interact with a variety of vehicles. “I do know there will be a Humvee,” said Farley. There is also a Hot Shot and Free Throw contest.
Adult level activities include a pie contest, beer tent happy hour, a Way International choir performance, a 5K Night Ranger Walk/Run, and tips. BBQ chicken dinners will be for sale. A Little League contest between New Bremen and New Knoxville third- and fourth-graders and fifth- and sixth-graders will be held.
The fireworks display is set to begin at 10 pm on Saturday, followed by raffle drawings.
Some activities benefit individual organizations. There is a Friends of the Library book sale, a cake wheel raising funds for the eighth-grade’s Washington D.C. trip, and concession sales at the shelter house to benefit the junior high school class.
Proceeds from other activities go to the NK parks board, which has improved sound the system, playground improvements, added trees, expanded the parking lots, and updated facility lighting at the parks. Future plans include building a second shelter house with water service, heated attached restrooms and kitchen., improvements to the soccer fields, walking paths and current restrooms.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.