NEW KNOXVILLE – New Knoxville’s Independence Day Celebration on June 25 and 26 is a return to an American-style community picnic complete with baseball, a parade, a beauty pageant, fund-raising for a worthy project, and of course, fireworks.
“We are very excited to have the Independence Day Celebration back this year,” said Rod Farley, vice president of the New Knoxville Community Park Association. “Although we’ve had to make some changes, we are excited to have new events like the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant and the Golf Cart Parade. We hope everyone comes out to help us celebrate our country, support our community, and enjoy life getting back to normal.
A complete schedule can be found at https://nkjuly4.com/schedule/.
The festival is the main fund-raiser for the New Knoxville Community Park. NKCPA is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports park improvements through an annual membership drive, community donations and support.
The money raised at the Independence Day Festival will improve the community park, Farley said, “We have several projects we are working toward, but one we’ve been really saving for is a secondary structure for community and private events that has running water and attached restrooms.”.
The two-day schedule begins Friday night, June 25, when the food and beer tents open at 5 p.m. The kids can bounce around in inflatables while the adults listen to live music by the Hypnotix in the entertainment tent. Fundraising for the park starts that night and includes a raffle, tips and a cake wheel.
Saturday, June 26, is an all day event starting with the first annual Little Miss Firecracker Pageant at 10 a.m. The pageant is for all current New Knoxville School kindergarten girls and all pre-K girls who are currently registered to attend kindergarten at New Knoxville School next school year.
Fundraising continues on Saturday, with a raffle that includes prizes and 50-50 sign up at the park shelter house.
Farley said, “At 12 p.m., a golf cart parade will allow participants of the town to show off their penchant for golf carts by decorating them in red, white, and blue.” The parade route will be available on the park’s Facebook page closer to the event dates.
The festival is also about another traditional American activity… baseball. In this case, a Little League tournament between New Knoxville and New Bremen. It starts for the 3rd and 4th graders with softball at 11 a.m. and baseball 1 p.m. The fifth- and sixth-graders have their softball tourney at 3 p.m. and the baseball version 5 p.m.
Adults can participate in cornhole tournaments while the Touch A Truck area allows kids and their families to see emergency vehicles up close and personal.
While the food tent and food trucks are open both days, barbecue dinners are available from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Most manned by NKCPA volunteers.
“The chicken dinners are funded by the park and cooked by our Legion members,” he said. “We also run our own food tent utilizing volunteers from our youth Soccer and Baseball clubs. Beer is funded by the park and we have community and legion volunteers to help sell and serve.”
Fireworks will appear at the south end of town, after the American Legion presents the National Anthem, being sung by 2020 New Knoxville alumni Laney Farley.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.