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Happy Birthday America

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Fire up the barbeque and stock up on ice 'cause the hottest party of the summer is right around the corner!

Though your electric bill might still be suggesting that winter hasn't totally lost its grip here around the 48th parallel, and the higher mountaintops still sport some patches of snow, the first day of summer has officially come and gone and it's time for the greatest party in the country - Independence Day.

All throughout the region communities both big and small put their hearts into the celebration of our nation's birth. From groups like the Lion's Club in Sandpoint, to Clark Fork's Rod and Gun Club, civic groups, VFW Halls and more we'll see everything from parades to beer gardens to good old fashioned community block parties, all culminating in displays of festive fireworks exploding over local mountain tops and valley lakes.

No matter what community you live in, there's a place right nearby to participate in this day's events. So put on your red, white and blue, pack up the kids, and head out for a party.

Plains

Motocross races begin at 6:30 am and continue 'til dusk at the fairgrounds. Fireworks to begin at dusk.

Noxon

Noxon’s Fourth of July will begin with the Fun Run.  Participants will meet downtown at 7:30 am to register, and then ride a bus out to Triangle Pond. The race will be three miles on pavement back into Noxon. The oldest contestant — 83-year- old, Stephanie Perez — is the mother of race organizer, Mary Chayboya, and the youngest,—–year-old  Madison Koonce — is Mary’s granddaughter. 

The VFW will present a Pancake Breakfast at the Senior Citizens Center. The Parade, with the theme of “Let Freedom Ring” begins at noon. Throughout the day there will be horseshoes, games for the children, a bake walk and 3-on-3 hoop fest. A pie judging contest will be followed by a pie auction. Concessions by the ski club and booths will be set up. Turtle races and frog jumping contests will round out the afternoon. Fireworks begin at dusk.

Heron

Heron's Fourth of July Parade starts at 1 p.m. Thursday, MST. Heron's theme this year is "Stars and Stripes Forever", to pay respect to all veterans at this year's Fourth of July. Veterans are invited to ride on Heron Community Center's float to be honored and thanked for serving and preserving our country's freedom. To participate in the pie-judging contest, please bring your pie to the Heron Community Center kitchen at  11 a.m. Line-up for Parade starts at  noon in front of Heron's library. All other activities start after the parade. Everyone is invited to bring their own family picnic or buy from the concessions. Hamburgers, pop, root beer floats, baked goods, and more will be available. A pie auction will begin around 2:30. The Clark Fork Ramblers (Jesse Frampton, Bob Cozal, Dennis Roberts and Barbara Mullins) will be playing sweet tunes  while the picnic and activities are going on. Horseshoe games "The Jail", Dunk Tank, volleyball, baseball, and other activities will be ongoing through the afternoon. Your family is invited for an old-fashioned Family Fourth of July.

In the evening, there will be a dance in the Heron gym with live music by Oh, Brother (the Lunnen Brothers' band). Rumors have it that several well-known country and western stars will make an appearance. If anyone would like to enter the parade, or bake a pie, or volunteer, please call, Kathy Fitchett 847-5593, or Mary Williams 847-2275. Fitchett and Williams encourage local groups to set up a booth, earn money for their organization and serve their community on this red, white and blue day.

Clark Fork

The Clark Fork Rod and Gun Club presents "An Old Time Fourth of July"

Once again the hard-working folks of the Clark Fork Rod and Gun Club are putting on a true, old-time independence day celebration. The parade begins this year at 9:30 am and the theme is "Patriotism." Grand Marshall is Ramona Maloney.

During and after the parade the action centers on the school grounds with food booths, raffles and the opportunity to visit with the hundreds of folks who show up for this annual event.

Races begin at 10:30 and there's a variety of opportunity for kids, adults, and child/adult teams to strut their stuff. Raffle drawings will be held at noon.

At 1 pm it's time to head over to the baseball field for the water balloon toss, bean bag toss, greased pole climb, shoe scramble, face painting, fishing pond, tug of war and even more sack races.

1:30 marks the airplane drop and turtle races begin at 2. Kids, better start hunting your turtles now. The ever-famous watermelon eating contest will follow.

At 4 pm, saw contests begin. Both chainsaw and crosscut saw contests, complete with prizes, will be held.

Fireworks begin at dusk, and if you've never seen Clark Fork's fireworks show, then hold on to your hats as it's worthy of a much larger city.

Sandpoint
Lion's Club plans a day of celebration to honor the 4th of July.

Following this year's theme, "United We Stand," the Sandpoint Lions Club is
preparing its 49th program to honor our country and celebrate our heritage.

The Fourth festivities will begin with the Kid's Parade at 9:00 am followed
by the Grand Parade at 10:00 am. For the Kids Parade, no entry forms are required. The afternoon will feature a free musical
tribute at City Beach. Dusk will signal the beginning of the colorful fireworks display at City Beach.

The Grand Marshals for the Grand Parade will be War Veterans - Past and
Present in recognition of their service in keeping all of us free and safe. Kenny Carter and the Big Eddy Band are putting together several talented local groups to provide good listening at City Beach. Everyone is invited to bring picnics and enjoy this entertainment.

Unfortunately the Lions have to note that there will be no carnival at this year's festivities. For the last several years, carnival attendance has been down, and it is just not possible to entice a quality unit here for what our budget allows.

Lion Parade Chairman Gerald Martello wants to remind everyone that the Lions depend on the sale of raffle tickets to fund the whole 4th of July project. Some lucky winners will take home some great prizes from that raffle too. A 2002 Yamaha Kodiak 401 cc 4X4 ATV, $2500 in Bonner County Bucks, and $1,000 cash will given away just before the fireworks.
   

Lion Secretary John Hunt noted that, "There is no charge for attending any of these events. Just come and enjoy this tribute to our great country and community."

Bayview
Bayview Days begins July 4th and runs through July 7th. Fireworks display will be held on Saturday, July 6th at dusk.

Priest River
Fireworks begin at dusk at West Bonner County Park

Bonners Ferry
Fireworks begin at dusk at the Boundary County Fairgrounds

Information compiled by Lou Springer, Trish Gannon and Misty Grage

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