OAKWOOD – Oakwood is known for pulling out all the stops for Fourth of July, and this year’s celebration promises to be better than ever, according to the event’s organizers.
This year the event has two organizers, Oakwood Trustee Bob Parr, who is in charge of the activities and fireworks at Oakwood Park, and Oakwood Trustee Ferrell Stroh, who is in charge of the parade.
“The Fourth of July is a big, big thing in Oakwood,” Stroh said. “It’s our claim to fame.”
The festivities start at 6 a.m. July 4 with the firemen’s breakfast at the fire station until 10 a.m.
The parade, which has been a constant in Oakwood for the last 29 years, will line up at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church at Oakwood Avenue and Collett Street and step off promptly at 11 a.m.
“Everything begins at the Methodist Church,” Parr said.
Last-minute parade entries are welcome. A registration table will be set up starting at 9:30 a.m. at the northeast corner of North Main and Oakwood streets.
Stroh started helping Parr with preparations for the parade a couple years ago.
“The last two years I’ve been his sidekick,” Stroh said. “I’m in training to take over the parade and fireworks. This is my third year being involved.”
Stroh said a stack of applications were mailed out to past parade entries. The parade typically attracts 125 entries, including fire engines, queens from area pageants, local youth sports teams, Shriners, Ronald McDonald, politicians, antique cars and farm tractors, and people pulled in wagons.
“We’re a town of 1,600, but I’d estimate 5,000 people come to watch the parade,” Stroh said.
This year’s grand marshals are John and June McFarland of Fairmount, who will ride in a 1938 Chevrolet.
“They have been participating in the parade for the past 20 years,” Parr said. “She’s (June) is originally from Oakwood.”
The parade will head south on Oakwood Avenue to Park Street and wind its way back to Olmstead Street, ending at Olmstead and Main streets.
After the parade, there will be a few-hour break before the festivities start up again at 5:30 p.m. at Oakwood Park, Parr said.
“We’re going to have a lot of food vendors,” Parr said. “There will be elephant ears, ice cream, ribs, hot dogs and kettle corn.”
An air rescue helicopter will fly into the park, with the public being able to look at it and sit in it. However, no rides will be given. The band, Hillbilly Deluxe, featuring Jon Foley and Ryan Downing will play from 6-9 p.m.
“They’re Oakwood boys,” Parr said of Foley and Downing.
Starting at dusk, Jamaica Pyrotechnics will orchestrate a fireworks show that will last about 24 minutes.
“They promise a bigger show than last year,” Parr said. “It should knock your socks off.
“The intensity, with no lulls, no standing around ... it’ll be like World War III for 24 minutes,” he said.
Georgetown will present its fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Georgetown Fairgrounds, in conjunction with the Georgetown Fair. The rain date is Friday, July 5.