Fun-filled Fourth set to unfold
Stars and stripes, along with fireworks, food, music, games and even synchronized swimming, will be a part of Wednesday's Fourth of July festivities.
There will be events all day for Fourth of July fanatics, leading up to the big fireworks display that begins at dusk at the Baldwin High School.
Independence Day will be apparent early Wednesday morning by the amount of red, white and blue in yards around town.
Krystal Williams, broker at Hedges Real Estate, said 16 volunteers will be placing 1,200 American flags around Baldwin City, with one flag in each yard, beginning at 5:30 a.m.
"We're going to put them out all over the city," Williams said. "It's patriotic and it's just our way of showing our appreciation to Baldwin."
Baldwin State Bank, Mid-American Bank, American Family Insurance and Hedges Real Estate are sponsoring the annual stars and stripes project.
The Baldwin City Recreation Commission is also taking part in the holiday's events by sponsoring a free afternoon pool party.
The Baldwin City Pool will open at 11:30 a.m. with a half-hour synchronized swimming demonstration presented by the Kansas City Terrafins.
At noon, the pool opens for swimming. Hotdogs, drinks, music, games and prizes will be available until 4 p.m., and the pool will close at 5 p.m.
Recreation commission assistant director Debbie Schmidt said this is a good way for families to spend a holiday afternoon.
"We're trying to do some more community activities for the family," Schmidt said. "This will have something for everybody. It's going to be fun for the whole family."
Recreation commission director Monte Ezell said he expects an even bigger turnout than the Memorial Day pool party.
"We might have up to 600 people at one time," Ezell said. "We could have twice as many as that throughout the day.
"It's basically a typical block party," he said. "We're just including the whole neighborhood."
At a time where the temperature will hopefully be cooling down, the festivities will just be heating up.
Citizens for Baldwin City is sponsoring Wednesday evening's free fun and games beginning at 5, before lighting up the night sky with lights and explosions.
Donna Kneedler, chair of CFBC, said there are several events to entertain what she hopes will be a large turnout at the ball fields next to the high school.
She said games, including tug of war, sack races, water balloon toss and the three-legged race, will award the winners ribbons and other prizes.
"This year we're also trying to start a homemade ice cream contest," Kneedler said. "We're going to have a prize for the winner and then sell the ice cream after that."
Judging for the ice cream contest begins at 7 p.m. For more information about the contest call Susan England at 594-4896.
Kneedler said the local band, Color Blind, will be performing old time rock 'n' roll for part of the evening.
Baldwin residents will also get the chance to soak some members of the Baldwin City Council including Mayor Ken Hayes at the dunk tank.
There are a few items Kneedler said people need to be prepared to bring, including money for the hotdogs and hamburgers, popcorn and nachos and candy and drinks that will be available all evening at the recreation commission concession stand.
Lawn chairs and blankets should also be top on the list of items not to leave at home.
Kneedler said people will be allowed to spread their blankets and chairs out on the ball fields to enjoy the hour-long fireworks display that will begin between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
The pops, bangs and booms will be bigger and longer than last year's display, she said, reminiscent of displays a few years ago.
"We ordered more and bigger shots," Kneedler said. "It really should be a good display.
"So many of us used to have this when we were younger. It was a time to have fun with your families and friends," she said. "We're just hoping to bring that back to Baldwin."