Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

Baldwin community celebrates Fourth

July 8, 2004

Fireworks boomed and sparkled and the American flags flew all over town as Baldwin City celebrated its Fourth of July with the usual traditions.

It was the fifth year in a row that the Citizens for Baldwin City sponsored the community Independence Day celebration at the ballfields north of the high school. CFBC restarted the long-held community event after it had stopped in the 1980s. The new version continues to grow.

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"I think it went fantastic," said Donna Kneedler, fireworks committee co-chair for CFBC. "We had a lot of compliments. We try to make it bigger and better every year and we did that.

"It will be hard to top that next year," she said. "We had a lot of people tell us it was better than last year."

Although there is no official count for how many were there, hundreds of Baldwin City residents again took advantage of the fun and games offered, the music and -- of course -- the fireworks display.

"I feel like there were more people there," said Kneedler. "The Babe Ruth field was almost full. The parking lot was packed. There were a lot of people there and they were having fun.

"The show was just fantastic," she said. "We had a huge finale."

That capped a day that had been started by another of Baldwin's Fourth of July traditions. For the eighth year in a row, Krystal Williams spearheaded the effort that puts a miniature American flag in everyone's yard. Williams started the effort with Hedges, but now it's with Stephens Real Estate as sponsor along with long-time sponsor Baldwin State Bank and another first-time sponsor, the Baldwin City Signal.

"It's just a tradition that I wanted to continue from Hedges," said Williams. "It put Debbie Morgan and I back together doing flags. She had done it with us the first two years."

Williams got the 1,200 flags through the help of Archer Carlson from the American Legion this year. A group of 25 people started at 6 a.m. putting the flags around town and finished up by 8 a.m.

"I hope we didn't miss anybody," she said. "I also want to thank the American Legion for the help in getting the flags."

The early morning stroll around Baldwin is always a highlight for the volunteer group.

"It went pretty easily. It's always good the way people come out to greet you," said Williams. "The best are the residents over at Orchard Lane Apartments."

Once the flags were placed, the group was treated to the annual breakfast.

"Joanne Arnold fixed breakfast for all the participants at my house," she said. "My husband helped with breakfast, too."

While the Fourth may be over for another year, both groups are already thinking about next year.

"We can all breathe easier now," said Kneedler. "We hope next year we can get more groups and people to help out."

Williams echoed that thought.

"Anyone who wants to join in and help out next year is more than welcome," she said.

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