Holiday plans include fireworks, flags and fun
Despite a few funding problems, the Citizens for Baldwin City will once again be sponsoring a Fourth of July celebration that includes games, food and, of course, fireworks for all on Monday.
This year will mark the sixth straight year for CFBC to sponsor the Independence Day celebration. Donna Kneedler, fireworks committee co-chair, said fundraising efforts haven't gone smoothly thus far.
"It's been rough. We have a lot of people that haven't donated yet that have in the past," Kneedler said. "We try to make it bigger and better each year, but we need the funds."
Kneedler said some of the group's fundraisers included selling Krispy Kreme donuts, cookouts, a barbecue and the Maple Leaf Festival. She said she hopes to raise enough money to keep the event open to the community.
"We want it to be a community event where people can come have a good time before the fireworks," Kneedler said.
Dana Robertson, vice president of CFBC, said the group has to raise between $3,000 and $3,500 to hold the event. She also said the fundraising effort started a bit later this year.
"We waited later this year and money-wise it's kind of tight right now," Robertson said. "Other than that, it's going all right."
The celebration will begin Monday at noon at the swimming pool. The Baldwin City Recreation Commission will open the pool from noon to 4 p.m. There will be free admission to the pool, free hot dogs, games, prizes and a disc jockey.
"Our major emphasis for the day will be at the swimming pool," said Monte Ezell, director of recreation. "Thunderstorms hit last year right in the middle of everything and we still had around 350 people."
Ezell expects between 400-600 people at the pool Monday. The pool will close at 4 p.m. to allow everyone to get ready for the celebration at the ball fields by Baldwin High School.
At 6 p.m. the party will begin at the ball fields, complete with games, food, live entertainment, a water slide and fireworks. Several food booths will be set up and the CFBC will be serving hot dogs, brats and drinks. This year there will not be a concession stand.
A three-in-one water slide, a fire truck and several games will also be at the ball fields. The games will include tug-of-war, water balloon toss, a gunny sack race and a three-legged race. The games will begin at 7 p.m.
Robertson said the preparation for the event has gone well thus far.
"We're getting it done. The fireworks have been ordered," Robertson said. "It's going pretty smooth."
Baldwin residents will again have American Flags placed in their lawns, which has become an annual tradition. This year, according to organizer Krystal Williams who started the tradition a decade ago, there will be 1,500 flags placed. For the first time, the Baldwin Boy Scout Troop will cover the city during the early morning hours to place the flags.
The CFBC met Wednesday night to finalize the plans for the event and it will pick up the fireworks Thursday.
Robertson said she is excited for this year's celebration.
"I'm ready and it gets exciting the closer it gets," Robertson said. "We work on it all year-round. It's exciting, especially the people. I walk around and seeing the people make it all worth it."