Plenty of events planned for Fourth of July weekend

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, June 30, 2016

From dances to bouncy houses to fireworks, Oxford’s Fourth of July weekend has something for everyone, including the debut of a new beer by Yalobusha Brewery.

The events will kick off Friday night with the annual Firecracker Bash at the Lyric Oxford, which is a major fundraiser for the Leap Frog Program that tutors area school children during its after-school program.

Yalobusha Brewery will be unveiling its new beer, “Coffee Break Happy Hour” at the event. However, allowing those at the bash to try the new beverage isn’t the most exciting part about the new brew, said Leap Frog board president Joe York.

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“Yalobusha Brewery has recently committed to donating a portion of all sales of the new beer to Leap Frog,” York said, “to the tune of $4,000 a year over the next five years.”

Tickets for the bash are $25, but for an additional $25, attendees will receive a bottomless cup of the new beer along with another of Yalo’s beers, to be announced by the brewery.

Entertainment will be provided by Leap Frog alumni and Hollywood. Dress is casual. There will be a silent auction and the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. America — the couple who raise the most donations for Leap Frog. Tickets can be purchased at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Oxford-University United Methodist Church or at the door on Friday.

LOU Celebration

Meredith Rawl, with Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, is chairing this year’s LOU Fourth of July Celebration. Family Crisis Services is a major sponsor of the holiday weekend events.

“It’s a way that we can give back to the community as well as raise awareness about the services we have been providing the LOU community since 1992,” she said.

Family Crisis Services provides advocacy, prevention/intervention education, 24-hour crisis intervention for adult and children victims of sexual assault, a 24-hour crisis hotline for all victims of crime, counseling, forensic interviewing, information/ referral, court prep services, and multidisciplinary teams.

New to this year’s lineup is actually an old Fourth of July tradition from Oxford’s past. The committee decided to bring back the Saturday night dance. It will be held at the pavilion on the corner of Bramlett Boulevard and University Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m.

“When I began chairing the celebration four years ago, we made a choice to put more money into the fireworks; and hired a professional pyrotechnics production company,” Rawl said. “Unfortunately, one of the things that we had to cut to make that happen was the street dance.”

The free Community Dance will be a fun and festive family-friendly event with music and entertainment.

Several events on Monday

On Monday, events are planned throughout the day, starting with the Stars & Stripes on the Square 5k Classic to benefit the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society. Registration is $25 or $35 on the morning of the event. All participants will receive a race number and official Stars and Stripes T-shirt.

After the race enjoy food, drinks and the awards ceremony where awards will be given for first-, second- and third-place winners in each group for both male and female categories made by a local artist.

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At 8:30 a.m., little ones, pets, moms, dads and the entire family can take part in the annual fun run around the Square.

The annual LOU Fourth of July Children’s Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. on the Square. Lineup begins at 9 a.m. by Something Southern.

At 4 p.m., activities in the Grove on the University of Mississippi campus begin, sponsored by Your Extra Closet. Activities will include a children’s area featuring a petting zoo, train rides, bounce houses, face painting and balloon art.

Things will turn a bit more solemn at 6:30 p.m. for the Independence Day Ceremony on the Grove stage where veteran Jim Petermann, with the Civil Air Patrol, will speak on remembering the importance of the Fourth of July.

The fun will continue in the Grove with live musical acts until 8 p.m.

Gates open at the Oxford University Stadium where people can watch the fireworks for a $2 donation. Coolers are not allowed inside the stadium. Refreshments will be available to purchase. Local films will be shown on the stadium screen prior to the fireworks.

As the sun retires for the day and the stars make their way into the night sky, this year’s $15,000 fireworks show will begin at about 9 p.m. The fireworks are sponsored this year by Olin-Winchester and will last about 20 minutes.

The money for the fireworks is raised through sponsors, donations, the $2 donation at the stadium and from the sale of glow sticks, pizza and beverages during the fireworks.

“All of the proceeds go to next year’s celebration,” Rawl said.

Rawl said the weekend could not take place without the help of the sponsors and volunteers.

“Also, none of this would be possible without the university, the city of Oxford, and Lafayette County employees who will be working on the holiday.”