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Oxford to celebrate Fourth of July with a day full of events

The Fourth of July will once again be an all-day affair in the LOU community.

A partnership of the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Olin-Winchester, the City of Oxford, Lafayette County, the University of Mississippi, MaxxSouth and Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, the 2018 LOU Fourth of July Celebration will feature a variety of family-friendly activities, from parades to petting zoos.

The day will end with a bang with a fireworks show at Oxford-University Stadium.

“We are on target with everything for the Fourth of July to go off without a hitch this year,” said Lee Anne Griffin, Director of Family Crisis Services. “Last year, we had some hiccups due to squirrels blowing transformers at the stadium, and not having electricity and storms coming in, but this year, we’re expecting things to go much smoother.”

Festivities to celebrate the birth of the nation will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the Stars & Stripes on the Square 5K Classic, which benefits the Oxford Lafayette Humane Society. A fun run will also take place at 8:30 a.m.

At 9:30 a.m., the annual children’s parade will take place, with tiny tots decked out in their best red, white and blue ensembles. The lineup for participants will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot next to Something Southern, on East Jackson Avenue.

According to Griffin, there will be a few special guests riding in the parade this year.

“The parade is always a hit with the community,” she said. “The National Guard has got a Humvee that’s coming out, and (State Rep.) Jay Hughes will be riding in the parade as well.”

Prizes will be awarded for the most unique and most patriotic participants, as well as for the best-dressed pets. Winners will be announced later in the day in the Grove, where the festivities will move at 4 p.m.

While in the Grove, families are invited to listen to live music while enjoying activities such as face painting, a petting zoo, train rides, bounce houses and balloon art. The LOU Community Band will also entertain the crowd from 4 to 5 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., the second-annual Independence Day Pageant and Lil’ Mr. and Miss Firecracker Contest will take place. Children age 7 and under will have the chance to strut their stuff across the Grove stage in the hopes of winning a crown and other prizes. Parents will be allowed to escort or carry their children across the stage, if necessary.

The night will take on a more serious tone at the 6 p.m. Independence Day Ceremony, which will be a time to reflect on the holiday and honor service members.

Tate Moore will provide a patriotic musical salute as the festivities resume and the parade awards are announced.

Local musician Damein Wash and the band Funkatomic will entertain the crowd as they make their way to Oxford-University Stadium for the main event, a 20-minute fireworks display presented by Family Crisis Services and sponsored by Olin-Winchester.

The fireworks will begin at approximately 9 p.m., but local films will be played on the jumbotron prior to the show. Refreshments will be available for purchase, and no coolers are allowed.

Griffin said one major change for this year will be the pre-sale of wristbands for entry into the stadium.

“This year, we are going to sell wristbands for entrance ahead of time so we don’t have a long line of people waiting to get in,” Griffin said. “We’re going to sell them the morning of the parade and in the Grove.”

Wristbands will cost $2, and the proceeds will help fund the 2019 Fourth of July celebration.

For more information, visit https://oxfordms.com/live-in-oxford/lou-4th-of-july.