American Beach Party in the Park set for Ballard Park

TUPELO – If you’re bound and determined to have a picnic on July 4, maybe they’ll fit you in at Ballard Park.
But you better not get in the way of the All America Beach Party in the Park.
“We’ve got a little different spin on it this year,” said Leigh Ann Mallory, recreation director for the Tupelo Department of Parks and Recreation. “We have a lot of fun things for people to take part in.”
In previous years, the event was known as the All America City Picnic in the Park. Some of the changes for 2009 include a four-on-four sand volleyball tournament and music by Margarita Beach, a Jimmy Buffett cover band.
“They’ll play his hits and beach party music,” Mallory said.
Sand will be trucked in, so kids are invited to bring their sandbox toys. You’ll also find inflatable water slides and a rock climbing wall, as well as skate demonstrations at the Skate Park.
“We’ll be doing a back yard giveaway,” Mallory said. “For a $5 chance, you could win a hammock, a lawn mower, a tent and all kinds of pretty neat things.”
Music will start at 4:30 p.m. with Stone Lizard, followed by the All America City Talent Contest winners. John Milstead will perform at 6 p.m., then Margarita Beach will play, followed by the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra and Community Chorus at 8:30 p.m.
“We’ll have fireworks at 9:30 p.m.,” Mallory said. “It’ll be about 15 minutes.”
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers are allowed, but no alcohol. A variety of food vendors will set up on the park grounds.
“We tried to put together a good, family-friendly program,” Mallory said. “We hope the changes will be fun for everybody.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal