Fun on the Fourth

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

For 25 years, Ballard Park has been home to Tupelo’s Fourth of July celebration, and this year is no different. This year’s All-America City Family Picnic in the Park will feature everything good about the Fourth of July: fireworks, food and music.
“Bring your lawn chairs and sunscreen and blankets,” said Leigh Ann Mattox, recreation director of Tupelo Parks and Recreation, “and you can enjoy the music and the fireworks.”

Sweet Sounds
Sweet sounds The music at this year’s Fourth of July will rely heavily on the South.
Tupelo country band Busted Screen Door will kick off the festival at 4:30 p.m.
Headed up by local music heavyweights Tim Warren and Greg Dillard, Busted Screen Door has made a name for itself as a fun live band.
The band released its debut album, “Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells,” in 2010.
Southern Rock’s Finest will follow at 6:15. The group is made up of former members of Southern rock bands: Phill Stokes of Pure Prairie League, Bob Burns of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Hargrett of Blackfoot, David Muse of the Marshall Tucker Band, Steve Grisham of Outlaws and Bret Waddums of Commander Cody.
The Tupelo Symphony Orchestra wraps up the evening at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.
“We have the largest fireworks show in North Mississippi,” Mattox said.

Get out and play
In addition to the music, the festival will offer lots of food.
“There will pretty much be everything you can think of,” Mattox said. “We’ll also have drinks, if they don’t want to wag their coolers.”
Pets are allowed, but must be kept on a leash.
There will be plenty of activities for kids, including water slides, train rides, rock climbing walls and a new trailer full of video games.
Park and Rec will also be selling raffle tickets to win a backyard set that includes a grill, bistro set, lawnmower and more.
“We’re looking for a good, family-friendly event,” she said.