By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Rockets will fly and bombs will burst at Ballard Park on July 3.
But you won’t have to wait until nightfall to enjoy the 24th annual All America City Picnic in the Park. Rock, country and classical music will fill the air, and there will be a variety of activities for kids and adults throughout the day.
The action will start at 9 a.m., when men’s, women’s and co-ed volleyball teams will compete for cash prizes. The entry fee is $60/per team.
“Our food vendors will set up at noon,” said Leigh Ann Kuykendall, recreation director for the Tupelo Department of Parks and Recreation. “The inflatable water slide will be ready to go at noon, too.”
The food vendors will provide everything from “barbecue to frozen cheesecake on a stick,” Kuykendall said.
“You don’t have to drag along your cooler if you don’t want to,” she added. “We’ll have all kinds of food and drinks.”
For $5, you’ll be able to buy chances on a “Backyard Giveaway” that will include a new grill, lawn furniture and more.
The music will start at 3:45 p.m. on the Ballard Park stage with a mixture of rock and country from the party band, Stone Lizard.
At 5 p.m. Louisiana’s LeRoux will perform melodic classic rock. You can read more about the band in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Journal’s Scene section.
Jamie Davis and Soul Gravy will perform a blend of country and soul at 6:30 p.m.
Take part
You’re invited to step on stage at 8:15 p.m. with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra and the Community Chorus.
Anyone wanting to join the Community Chorus is invited to rehearsal at 7 p.m. Thursday at West Jackson Street Baptist Church. Another rehearsal is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Ballard Park.
“We had about 40 members in the chorus the first year, and about 60 last year,” said Margaret Anne Murphey, TSO president/executive director. “Our goal has been to get 100 voices. You’re invited. You don’t have to have a wonderful voice, just come and sing.”
The dress will be dark pants, dress jeans and knee-length skirts with “flag red” T-shirts. Songs will include “At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Armed Forces Salute” and “God Bless America.”
For information about the chorus, call (662) 842-8433 or 842-7875, or e-mail or
Crash! Boom! Bang!
After the symphony, it’ll be time to look to the skies for 15 to 20 minutes of colorful explosions
“It’s the biggest fireworks show in North Mississippi,” Kuykendall said.
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets, and find a good spot to enjoy all of Saturday’s Independence Day activities.
“We love for people to spend the day with all their friends and neighbors at Ballard Park,” Kuykendall said. “It’s a great, family-friendly event.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or

Join the fun
– What: All America City Picnic in the Park
– When: Saturday. Volleyball tournament starts at 9 a.m.; kids’ games and vendors set up at noon; music begins at 3:45 p.m.
– Where: Ballard Park, Tupelo
– Tickets: Free
– Info: (662) 841-6440

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