By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – For the first time in its 27-year history, Tupelo’s Independence Day celebrations won’t be at Ballard Park.
Today, Fairpark will be decked out in red, white and blue for the annual All America City 4th of July Celebration.
“We’re not saying we’re going to go back (to Ballard) or stay (in Fairpark) forever. After 27 years, we wanted to try something a little bit different,” said Tupelo Parks and Recreation Director Don Lewis.
The downtown location offers more parking and ways in and out, solving the traffic problems that plagued the Ballard Park location.
But all of the activities families have come to love at the city’s Independence Day celebration will be there.
There will be plenty of food vendors and kids activities, like water slides, too.
“Our approach has always been that less is more. We don’t want to overcrowd. The main focus is the music and fireworks,” he said.
Local and regional musicians will perform beginning at 3:30 p.m., and the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform at 8:30 p.m.
The fireworks are set to go off at 9:30 p.m. rain or shine.
“The fireworks will be behind City Hall in an open field,” Lewis said. “There will be a fire engine on standby, and as always, we’ll take every precaution possible.”
Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.
In addition to these festivities, Americans are being asked to ring a bell for freedom and liberty at 2 p.m. as a part of a nationwide effort to celebrate the country.
Carmella LaSpada, founder of No Greater Love, a nonprofit that honors the troops, hopes to bring back the tradition to the country. Learn more at ngl.org.
At A Glance
WHAT: 27th annual All America City 4th of July Celebration
WHEN: Music begins at 3:30 p.m. today
INFORMATION: (662) 841-6440, tupeloparkrec.com
3:30 p.m. – Stone Lizard
4:30 p.m. – Mink Brothers Band
5:30 p.m. – Tupelo Unity Choir
6:30 p.m. – Memphis Jones
7:30 p.m. – Bissell
8:30 p.m. – North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
9:30 p.m. – Fireworks