By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi’s largest Fourth of July celebration kicks off its 26th annual event at noon Wednesday in Ballard Park.
Tupelo’s All-America City 4th of July Picnic in the Park features food, children’s activities, a “Backyard Giveaway,” live music and a fireworks display expected to draw an estimated 8,000 people.
Food vendors and kids’ rides open at noon, as does the giveaway. It features numerous backyard items – a grill, a lawnmower and folding chairs, to name a few – that will be raffled off to one lucky winner. Tickets for a chance to win sell for $5 each.
Music starts at 5 p.m. with three live groups playing back to back: Bonfire Orchestra opens the show, followed by A Band Called River at 6:30 p.m. and the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra at 8:15 p.m.
The city’s popular fireworks display is tentatively set for 9:15 p.m.
“This is the biggest one-day event in Northeast Mississippi, and it’s all free,” said Tupelo Parks and Recreation Director Don Lewis, whose department organizes the festival with the help of several sponsors.