BONNE TERRE — While there won’t be a big July 4 bash in Bismarck this year, the one in Bonne Terre will be continuing this year.
Last year was the first in recent times that Bonne Terre has been home to a big July 4 event. This year, Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce is hosting a celebration in the City Park on North Long Street.
The parade kicks things off at 10 a.m. going from Bicentennial Park to the City Park. Fireworks, the last event of the day, will be at dusk.
At the City Park, there will be food and craft booths, inflatables and games for children, a petting zoo and camel rides, a dunking booth and a charity car bash as a Relay for Life Fundraiser. The senior center will have bingo and there will also be a poker tent in the park.
Organizer Brandon Hubbard said vendors who planned to be at the Freedom Fest are welcome at the Bonne Terre event. To get a booth, contact the Chamber office at 573-358-4000.
Brian Boyer, another organizer, said he hates to hear that Bismarck won’t have their festival. Freedom Fest organizers decided not to have the celebration this year, citing a weak economy, the soaring prices of fireworks, and storm damage last month.
Boyer said they will try to put on a good event in Bonne Terre for the community.
Organizers estimate about 3,000 people attended the festival last year, which was held in the park behind City Hall. They are expecting a bigger crowd this year and are adding more activities, making sure there is something for everyone.
There will be live music much of the day beginning at noon with Ambush. Brandon S Band will play from 2 to 4 p.m. Jeff Radford will play from 4 to 6 p.m. Well Hungarians will be the main band, playing from 7 to 9 p.m.
There will be sports activities in the afternoon including a Wiffle baseball tournament and a washer tournament, both sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
There will be a flag football tournament, as a fundraiser for North County football program and three-on-three basketball, as a fundraiser for the North County basketball program.
Registration for all the sports activities is at noon that day.
A car show will be held all day at the park with registration from 10 a.m. to noon. The beer garden will be open from 2 to 8 p.m.
For more information about any of the contests or to participate in the parade, call the Chamber office at 573-358-4000.
The Chamber has begun looking for sponsors, as well. So far, they have three gold sponsors ($1,000 sponsors). They are also looking for silver ($500), bronze ($250) and friends of the festival (under $250.)
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.