KIRKLAND – The Kirkland Lions Club’s 65th annual Fourth of July Celebration will begin Wednesday, July 3 and end Saturday, July 6. This is the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in Illinois. All proceeds from this event are used for Lions charitable work throughout the year.
Each day will feature carnival rides by Big M Amusements, bingo, arts and crafts, a flea market, free entertainment, stage shows and a beer garden. There are many changes and additions this year.
Wristband nights for unlimited carnival rides will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. There will be Baggo tournaments on Thursday and Saturday in the beer garden. The tournaments fill fast; early registration is recommended.
The carnival, flea market and food vendors open at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Ms. 4th of July will be crowned on stage at 7 p.m. that night, and there will be karaoke from 6 to 10 p.m. Shuvlhed will play in the beer garden from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Thursday includes a pancake breakfast and pork chop barbecue lunch in the park. The parade will begin at 11 a.m., with a variety of floats, bands, Shriner units, old cars, clowns and more. The afternoon features an open house at Hiawatha schools, pedal pulls for children and water fights hosted by the Kirkland Fire Department. Entertainment on the park stage Thursday includes a science show, an animal presentation and a ventriloquist, and Babin Brothers and Funktional Family will play in the beer garden.
On Friday, bingo begins at 2 p.m. and the rest of the festival opens at 5 p.m. Cover Story Band will perform on the main stage and Back Country Roads will play in the beer garden.
On Saturday, the Kirkland United Methodist Church will host a breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Registration for the car and truck show will begin at 8 a.m., and trophies will be awarded at 4 p.m. The tractor show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival and beer garden will open at noon Saturday. Entertainment on the park stage begins at 1 p.m. and includes a police K-9 demonstration, belly dancing, performances by two dance studios, a magic show and the Hiawatha Jazz Band.
The Lions of Illinois Hearing Bus will offer free hearing screenings from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Menagerie will entertain on the beer garden stage before one of the largest fireworks displays in the area caps off the celebration at 9:30 p.m. Raffle winners will be announced in the park after the fireworks.