Kirkland ready to celebrate Independence Day all weekend

KIRKLAND – The Kirkland Lions Club will hold its 66th consecutive Fourth of July Celebration Thursday, July 3 through Saturday, July 5. This is the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in Illinois, according to the club. All proceeds from this event are used for Lions' charitable work throughout the year.

There will be carnival rides by Big M Amusements, bingo, arts and crafts, a flea market, free live entertainment, and a beer garden. Each day is full of activities to entertain both young and old with many changes and additions.

The event opens at 5 p.m. July 3. Food will be available for purchase, and the flea market and carnival will be open. Unlimited-ride wristbands will be honored from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be karaoke from 6 to 10 p.m., and Ms. 4th of July will be crowned at 7 p.m. The candidates for this year's title are Hanna Corn, Lauren Watson, Monica Hakes, Elizabeth Sechrest and Bianca Garcia. Shuvlhed will play in the beer garden from 8 p.m. until midnight.

On Friday, July 4, the day begins with a pancake breakfast in the park from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m. After the parade, a pork chop barbecue will be served in the park. There will be an open house at Hiawatha schools from 1 to 5 p.m. Kids' pedal pulls will begin at 4 p.m.

On stage, entertainment begins at 1 p.m. with "Excited by Science," an entertaining and educational program. Next, Summerfield Zoo will present an animal program, then there will be live music by Tony Sheehan and by Steve McClanahan.

Water fights begin at 2 p.m. July 4. A baggo tournament begins at 3 p.m. in the beer garden – this event fills quickly, so early registration is recommended. Beer garden entertainment begins with Dale Rhode & The Crossroads playing country music, at noon, then The Wind Gypsys playing classic rock and blues from 6 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, July 5, begins with a breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Kirkland United Methodist Church. Car and truck show registration opens at 8 a.m., with trophies awarded at 4 p.m. The tractor show runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The carnival opens at noon and the beer garden opens at 1 p.m. A second baggo tournament will begin in the beer garden at 2 p.m.

Free entertainment begins at 1 p.m. Saturday with ventriloquist/storyteller/singer Sandi Sylver. A dance performance takes the stage at 3 p.m. Magician Brian Holt will perform at 5 p.m., and the Hiawatha Pep and Jazz Band will perform at 6 p.m. On the beer garden stage, Drift Away will play from 6 to 8 p.m. and Back Country Roads will play at 8 p.m.

The weekend is capped with one of the area's largest fireworks displays at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. After the fireworks, raffle winners will be announced, and Back Country Roads will resume playing until midnight.

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