BY MELANIE BUCK –
There will be several chances to celebrate the Independence Day holiday around the county beginning this Friday. The Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission will host their annual celebration on the 4th at Aubrey Tapley Park on Saturday, July 2nd. The fun begins at 4 p.m. with bouncy houses, cotton candy, and concessions. At 7:15 pm, the band Harmony will perform.
Harmony is a Christian band comprised of three members: Retta Smith on keyboards and vocals, Rodney Provence on bass, rhythm, and vocals, and Lynn Smith on drums and vocals. Harmony has been performing concerts for several years in churches, benefits, and other community events. Their first CD, “Weathering the Storm,” was released in March of this year.
The annual fireworks display will begin at the park around 9:15 p.m. (dark). Everyone is invited to enjoy the family friendly night of entertainment and fireworks to celebrate America and Independence Day. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs. Visit www.visitmena.com or call 479-394-8355 for more information.
Vandervoort will hold their 127th 4th of July Celebration on Friday and Saturday, July 1st and 2nd. On Friday, the annual Pie and Cake Walk and Cake Auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. along with the Prettiest Woman and Ugliest Man Contest. A dance will be held at 9 p.m. to the tunes of Ronnie Bear & Band.
On Saturday, July 2nd, registration for the annual 5k Run/Walk will begin at the picnic grounds at 7 a.m. Registration for the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will begin at 8 a.m. for youth (grades 9 and under) and high school girls and women. High school boys and men’s registration will begin at 9 a.m. The cost is $10 per person or $40 per team.
Parade line-up will start at 9 a.m. at the school with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. Immediately following the parade will be the Baby Crawl Contest, Cutest Baby Contest, kid games and much more. The Lil’ Miss & Mister Vandervoort 2016 crowning will begin at 6 p.m. A dance will begin at 8:30 p.m. with Ronnie Bear & Band playing. The 127th Annual Vandervoort Fireworks display will be held at 10 p.m. The Mena Elks Lodge will also host a celebration. From 5 p.m. until midnight on Monday, July 4th. The Elks will have a patriotic, family friendly event with an inflatable water slide, bounce house, obstacle course, and bungie cord racing. A pie eating contest, hot dog eating contest, and kids games are scheduled as well. All games, contests, entertainment, and inflatables are free. Entertainment will be provided by Mike Mayberry and the Slowhands Band. The Elks will also serve pulled pork, hamburger, and hot dog meals. A fireworks display will be held at dusk.
There will also be a celebration at the Wickes School Ball Field on Monday, July 4th. The God and Country 4th of July Celebration will start at 7 p.m. with music by Harmony. There will be concessions open and you are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m.