Fireworks and more Saturday, July 2

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By Molly Moser

Classic Independence Day traditions will be honored at this year’s Stars and Stripes Celebration. The iconic summer event is scheduled to take place this Saturday, kicking off with the Farmer’s Market at 8 a.m. on the 400 block of South River Park Drive, and ending in the timeless custom of fireworks over the Mississippi River. The second annual Interact 5K Walk/Run will also be held that morning, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. at the gazebo in Ingleside Park.

Honoring our river town heritage: The Lockmaster’s Heritage House Museum, which is the last remaining lockmaster’s house in its original location along the Mississippi, will be open for visitors from 12 noon to 4 p.m. The Lock and Dam #10 observation deck, where boats and barges can be seen locking through, is open all day. Guttenberg’s DNR Fish Hatchery, located at 331 S. River Park Drive, opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday for viewing of live river animals. 

Family fun in the park: Food, music, and games in the park begin at 3 p.m. Tasty treats will include cotton candy, funnel cakes, sandwiches, maid rites, fried treats, ice cream, popcorn and kettle corn, hot dogs, egg rolls, sweet and sour chicken, sesame chicken, walking tacos, nachos, snow cones, and more. Children’s games will include barrel train rides, an inflatable obstacle course, a giant slide, a bounce house, face painting, squirt gun painting, and others. 

Water games will be held in the playground beginning with waterball hosted by the Guttenberg Fire Department from 3-5 p.m. A water balloon launch hosted by the Gridiron Club begins at 4 p.m. 

Music by The After Party, featuring local D.J.s Alex Finch and Brandon Bries, will entertain event-goers all afternoon in the park.

Friendly competition begins with a watermelon-eating contest for all ages in the gazebo at 3:30 p.m. A bean bag tournament begins in the park at 4 p.m.

A Clayton Ridge High School group planning a trip to Europe in 2017 will sell bobbers in the park for a prize drawing. The group is fundraising for an educational trip to Europe in the summer of 2017. Money raised through the bobber draw will be used to lower the cost of the trip. Before the drawing, participants must adopt a bobber. If your bobber is drawn, you will win a cash prize. Winners will be announced at 10 p.m.

Beverage garden: A beverage garden in the park from 4 to 10 p.m. will offer water, soda, and alcoholic beverages within listening distance of musical entertainment. Volunteers are still needed to sell tickets at the beverage garden. 

Dancing: The award-winning Clayton Ridge Drill team will perform a series of dance routines in front of the Veteran's Monument on River Park Drive following the parade. 

The Stars and Stripes parade, a staple of the annual celebration, will begin at 7 p.m. The parade will travel from the south marina north on River Park Drive, ending at Main Street. The parade will feature floats, decorated bicycles, golf carts, wagons and mini-floats, as well as local emergency services and musical groups. 

This year's parade theme is "Parade of Stars." Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three parade entries in each category: large floats, $100, $75, $50; mini floats, $20, $15, $10; bikes/kids/misc., $15, $10, $5; and judges' choice, $25. Entrants need not pre-register, but should arrive at Meuser Lumber at 6 p.m. to line up. Anyone in the community is welcome to enter a float.

“We invite community members, businesses, and dignitaries to create floats for the parade,” said Chamber Director Emily Sadewasser. Whether you interpret the Parade of Stars as the red, white and blue of the stars and stripes, heroes or celebrities, the theme leaves participants plenty of room for interpretation. 

G&G's 2016 talent show winner Blake Bolsinger will sing the Star-Spangled Banner at dusk. Fireworks will begin as darkness settles over the river, bringing the time-honored Stars and Stripes Celebration to a close.

The family-oriented Stars and Stripes Celebration is one of Guttenberg’s most popular summer events. Celebrating the birth of our great nation while creating fond family memories is an important project, and volunteers are needed to help this special day go smoothly. Organizers are looking for volunteers to sell tickets to games, tickets in the beverage garden, help with clean up, and to help with other tasks as needed throughout the day. If you’d like to be a volunteer at Guttenberg’s Stars and Stripes Celebration, please contact the Welcome Center at 252-2323.

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