Lawrence will celebrate the Fourth of July this year from morning until after dark, but in a different format.
With the demise of the Independence Days celebration, this year's celebration will consist solely of the independent efforts of local organizations and will be held only on July 4.
This is a departure from the three-day observances previously coordinated by Independence Days. That non-profit group, which had led the city's festivities since 1983, has folded because of financial difficulties.
The city's celebration will begin at 9:30 a.m. on the Fourth with a parade to honor Lawrence's men and women who served in Operation Desert Storm. The parade is being sponsored by the United Veterans Organization of Douglas County and the Vietnam Veterans Assn., Chapter 317, Kansas City, Mo., said Richard Miller of United Veterans.
The parade will begin at Seventh and Kentucky streets and end at South Park. The original route down Massachusetts Street was altered because of street repairs.
"ITS THEME will be patriotism, and it will be dedicated to the Persian Gulf veterans and all veterans," Miller said.
So far, Miller said he had booked at least six or seven floats but that he expected entries to increase by the day of the parade. Miller said any veterans interested in participating in the parade may call him at 843-8317.
Miller also said he hopes to arrange a noon flyover but that may not be possible because of the increased demand for such events.
Once the parade reaches South Park, Miller said live entertainment would be available from noon or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Later that day, the Jaycees fireworks show will light up the sky over Lawrence.
Rick Bellinger, a Jaycee member in charge of the show, said Burcham Park, which will open at 6 p.m., will offer the public the best view of the fireworks. He said he expected the show to begin shortly after sundown, or from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m, and to last about half an hour.
A CONCESSION STAND will be open at the park and a live band is scheduled to perform country and western music along with some oldies rock 'n' roll. The music will go on before the fireworks show.
Bellinger said the Jaycees were hoping for 6,000 people to attend, about the same number that came to the event last year, when it was part of the Independence Days festivities.
The fireworks event will be free if the Jaycees can raise $9,000 to cover the cost of the fireworks. If group can't raise the money, the cost to enter the park will be $3 for adults and $1 for children.
Anyone interested in donating to the fireworks fund can write a check to the Jaycees and mail it to P.O. Box 22, Lawrence 66044.